Bali’s environment

Written by on June 9, 2012 in Bali Environment with 0 Comments

Bali’s environment

Bali is Indonesia’s most popular tourism destination. The small island constitutes only 0.3% of Indonesia’s population, but is home to 1.4% of Indonesia’s population – 80% of whom rely on tourism for income. The industry is luring the Balinese away from traditional agrarian life, and it is the poor of Bali, 71% of whom depend on agriculture, who will suffer the most from the impact of climate change.

Bali has experienced extremely rapid growth, and faces a number of acute environmental issues that all need urgent attention, including:

  • Widespread pollution
  • Loss of important natural biosystems
  • Inappropriate, unchecked development

Did you know…

  • 20% of Denpasar’s solid waste is dumped in makeshift landfills, into canals or left in the streets
  • The population capacity for Bali is 2.4 million people and that the current population is 3,263,296 residents
  • Bali scored only 57 out of 100 for environmental sustainability by The National Geographic Traveler magazine
  • On Bali, 400 hectares per year of agricultural land is being converted into dwellings, businesses or tourism facilities, threatening the island’s food security
  • Already 20% or 86 km of Bali’s 430 km long coast line is seriously eroded
  • By 2050, tourism and built up areas in low-lying parts of Bali will be destroyed by washing waves during extreme high tides
  • The expansion underway at Bali’s airport will destroy many hundreds of hectares of mangroves which provide critical nursery areas for fish stocks and  as well as important economic benefits for local communities
  • Ngurah Rai airport will be underwater due to action and salt water intrusion in the next 40 years
  • Tourist hotels use 70% of the island’s total power supply, 35% of which is utilized by hotels in the Nusa Dua area
  • The traditional Balinese calendar (that has been giving Balinese guidance about when is the best time to plant and harvest for many generations) is no longer relevant because of climate change?

No proper planning or adherence to sustainable development rules have been initiated, and the impacts of climate change are looming on this small island’s horizon. Due to the lack of awareness about these issues and lack of regulations, enforcement and incentives, tourism has already caused serious damage to the island’s environment. New hotels, restaurants and resorts are continually being developed, while the island’s infrastructure has reached saturation.

Sustained efforts are urgently needed to reduce the island’s ecological strain. Tourism and development can play a vital role in the alleviation of poverty, conservation and rehabilitation of the environment. More eco-friendly job opportunities for a sustainable living and economic development could be created.

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