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Green Protests Continue in Bali

Bali Environmentalists Threaten Legal Steps Against Governor to protect Mangrove Forests

(12/21/2012) Environmental activists, united under the banner of Bali Friends of the Earth (WALHI), continue to try to close down the private development of the publicly owned South Bali Mangrove Forest (Tahura).

In what has proven to be a highly controversial move, Bali’s governor granted a 55-year license to a private firm (PT TRB) to develop tourism within the Tahura. That decision provoked street protests by WALHI and a letter threatening legal action (Somasi) sent to the governor if he did not withdraw the licenses he granted to PT TRB.

According to the Bali Post, WALHI has sent a second Somasi warning the governor that they will file legal actions against the province and the governor in the case if the permit to develop the forest is not withdrawn before December 23, 2012.

The first Somasi was sent on December 10, 2012.

WALHI insists that plans to build tourist accommodation at Tahura violates the provinces moratorium on new accommodation development in Bali and threaten the remaining 22% of forested land in Bali, a figure that falls fare below desired minimum of 30%.

WALHI says they cannot understand the Governor’s reluctance to withdraw the permits, especially given protests from the traditional communities surrounding the Tahura site who oppose the presence of an outside investor and a recommendation against the license by the Bali House of Representatives (DPRD-Bali).

The Governor’s office is yet to formally respond to WALHI’s Somasi.

According to Radar Bali, WALHI is also threatening legal action against the Governor in connection with the ongoing construction of the Benoa to Nusa Dua toll way that environmentalists claim violates the project's environmental impact study and is destroying Bali’s mangrove forest.

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