Megawati asks the Balinese to value land and environment
Former President Megawati was in Bali recently visiting the highlands and discussing Bali’s problems. A couple of topics that she covered were the selling of land by Balinese people to outsiders and the environment.
There’s an old saying ‘don’t sell the farm’. While there are laws in place that make it illegal for foreigners to directly own land, many people have figured out legal way to go about this. Not only foreigners but wealthy people from Java also own land in Bali. With the recent economic downturn and the ever-present need of money for ceremonies, some land owners can’t resist the urge to sell a chunk of their land. Megawati urged them not to do this saying that failure to stop this would result in Bali being controlled by outsiders.
Her other point of grief was the way the environment is being degraded. She argued that the declining water levels in lakes is partly due to deforestation, and urged Balinese to stick to their traditional crops and resist the urge to plant exotic crops that seemed temporarily more attractive economically.
There are 3 ways you get people to change their ways: Change and enforce the law, make it economically attractive to do so, educate and motivate. A combo of all these should be used to address the problems in Bali, including fining people for polluting. Do water tests and if a farmer has nuked a watercourse make him pay for it.