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Swamp People

Seeking to Terminate Lease on South Bali Mangrove Preserve, Environmentalist Charge Governor Before Administrative Courts

(1/4/2013) The Bali Friends of the Earth (WALHI) have formally charged Bali’s Governor Made Magnus Pastika before the State Administrative Court (PTUN) in connection with the 55-year lease given to a private company to manage the Tahura Mangrove Forest Area (Tahura) in South Bali.

As reported by the National News Agency Antara, the chairman of WALHI, Wayan “Gendo” Suardana and team of lawyers led by Putu Artawan have formally registered the legal case with the PTUN-Denpasar.

“Gendo” told the press: “We see that the governor lacks the good faith to revoke his decision, nor has he responded to written cease and desist letters (somasi) sent to him. We have appointed 10 lawyers in our complaint against governor for issuing a lease to PT Tirta Rahmat Bahari for the management of the Tahura Ngurah Rai Nature Preserve.”

In a controversial decision, Governor Pastika issued a principal approval for the private management of a 102.22 hectare nature preserve to PT Tirta Rahmat Bahari for a period of 55 years. WAHLI has made written representations to Pastika and staged protest demonstrations in front of the Governor’s office demanding that the lease be revoked.

The suit with PTUN alleges the governor has violated environmental laws and failed to follow principles of good governance.

“Gendo” continued: “The governor has violated is own policy establishing a moratorium on tourism accommodation. He has failed to comprehend that the mangrove forests are more than merely Tahura, but serve as a protection zone against tsunamis, prevent beach erosion, fight climate change and help deter salt water instrusion into the water table.”

WAHLI is seeking to have the PTUN rule the lease issued by the Governor to PT Tirta Rahmat Bahari is invalid.