It had been four years now since the issue of reclamation in Benoa Peninsula in Bali started. Now the issue had been brought nationally, involving not just people of Bali but also its immigrants and also public figures. One thing that made me interested on the case is how strong the resistance that came onto it and the fact that it has been blown up as trending topic in the social media these days.
As Buddha had said before, "If you propose to speak, always ask yourself: Is it true? Is it kind? Is it necessary?" The same questions need to be asked here. The first thing we need to know: is it true? Is reclamation really going to drown Bali? Is it so or perhaps the other way around? Therefore we must ask a little further back from here. The big question we need to know now is: what is a reclamation?
"Reclamation", according to Merriam-Webster: rec-la-ma-tion: noun \ˌre-klə-ˈmā-shən\: the act or process of reclaiming: as
Land reclamation, usually known as reclamation, and also known as land fill (not to be confused with a landfill), is the process of creating new land from ocean, riverbeds, or lake. The land reclaimed is known as reclamation ground or land fill.Second thing we need to know, what is and how will the project working? Is it going to be kind to us, to the nature and its ecosystem? What are the effects and impacts if it will get done? What are the effects if it's not done? As what I know about it, this Benoa reclamation project will not touch any of the mangrove forest but to process the sediment that is already piled from all the developments around the area into something that is more functional and useful.
In a number of other jurisdictions, including parts of the United States, the term "reclamation" can refer to returning disturbed lands to an improved state. In Alberta, Canada, for example, reclamation is defined by the provincial government as "The process of reconverting disturbed land to its former or other productive uses." In Oceania it is frequently referred to as land rehabilitation.
The project will create a new tourism destination in Bali on little islands (like the palm-tree shape in Dubai or Sentosa island in Singapore), including a concert/function hall that Bali don't have yet. Therefore this project is more suitable to be called a revitalization (according to Merriam-Webster: re-vi-tal-ize: verb \(,)rē-ˈvī-tə-ˌlīz\: to make (someone or something) active, healthy, or energetic again).
Now let's talk about the ecosystem around the area. Will it get better if the reclamation is done or the other way around? The condition of mangrove forest is now filled with garbage, the fishes can't swim around due to the sedimentation and the sea line is going up by the dredging that conducted around the harbor so the ships can get thru. All of these facts already there before the reclamation project.
Then, what about the helipad built by strangers that cut down some of the mangrove? What about the luxurious hotels owned by strangers that are built on the most beautiful beaches in Bali? What about the new Mandara tollway that built on the sea all the way from Benoa Harbor to Nusa Dua? What about the developments of restaurants and villas that eat up rice fields and subak that destroyed the ecosystem?
Why didn't they all get protested but welcomed happily instead while this project now is resisted so strongly by so many? Do they already get the clearest information about the project itself? Have they do a study on the environment condition itself, whether it'd be helped or not with the reclamation? Don't you smell something fishy here that perhaps there is a conspiracy against the project?
|One of reclamation project in Nusa Dua|
Now the third thing we need to know: is it necessary to have the reclamation in Tanjung Benoa? Many of the areas we have been happily living on are results of reclamation, including the north parts of Jakarta, Mertasari-Sanur beach and Nusa Dua area. The areas are now enjoyed by many people, apart of its negative impacts. But for this Benoa project, why don't we list up neutrally of what are the pros and cons about it so we can decide the best for our nature and humanity in Bali?
As a young generation that has so many access for resources (NOT just social media or any media), we must be smart and wise on addressing our voice and support. I recommend everyone to stay neutral until we really know what is actually going on there, keep our emotional thoughts away on researching about the actual condition and be an objective observer together on the case because I, like all Indonesian and the whole world do, love and care about Bali so much that I want only the best for the future of Bali.
P.S. I think you need to read this about reclamation and urban planning in Indonesia. Or just research about it on your own and share with me!