Rapid growth of tourist accommodation in Bali, in fact, has given contribution to ecological damages. The Friends of the Earth (Walhi) assessed the uncontrolled growth of the accommodation made this sector greedy to the existing natural resources. For instance, it led to water crisis, pollution of beaches, abrasion, shrinking amount of the existing forest and other negative impacts. It was revealed in the discussion organized by Bali Travel News (BTN) amidst the conferment of the Tri Hita Karana (THK) Nugraha, Friday (Feb 21). The discussion featuring the topic To Overcome Ecological Crisis, Moratorium Must Be Undertaken Across Bali presented three speakers such as the tourism observer Rio Helmi, Regent of Buleleng Agus Suradnyana and Regent of Karangasem Wayan Geredeg with the theme ‘Bali: Between a Moratorium and Imperium.’
Rio Helmi said the current trend of accommodation development in Bali ignored the concept of balance as set forth in the Tri Hita Karana philosophy. Capital owners competed to build hotels and businesses without paying attention to the environmental impact, other communities and the relationship to God and the fellow humans. “Indeed, it is a stale thing, but very important. I think Bali is unlike it used to, so it is required the environmental responsibilities and others,” he said.
He also judged that over the last decades there had been a shift in the most fundamental human value. “When talking about the relationship between people and the environment, it is far away. Now, all the people are demanding for their rights, rarely demanding for the obligations. Their egoism is very high,” he said.
Meanwhile, Agus Suradnyana argued that Bali was difficult to implement the moratorium, but most importantly was how to keep the investment in accordance with the Tri Hita Karana concept, like how to maintain the nature and the sea. “We want to improve people’s life by involving them in the investment to avoid the corporate monopoly,” he said. According to him, if only Badung and Denpasar enjoyed the investment, the communities in Buleleng and Karangasem would flock to the regions. So, the social burden to bear by both regions would be getting heavier.
Regent Wayan Geredeg agreed that the blue print of Bali posed the key for addressing the inequality over the years and preventing the sectoral ego in each county. “For instance, we know that Tanah Ampo Harbor is the only harbor cruise in Bali, but as we all know that Benoa Harbor also makes similar thing by dredging its area. This has violated the spatial order because Benoa Harbor is not intended for the cruise harbor. Who will distribute the development if the reality is like this?” he questioned.
Meanwhile, Chairman of the Walhi Bali, Wayan Gendo Suardana, assessed the moratorium should be undertaken throughout Bali, not only in South Bali. Rapid development in the tourism sector, especially the tourist accommodation had an impact on the ecological crisis, water crisis, pollution of beaches and sea, abrasion and reduction in forest area. “The growth rate of tourist accommodation is very rapid, so many people are not aware that tourist accommodation and its derivatives are considered as part of investments that will prosper the people. However, the growth poses the development sector that is greedy of natural resources,” he said.
According to him, almost all of the ecological damages were averagely rooted in tourist accommodation. It was inseparable from the fact that Bali had no clear blueprint for the development of sustainable tourism. “This happens because the development is carried out in sectoral manner, not comprehensively. To that end, the Walhi encourages the making of blueprint by measuring the supporting capacity and carrying capacity that takes into account the space of Bali,” he said. He argued the moratorium should be done across Bali, if it was only undertaken in South Bali, Buleleng and Karangasem County would build based on its own concept by mimicking the patterns practiced in Badung. “As a matter of fact, it will harm Bali in the future, so the mindset of moratorium is the spirit to perform an obvious study on the carrying capacity of Bali. Though it hits the regional autonomy, it can be carried out as long as the leaders are willing to gather without any ego,” he said.
Gendo deplored that violation of moratorium was even committed by Bali provincial government that issued the policy. It was discernible from the endorsement of moratorium made in 2010 and actively in force in January 2011, but in the same year it supported the development of BIP with the number of room virtually reaching hundreds of units and the development of Ngurah Rai Grand Forest Park (Tahura) and the latest was reclamation plan. (BTN/kmb)