The Japan International Cooperation Agency has been supporting the Indonesian Ministry of Public Work and Public Housing to conserve Bali’s world-famous beaches. The project that has been running since 2017 is now entering phase two. The Japan International Cooperation Agency is injecting the second round of funding to support the project that will bring environmental, social, and economic benefits to Bali.
Phase one of the Bali-Japan partnership titled the Bali Beach Conservation Project, focused efforts on improving conservation strategy and implementation for Sanur Beach, Nusa Dua Beach, Kuta Beach, and Tanah Lot Temple. In phase two, beach conservation efforts will be expanded to include coastal ecosystems at large.
Phase one has been bought to a close, and as per the initial agreement an audit has been completed and all parties are happy to continue to phase two. A statement from Putu Eddy Purna Wijaya from the Water Source Network of the Bali River Basin Center confirmed that the central Indonesian government and the Japan International Cooperation Agency had signed the contract to fund and implement phase two.
According to the Japan International Cooperation Agency website, the project’s mission is to rehabilitate areas of Bali’s coastline that are experiencing rapid erosion, seawall collapse, and beach recession. Conservation strategies include sand nourishment, rebuilding of seawalls and structural reinforcements, and increasing the capacity of Bali’s coastal management system.
The second phase of the project should be completed by the end of 2022. This is another initiative that the Indonesian government is keen to showcase at the G20 Summit in November. The G20 Summit helps facilitates partnerships such as this. Japan is a G20 nation and there will likely be a presentation and workshop to platform this project to fellow G20 nations during the summit.
The project has seen Japan loan Bali IDR 1.2 trillion (USD 824 million) for the delivery of the plans. The project continued in spite of the pandemic and both the Japan International Cooperation Agency and the local Bali government are assured that the impact of the project so far is positive.
Though the loan is huge, in terms of international relations it is not astronomical. This investment and project will go a long way in ensuring that Bali’s coastlines are climate-resilient. This translates to strong economic benefits, including the protection of coastal livelihoods.
Speaking on behalf of the Minister of Public Works and Public Housing, Basuki Hadimuljono, said that phase two of the project prioritizes minimizing the environmental impact on tourists visiting Bali’s beaches. Since tourism accounts for such a huge amount of Bali’s income the project has to be delivered in such a way that does not restrict the sector’s recovery from Covid-19.
Breakwaters, seawalls, and other coastal management systems although essential could ruin the pristine aesthetic of Bali’s beaches. The team has this front and center in their minds and is designing innovative coastal management systems that do not interfere with the beauty of the environment either on land or on the coral reefs that can be found just offshore.
News of the start of the second phase of the Bali Beach Conservation Project comes at the same time as the Bali government announces that the ban on single-use plastics on the island will come into full effect by the end of 2022. Plastic pollution across Bali, not only on the beaches, is becoming an increasingly important issue.
The island is famed for its green credentials and environmental projects. The ban on single-use plastics supports the work of the Bali Beach Conservation Project. Both are vitally important strategies to help maintain the natural beauty and charm of Bali.
The combination of community-based conservation through public awareness campaigns, volunteer projects and community engagement, and large-scale government partnerships provides a holistic approach to preserving Bali’s most valuable assets to tourism.
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