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Dreams Built on Shifting Sands

Many Resorts and Hotels Suffering the Eroding Consequences of Building Too Close to Baliís Shoreline

(1/25/2014) The chairman of the Indonesian Hotel and Restaurant Association for Bali (PHRI-Bali), Tjokorda Oka Artha Ardana Sukawati (Cok Ace), has admitted to Beritabali.com that the overdevelopment of seaside hotel projects is contributing to beach erosion in Bali.

Cok Ace said the strong attraction of operating beachside hotels has resulted in a majority of the estimated 78,000 hotel rooms in Bali being located near the island’s beaches.

The PHRI chairman’s comments were made at a discussion on beach abrasion held in Denpasar on January 19, 2014.

Cok Ace also admitted that efforts to prevent beach erosion being undertaken by hotels in Bali do not manage to solve the problem, often only shifting the erosion to a different part of the shoreline.

Because of this, Tjok Sukawati is calling for a holistic approach by private and public sectors in trying to thwart beach abrasion.

Data from the Department of Public Works state that 88.3 kilometers of a total 437.70 kilometers of shoreline in Bali is suffering some degree of serious erosion. This is down from 181.7 kilometers of eroded beach reported in 2009, with 93.35 kilometer of beach erosion now halted by efforts undertaken by the Department of Public Works.

Officials are prevented from taking a comprehensive approach to halting beach erosion in Bali because of a lack of funds needed to undertake reclamation projects, necessitating that present efforts only concentrate on southern shorelines most under threat and of the greatest economic importance to Bali’s tourist industry.

Also contributing in a major way to beach erosion is the disregard for zoning and building rules shown by many hotels and resorts who build too close to the high water mark and then suffer the predictable consequences of such poor decisions.