Bali to design road map to become green province - Jakarta Post
Last modified: 2010-08-02 00:19:12
Bali has laid out a road map to create a clean, green and healthy province, the first green province in Indonesia.
Governor Made Mangku Pastika claimed that all policies regarding tourism, agriculture, businesses must be in line with the administration's strong commitment in going green.
All stakeholders in the community such as religious leaders, business people, NGOs and academics are involved in drawing up the green plan.
In February this year, Bali declared itself as a green province with the launch of Bali Clean and Green campaigns.
"The planned road map will be a landmark to realize our commitment to establish a green province," Pastika said.
There are three main programs in the road map, namely green culture, green economy and green environment. Included in the programs are the revitalization of traditional organic farming systems and non-plastic waste programs.
In the last few years, Bali has faced serious environmental problems due to the rapid growth of the tourist industry and its increasing population.
Massive developments of various tourist-related projects and supporting infrastructures have robbed the island's fertile lands and have caused environmental degradation in several areas.
According data from Bali Agriculture office, the island loses around 750 hectares of rice paddies per year, mostly due to land conversion into hotels, villas and housing.
In 2009, the office's data showed that the island's total area of rice paddies was 81,361 hectares, significantly less than the 86,071 hectares recorded ten years ago.
However, since last year local administrations have pledged to implement pro-farmer policies. Denpasar municipality, for instance, provides tax breaks to farmers who retain their rice fields.
The administration allocated up to Rp. 2.5 billion from its annual budget to subsidize 1,000 hectares of rice paddies. This policy has proven effective in curbing the rate of land conversion as well as encouraging farmers to retain their rice paddies.
Ni Komang Erviani, The Jakarta Post, Denpasar
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