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Bali's Mountain Lake District Under Threat

Sedimentation, Illegal Forestry and Overpopulation Blamed for Deterioting Condition of Tabanan's Lake District.

(8/21/2005) Three mountain lakes in the Tabanan Regency of Bali are continuing to recede, estimated to have become 3 meters shallower over recent years. The lakes - Danau Beratan, Danau Buyan and Danau Tamblingan are all located in the areas bordering the two regencies of Tabanan and Bulelang in Bali's northwest highlands. Each of the lakes has declined from their officially recorded surface elevations in 1993 of 1,231 meters for Danau Beratan; 1,214 meters for Danau Buyan; and 1,214 meters for Danau Tamblingan.

The shallowness of the lakes is most evident when seen from the receding shorelines and the occasional appearance of the lakes' bottoms emerging above the water's surface in several parts of the lakes.

Sedmintation caused by over farming and illegal forestry surrounding the lakes, together with changing weather patterns are all blamed for the change in the lakes' natural characteristics.

Quoted in the Indonesian-language daily Kompas, Dr. Dedy Darnedi, a local expert fron the Center for Biological Research (LIPI) in Bogor, West Java, has called for the establishment of a protected biosphere in the areas surrounding the lakes to save the lakes and urgent further study into any possible further ill-effects plans to establish a geothermal energy project in the hills of Bedugal might have on the worsening conditions of the the three lakes.