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Bali Environmentalists Prepare for Battle

Environmental Group WALHI Calls for Boycott of Bali APEC Summit

(9/20/2012) Beritabali.com reports that Bali Friend of the Earth (WALHI) has issued a call on the 21 countries that are members of Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) to boycott the APEC Summit planned for Bali in October 2013.

WALHI said the boycott is justified by the lack of environmental care being taken in preparing infrastructure projects to support the coming summit.

In supporting their call for a boycott, the coordinator of WALHI in Bali, Wayan Gendo Suardana, alleges developers failed to abide by an agreed environmental plan when constructing an elevated highway over the mangrove forest to connect Benoa, Bali’s Airport and Nusa Dua. Gendo said developers promised to use a floating pontoon to erect the highway, but instead have built access roads through the mangrove.

“We are suspicious that systematic steps are being taken to kill the mangrove forest,” Gendo said.

He said preparations for APEC have had a negative effect on Bali. Earlier, an effort was made to establish the Bali International Park mega-project that has yet to commence due to widespread public rejection of that project. Similarly, he sees the elevated highway being rushed to completion as just another example of destructive development in the name of APEC.

Gendo Suardana said the limestone access roads being built through the mangrove are killing the mangrove and polluting the oceans.

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