The Bali Post reports that in the midst of “greed by Bali’s leaders to sacrifice the environment in order meet the needs of investors” Indonesia’s Minister of Tourism and the Creative Economy, Mari Elka Pangestu, has turned her attention to the Island's plight.
Pangestu has called on the people of Bali, via their traditional villages (desa pakraman), to maintain a vigilant watch on future tourism development. She said that tourism development in Bali can't sacrifice the natural environment. Tourism development must seek to avoid conflict in order that the destinations created are safe to visit.
“In developing a destination, the concept must consciously try to develop a location without destroying its culture and environment. To do this, in designing an investment, the industry and supporting elements must involve the surrounding community,” said Pangestu on Thursday, August 22, 2013.
The Minister of Tourism for Indonesia said that in anticipating the possible destruction of the environment, all components of society must be actively involved in supervision.
Focusing on Bali, Minister Pangestu acknowledge Bali’s established reputation for tourism, culture, religion and its natural environment. Because of this, the government must carefully select investors wishing to develop projects in Bali. The key, she said, is to always involve members of the local community in both the planning and implementation of every project.
In response to suggestions that Bali’s tourism development has spun out of control, Mari Elka Pangestu said the situation could still be brought under control through concerted community-wide effort. “Tourism in the future must adhere to the concept of sustainability. All developmental project must beautify and not damage the environment,” she said.
When asked for her opinion on the proposed reclamation of Benoa Bay in order to support man-made tourism facilities, Pangestu declined to comment. At the same time, she said “artificial tourism” is not always in opposition with the law. “Whatever is undertaken must use existing potential, not destroy nature and adapt to the local environment and culture,” she explained.
Minister Pangestu concluded by saying the concept for Bali tourism must aim towards sustainability and avoid damaging the environment. Research and environmental impact studies must form a part of facilities development in Bali.
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