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Petition Drive Launched to Halt Private Management of South Bali Mangrove Forest (Tahura)

Bali News: Bali, Indonesia, Tahura Mangrove forest, on-line petition, komite Kerja Advokasi Lingkungan Hidup (KEKAL) Bali, (WALHI Bali, FRONTIER Bali, Bali Outbound Community, LPM Kertha Aksara, Udayana University, Tirta Rahmat Bahari, mangrove forests, protests
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As reported by Radar Bali, Bali Friends of the Earth (WALHI) have launched a new front in their efforts to prevent PT Rahmat Tirta Bahari from assuming management of the South Bali Mangrove Forest (Taman Hutan Rakyat – Tahura) under the terms of a 55-year leasehold granted by Bali’s governor.

Following a mysterious physical attack on the chairman of WALHI, Wayan Gendo Surdana, that organization has joined forces with the Bali Committee for the Advocacy if the Environment (Kekal)Frontier Bali, Bali Outbound Community and the Persma Kertha Aksara of the Law Faculty of Bali’s Udayana University in launching new protests in front of Governor Made Pastika’s office.

On Line Petition

Efforts to stop what protestors see as a critical threat to the protected mangrove forests surrounding Bali’s airport and southeast coast, Kekal has launched an on-line petition that has now secured more than 1,300 signatories during the first few days of its existence.

Among the environmentalist’s main arguments:

  • Although studies suggest that a 30% forest-jungle cover is needed to keep the island environmentally sustainable, the amount of jungle cover is now down to a worrying 20%
  • Critical levels of water pollution caused by industry and tourism source have been recorded on 13 main beach areas. Included among these areas of severe pollution are Sanur Beach, Mertasari Beach, Kuta Beach, Lovina Beach, Candidasa Beach, Tanah Lot Beach and Soka Beach.
  • Salt-water intrusion into the water table has been recorded at distances more than 1 kilometer from the shore in the community of Sanur.
  • 140 points of severe beach erosion have been recorded along Bali’s coasts. Estimates say 3.7 kilometers of the island’s beaches suffer encroachments each year of between 50-100 meters.
The environmental groups contend that the Tahura Ngurah Rai mangrove area represents a final defense for island against beach abrasion and erosion. Moreover, these areas serve to remove pollutants from the water, are an important growth area for many plant and tree species and serve as a nursery area for sea life populating the surrounding seas.

The group also points to the proven role the mangrove forests of Bali have played in mitigating the damaging effects of tsunami. They cite at least seven instances between 1818 and 1994 in which tsunami’s have touched the island’s shores.

Kekal is seeking a revocation of a permit issued by Bali’s governor to PT Tirta Rahmat Bahari on June 27, 2012 granting management rights on the 102.22-hectare forest for 55 years, with a further extension of 20 years provided for in the agreement.

The company has filed a plan for the area that includes the construction of 75 accommodation units, 8 restaurants, 2 spas, a coffee shop and other tourist facilities.

[Kekal On-Line Petition for the Revocation of the License of PT Tirta Rahmat Bahari on Tahura Mangrove Forest Area of Bali]

[Walhi Bali Website]

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