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The Balinese as an Endangered Species

Sydney Morning Herald Article Traces the Increasing Marginalization of Bali’s Endemic Inhabitants


Bali News: The Balinese as an Endangered Species
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(8/18/2013)

Michael Bachelard, writing for the Sydney Morning Herald, presents a compelling description of how rapid development now underway in Bali is marginalizing Bali’s traditional agriculturalists.

 
He relates how the current generation of farmers living in North Kuta are being edged out of their farming plots by diminishing water supplies from local subaks and the encroachment of buildings on every side of their farming plots.

Subak is the centuries old system of water distribution in Bali tied to a traditional governing bodies now being undermined by the Island's property boom.
 
Bachelard quotes Ngurah Wijaya, the chairman of the Bali Tourism Board who says, “we are loving Bali to death.”
 
Underlining how tourism development is also denying local Balinese a future on their own Island, Made Suantha of the Bali Wisnu Foundation told Bachelard that tourist use an average of 1,500 liters of water each day while local Balinese use only 150 liters.
 
Many hotels and business tap into Bali’s underground water supplies, accelerating the dangerous intrusion of salt water into the Island’s water supplies.
 
Meanwhile, a British academic calculates that 260 of Bali’s 400 rivers have now run dry.
 
Bachelard’s article also looks at booming real estate prices in Bali  and how, on an island running of water, the boom is driving many Balinese to sell their lands, loosening irrevocably their ancestral connection to the island.
 
Be sure to read Bachelard’s article examining via the link below detailing a whole range of problems plaguing Bali from diminishing agricultural lands to garbage disposal and a host of other problems that threaten the Island’s future
 
 
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