Save Legian’s Beaches

Legian Youth Groups Organizing to End Threats of Beach Erosion Posed by Continuing Beach Mining and Reclamation along Bali’s Legian Beach.

As reported by Radar Bali, a group calling itself Solid Legian (Solidaritas Legian Peduli) held a discussion forum on its third anniversary on Sunday, May 12, 2019.

The discussions, including three different youth groups from Legian, was held at the ST Jayadharna Banjar Legian Kelod Banjar Hall. The theme of the discussion was “The Future of Legian’s Beach within the Context of the Official Plan for Zoning of Beachfront and Small Islands (RZWP3K)”.

Also attending the discussion was the Banjar Chief of Legian Kelod, members of WALHI (Friends of the Earth), and the Bali Forum (ForBALI). The audience for the discussion was widely attended by the young men and women of ST Jayadharma Youth Organizations.

The Banjar Chief (Kelihan Banjar), I Nengah Rena, explained that several projects now underway are threatening the Legian Beachfront. He named the projects that are putting wide areas of Legian Beach under threat as the reclamation and expansion of Bali’s Ngurah Rai International Airport, the reclamation of Benoa Bay, the reclamation and expansion of the Port of Benoa, and the mining of sand from areas surrounding Legian Beach.

The Coordinator for Solid Legian, Anak Agung Oka Putu Oka Hartawan, explained that if current plans for bottomland reclamation and beach mining of sand outlined in the RZWP3K are approved and go ahead this will put Legian’s Beach under severe threat. He also warned that if these projects are not halted, religious sites and the ability to conduct Melasti ceremonies within the traditional village of Legian will also be threatened. Hartawan called on the youth of Legian to investigate and criticize current development plans so they do not obliterate the local community.

Hartawan said the reclamation of Ngurah Rai Airport and the reclamation of the Port of Benoa is “farming” sand from beaches around Legian and likely to cause damage to Legian’s scenic beach front. “This is a threat that endangers our future. If the younger generation does not take action, who else will mobilize their opposition?” he asked.

Hartawan’s call to action was joined by the head of the WALHI Council for Bali, Suriadi Darmoko, who warned changes to beach fronts and reclamation threated abrasion along all of Legian Beach front. Darmoko warmed: “That is why plans to excavate sand (along Legian Beach) must be understood as this area’s beached are now threatened by abrasion and erosion. In fact, the people’s livelihood and economic welfare come from the beach front.”

Darmoko charged that officials are trying to keep secret from the public the plans for reclamation and sand mining. WALHI and ForBALI have been filing public action legal suits to force disclosure of these plans under the freedom of information guaranteed under Indonesian law.

Darmoko said legal actions and protests from the public can actually force the mining of beach areas to be brought to an end.

PHOTO: Bali Post

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