Bali Soon to Have New Mega Underwater Gardens

9 October 2020

In addition to Bali splendid underwater beauties in Northwest, Tulamben, Penida, Padang Bai and Benoa; other coral reef gardens will be built in five different regions of the island. Indonesian Minister of Marine Affairs and Fisheries, Edhy Prabowo has prepared several programs called Indonesia Coral Reef Garden (ICRG) to build and restore all the good potentials hidden under Bali waters. This program has been officially declared to the public virtually on Wednesday, 7 October 2020.

This coral reef garden will cost about 111.2 billion Rupiahs, covering 50 hectares of underwater landscape in Nusa Dua, Sanur, Serangan, Pandawa, and Buleleng. ICRG is currently the largest coral reef restoration project in Indonesia. It is a fully labour-intensive project, with a target of employment up to 11,000 people. The minister believes this program will revive the economic situation in Bali coastal villages that have been severely damaged by the coronavirus pandemic. In the future, this coral reef garden will not only function as an underwater tourist attraction but also for education and research purposes.

The Ministry of Environment and Forestry will also be involved in this project. Specific permits will be required for removing coral seedlings from the pre-existed natural habitat (outside the conservation area) into new environments. Minister Edhy ensures that every single process will be carried out professionally by experts only. Various procedure of transplantation methods such as Mars Accelerated Coral Reef Restoration System (MARRS)/ Spider and Bioreeftek hexadome, fishdom, combined with the placement of several eco-friendly sculptures, to give an extra artistic touch on these beautiful coral garden that will soon be built. Each location will have a different mapping plan, considering the structure of coral transplantation, sea scaping, marine biotas and the themes that want to be highlighted on each spot.

“The ICRG project will involve many community organizations with professional competence in coral restoration. Also, those who have been affected by the Covid-19 pandemic, including tourism businesses such as hotels, dive operators, tour guides, MSEs and other coastal communities, “said Edhy Prabowo. Moreover, after the ICRG construction is completed, the Indonesia Tourism Development Corporation (ITDC – a state-owned enterprise that specializes in the development and management of integrated tourism complexes, such as Nusa Dua and The Mandalika in Lombok) will continue this wonderful program.

The Governor of Bali, Wayan Koster, seems very happy with the plan. According to him, this is a revolutionary idea as he believes Bali has all the potentials. But still, there is no significant efforts specially made to develop this particular subject. “This is a potential that I have not considered, has never been managed properly with adequate policies, and has not been utilized to encourage economic growth for the Balinese people,” said Koster.

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