Bali to launch integrated water conservation program

by Luh De Suriyani on 2013-10-05

The provincial administration expects to finish a working plan for water conservation areas (KKP), which will integrate management of sustainable land and water conservation efforts.

Made Iwan Dewantama, program coordinator of the KKP program at Conservation International (CI) Indonesia, said that the existing water conservation areas in Bali would be integrated into the new ones included in the KKP network.

These water conservation areas would be designated based on conservation principles, such as zoning and border management, Dewantama said.

Last July, President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono declared that 20 million hectares of Indonesian waters would become conservation areas, managed effectively until the year 2020 to support sustainable development in the country.

CI Indonesia is the driving force for the island’s KKP networking, which brings together experts, coastal residents, governments, water sport organizations including surfers, the marine tourism industry and other parties.

In Bali, there are several areas designated for water conservation, including West Bali National Park; Buyan-Tamblingan lakes, Ngurah Rai mangrove forest and Suwung forest area. Water conservation areas can be utilized for marine or water-based tourism, nature conservation and fishing.

Marine tourism features in various locations around the island, from Lovina Beach in Buleleng, to Tulamben in Karangasem, Nusa Lembongan in Klungkung and Benoa Bay in Badung.

“Water conservation areas may benefit a lot of people and can be managed properly and sustainably,” Dewantama said.

There were 214 marine tourism business registered with the provincial administration in 2011. However, the spread of marine tourism remains uneven with the majority of businesses located and operated in Badung (67), Denpasar (94) and Karangasem (34), with only three in Klungkung.

“There has to be more than three marine tourism businesses in Klungkung,” Dewantama said.

In Buleleng regency, the dolphin attractions at Lovina Beach generated around US$4.1 million in revenue annually in 2008 and 2009.

Surfing in Uluwatu and Jimbaran contributed $8.4 million per year to the local economy, drawing 123,500 visitors in 2012.

In 2011, 12 percent of the island’s fishermen, or 4,834 people, worked in water conservation areas that could be developed as fishponds and fish breeding centers.

I Made Sudarsana from Bali Fishery and Marine Agency said that the utilization of water conservation sites did not equally benefit the locals.

According to the latest survey, Buleleng has 3,500 hectares of coral reef, followed by Nusa Penida with 1,400 hectares and Jembrana with 860 hectares.

“That huge potential is not yet developed and managed properly,” Sudarsana said.

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