Bali Discovery Tours: Homepage
Bali Hotels, Bali Villas and Bali News from
Home Bali Contact Bali Practicalities Bali News Bali Services Bali Transportation Bali Sports Bali Excursions Bali Villas Bali Hotels
Home · News · Bali: Good to the Last Drop
Bali Hotels, Bali Villas and Bali News from
Bali Hotels
Bali Villas
Special Deals!
MICE Handling
Bali Excursions
Culinary - Dining
Guided Tour
Bali Spas
Bali Sports
Bali Transportation
Car Rental - Selft Drive
Private Jet Charter
Bali News
Bali Services
Bali Practicalities
Bali Contact
Bali Career
Bali Update
Subscribe to our free weekly newsletter!
PATA header
PATA Gold Award 2007
Bali Update
PATA Gold Award Winner 2007
Bali Contact
Bali Discovery Tours
Jln. By Pass Ida Bagus Mantra,
Jln. Pucuk 1 No. 70X
Denpasar, Bali

+62 (0)812 3819724
+62 (0)361 464 032, +62 (0)361 471 0242

Bali Discovery

Bali News

Bali: Good to the Last Drop

Dr. Anak Agung Gde Agung Asks: Is Bali Over-exploited?

Bali News: Bali, Indonesia, Dr. Anak Agung Gde Agung, Bali Overexploited
Click Image to Enlarge


The Jakarta Post carried the following article by Dr. Anak Agung Gde Agung - a member of Gianyar's royalty and the former Minister of Societal Affairs in the cabinet of President Abdurrahman Wahid. Dr. Agung is a graduate of Harvard (US) and Leiden (Holland) universities and the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy (US). He also served as a member of the Supreme Consultative Body (MPR - RI, 1999 - 2004)

Is Bali Over-Exploited

By Dr. Anak Agung Gde Agung

The answer to the above question is a resounding yes. Yes, Bali is definitely, and badly, over exploited. One has only to glance at the data below to be convinced that this is the current state of affairs there:

Bali last year had 5.75 million foreign and domestic tourists, which is almost twice the island's population of 3.9 million (the ideal population based on the environmental support capacity is 1.5 million).

Of these 3.9 million "inhabitants", the number of migrants from Java, Lombok and other parts of Indonesia has been rapidly increasing these past few years and currently is about 400,000, making the indigenous population only 89.7 percent of the local "inhabitants".

All of Bali's 48 beaches have undergone acute erosion, so much so that its coastline has lost 181.7 kilometers of land this last decade, which amounts to 41.5 percent of the island's total shoreline.

In one year alone, in 2008, the satellite data showed that Bali lost 88.6 kilometers of its beaches, caused mainly by massive disregard of zoning and coastline laws.

This last decade, the average temperature in Bali rose from 28 to 30 degrees Celsius to 33. This is caused mostly by an increase in population density.

The number of hotel rooms, excluding those in the fast mushrooming villa complexes, has shot up to 78,000 while the optimum number is 22,000, as indicated by the survey commissioned by the government.

A hotel room consumes on average 300 liters of water per day. With 78,000 rooms, this amounts to at least 23,400,000 liters of precious water used daily by the tourist industry.

The result is a massive shortage of water in various parts of Bali and acute seepage of seawater penetrating inland, with sea levels rising by 50 centimeters in most coastal areas in Bali.

Massive illegal logging is occurring in the forests of West Bali, endangering the island's few national parks. Since 1983, Bali has lost 25,000 hectares of its forest, indicating a drastic reduction of one fifth of its forest reserves within a 20-year period.

The island's pride, the Bali tiger (panthera tigris balica) is now long extinct and will soon be followed by its rare bird, the Bali starling (Leucopsar rothschildi) of which only a few dozen currently remain.

Around-the-clock traffic jams are now an everyday phenomena in most parts of Bali, especially throughout the regencies of Badung, Gianyar, Tabanan, Buleleng and the major highway around the whole of the island.

Bali has lost on average 1,500 hectares of lush agricultural land per year to the tourist industry over the past 30 years. Considering Bali's small land mass, this is an enormous alienation shift.

The situation is especially critical since agriculture is the basis of Bali's culture and land is regarded as sacred by the islanders. With each land transaction, the temples, communal way of life, ceremonies and rituals of the Balinese who once lived on that land disappear in one swipe.

In its place comes a hotel, mall or restaurant that every day exudes an alien way of life, fast replacing the indigenous culture.

