Tempo Interactive reports that Balinese craftsmen are encountering severe shortages of wood, such as albesia, needed to meet the demands of the local and international markets for hand-carved products.
The head of the Gianyar (Bali) branch of the Indonesian Chamber of Commerce (KADIN), Wayan Gde Asyana, told the press: "Nowadays, it is easier to find gold than wood."
Asyana met with Baliís governor Made Mangku Pastika on Tuesday, November 25, 2008, to share his concerns over a lack of raw material for Bali's large carving industry.
Albesia, a preferred wood for carving among Balinese craftsmen, is normally harvested from Bangli, Karangasem, Tabanan and Jembrana. Of the 5,000 cubic meters produced annually in Bali most is now exported outside the island.
This has resulted in a situation where 70% of Bali's carving wood requirements are now imported to the island, with much of the import monopolized by one wood company in Bangli. Pastika told Tempo Interactive that he "disapproved of the Bangli company's existence" because of the shortages they have created for wood in Bali. "As governor, I have not given this factory my approval yet," he said.
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