Buleleng youths reject Buyan resort plan
Five youth organizations in Bali have lodged strong opposition to the planned development of a luxury resort near Buyan Lake.
The youth organizations, grouped in Buleleng Youth Alliance, comprise students from Panji Sakti Singaraja University, Buleleng Hindu Students Association, students from Hindu University in Denpasar and students from STT Cana Wirata.
Putu David Sastrawan, coordinator of the youth organization, filed a petition saying that the development of the Buyan resort was against the Balinese cultural and environmental concepts.
“The areas surrounding Buyan Lake have significant historical and environmental values.” Sastrawan read the petition, which was accepted by Dewa Putu Cakra, a member of the Buleleng Legislative Council.
The petition said that PT Nusa Bali Abadi had proposed to expand its forest concession rights to manage 100 hectares of land in the Buyan forest conservation area to construct a luxury holiday resort. Previously, the company also obtained the right to develop 20 hectares of land.
“Our strong rejection is based on an important historical study written in an ancient manuscript during the reign of Sri Ugrasena, king of Bali in the Caka year 844 (the year 922), in which it states that the king declared Buyan and Tamblingan lakes were sacred sites,” he said.
A historical script written in the Caka year 585, stated that the descendants of the family of Ida Maharsi Markandya from Bhujannga Wasinawa resided in Buyan and Tamblingan areas to safeguard the sanctity of these locations.
“The development of a luxury resort will also cause a tremendous environmental disaster to Buleleng, as well as other regencies in Bali,” the student said.
The 1,700-hectare forest conservation area is part of the provincial strategic area that should not have been converted for any other purpose in line with Bylaw No. 16/2009 on spatial planning.
Governor Made Mangku Pastika said earlier that he had been assured by the forestry minister that he would not issue the company a permit.
The forestry minister granted concession rights in 2004 to PT Nusa Bali Abadi to develop the resort project within a 55-year period. The minister turned out to have also given concession rights to develop another 20-hectare area in 2007.
The planned development of Buyan resort has stirred strong criticism from the island’s academics, religious leaders, environmentalists and the administration.
Governor Pastika insisted that the provincial administration would not issue any recommendation to the Forestry Ministry, which had earlier given a green light to the involved investors.
Prof. Made Bakta, rector of Udayana University, said that a group of influential scholars and religious leaders had lodged protests to the Forestry Ministry for being too lenient in giving concession rights to investors in forest conservation sites.
“Bali has been facing critical environmental problems and the forest conservation sites are our crucial water reservoirs,” the rector said.
The areas were also regarded as sacred sites for the Balinese Hindus, he said.
Putu Cakra said that the council would suggest Buleleng regional administration reject the proposal.
“Buleleng regency will not gain anything from such a development project as it was constructed on a conservation site,” Putu Cakra said.