While the biodiversity erosions are caused by an overuse of natural resources due to an influx of tourists and changes in lifestyle are severe enough, the cultural erosion caused by the land alienation are more critical as they lead to the rapid extinction of the Balinese custom, tradition and identity.

Why has such a calamity befallen Bali? The answer lies in the government, both at the central and provincial levels, together with the tourist industry's over-focus on Bali.

This has its background in the mid-1970s when Indonesia, short of cash, decided to finance its development program through tourism. Bali, being already well-known worldwide, became the prime cash-cow target.

Since then, little has changed. This over-exploitation of Bali does not only erode the biocultural heritage of the island, but tends to inhibit the development of Indonesia's many other magnificent tourist sites.

Take, for example, the Borobudur temple, the UNESCO–recognized world heritage site attracted only 85,000 visitors last year compared to more than 1 million for the similar Angkor Watt temple in Cambodia.

Another icon, Toraja, known for its unique ethnic culture, was only able to entice 5,000 tourists in 2009.

This also goes for Bunaken, famous for its world–class sea coral formations, which brought in an average of only 10,000 visitors annually versus Thailand's Pattaya with 4.5 million tourists yearly.

Is it any wonder then that Indonesia, with its countless diverse treasures, could only attract 6.4 million tourists in 2009, a fraction of Singapore's 10 million, Thailand's 15 million and Malaysia's 22 million visitors for that same period?

To save Bali from further rapid erosion and, at the same time, develop the other promising tourist sites throughout the archipelago, the government needs to do some fast-yielding rehabilitation programs.

This can be done by picking a selection of quick-win tourist sites that need only a little refurbishment in order to bloom.

Such examples are the Borobudur, Bunaken and Toraja, which need only small infrastructure touches to turn them into world–class tourist attractions, as they already have the international reputations to do so.

At the same time, the government needs to come up with a relevant branding statement as a national marketing tool to encourage the right type of tourists to come and visit Indonesia.

The right type of visitors will admire the land's culture and create a spiraling upward effect of similar tourists coming, provoking more admiration for the local heritage.

It is high time that such a move be made by the government to foster more tourist attractions nationwide and save the biocultural heritage of Bali, which is on the brink of losing its self-identity.

Another Article by Dr. Anak Agung Gde Agung

[Bali at the Crossroads]

© Bali Discovery Tours. Articles may be quoted and reproduced if attributed to


Bali News by Bali Update
Subscribe to the Bali Update
Receive the latest news from Bali by email!

Our [Privacy Statement] explains how we handle the data you are providing.

Bali News by Bali Update
Explore the Archive of the Bali Update
Find related articles in our news archive!

or try to use Google Search :

Home · Bali Hotels · Bali Villas · Bali Excursions · Bali Sports · Bali News · Site Map · RSS

Bali News: More News
Here Comes the Sun
Bali’s Green School Receives Donation of Solar Panels to Take Campus Off the Power Grid
Horses for Underground Courses
Plans Being Drawn for Additional Underpass Near Gatot Kaca Monument at Bali’s Airport
You Take the Long Road and I’ll Take the Short Road
Buleleng Regency Ready to Provide Land for Construction of a 1.8-kilometer Shortcut Highway Between Bedugul and Singaraja
It’s Not Easy Being Green
Complaining Health and Crops are Affected, Celukan Bawang Residents in Demand Halt to Building Second Coal-Burning Power Plant in North Bali.
Mythical Bird Scheduled for August Landing in South Bali
Garuda Wisnu Kencana Monument Promised to be Complete by August 2018
The Cruelest Bite of All
Motorcycle Taxi Driver Who Had Tongue Nearly Bitten Off in Rape Attack Sentenced to 5.5 Years Prison
A Sporting Chance
Bali Hopes to Win Bid to Host 2014 National Sports Games (PON-XX1)
Fire: The Spirit of Creation
40th Bali Arts Festival June 16 – July 14, 2018
Garuda Airways to Mumbai
Direct Flights between Bali and Mumbai Now Available from Garuda Indonesia
An Evening of Mosel Valley Wines In Bali
Selbach-Oster Tastemaker Wine Dinner at St. Regis Bali’s Kayuputi Restaurant on May 10, 2018
Seeking the Full Extent of the Law
Bali Guides Protest Lenient Handling by Police of Criminal Assault by Illegal Guide Working in Bali
Ultimate Golf in Bali
Ultimate Golf Series on Sunday, April 29, 2018 at Bali National Golf
All [News]!