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Tolak Reklamasi movement against artificial islands (reclamation) project, Bali, Indonesia


The Benoa Bay in the south of Bali is officially designated as an environmental buffer zone and green-belt water conservation area. It was a protected area for conservation until Dec 2012 when this place became part of a tourist development area as the Bali Governor gave permission to PT Tirta Wahana Bali Internasional (TWBI) to manage and develop 838 hectares of land in Benoa Bay. According to ForBali website the concession is over a 30-year period with a possible 20-year extension. The reclamation Project needs many thousands cubic metres of sand and stones to fill the bay. According to Main Indonesian Dictionary, ‘reklamasi’ (reclamation) means a work or effort to develop unused or dry area to be a productive area by drying it [3]. This isn’t the first land reclamation project in Bali – back in 1994, then President Suharto’s sons Tommy Suharto and Bambang Trihatmojo quadrupled the size of an offshore island called Serangan for a proposed tourism development that never materialized [4]. 

TWBI plans to build artificial islands that would take up almost half of Benoa Bay. The company describes this bay  as “an entirely new destination that will bring additional jobs, clear waste and cause minimal impact to the environment" [2].

Benoa Bay is home to more than 60 natural sites that are sacred to the island’s predominantly Hindu population, as well as 24 temples, some of them located underwater. This has raised concerns within the islands powerful religious institutions and nearby communities, some of whom have even threatened a puputan - committing mass ritual suicide - should the project go ahead. The last pupatan took place in 1906 during the final days of Dutch rule. A dramatic threat, perhaps, but what seems sure is that if the EIA gets rubber stamped, the demonstrations will only intensify [2].Conservation International also released a model study of the impact of the project that shows areas that are threatened with flooding if the Bay of Benoa is reclaimed [4].

Since 2012, mass demonstrations have been occurring almost fortnightly in different parts of Bali [2]. People of all ages and walks of life unite to demonstrate against the Benoa Bay reclamation, which for them is a violation against nature, their spiritual heritage and their rights as Balinese to decide about their future [6].

On Sundays, thousands of protesters gathered at a roundabout close to Benoa and the presidential place. These demonstration are organized by ForBALI (Forum Rakyat Bali Tolak Reklamasi). It is an alliance of the people of Bali, made up of both organizations and individuals including students, NGOs, artists, youth and those concerned with conserving Bali’s environment and believe that the Reclamation of Benoa Bay is a step towards the destruction of Bali [1]. Representatives of ForBali movement say that “it is the first social movement after the Suharto era and from represents a movement on a scale and sustainable during time not seen in Indonesia for decades”. (See their website

Bali is full of countless flags, banners and Street signs against the reclamation project (Tolak Reklamasi Benoa). Dispite the repression and criminalization of the activist ForBali movement continues nowadays. 

Some examples of criminalization are: 

In 2014, Wayan Tirtayasa, a Sidakarya JALAK activist was arrested by the Bali Police. He was charged with article 336 of the Criminal Code [6]. Due to the high pressure from the environmental organizations, the four environmental activists were released almost 30 days after.

In 2018 the protest and manifestation have been more frequently and intensive as TWBI investors’ concession expires on August 25, 2018. So this seems to be a good opportunity for ForBali to see the Benoa Bay reclamation project will be definitively cancelled. 



Basic Data

Name of conflict:Tolak Reklamasi movement against artificial islands (reclamation) project, Bali, Indonesia
State or province:Bali
Location of conflict:Benoa Bay
Accuracy of locationHIGH (Local level)

Source of Conflict

Type of conflict. 1st level:Tourism Recreation
Type of conflict. 2nd level:Tourism facilities (ski resorts, hotels, marinas)
Urban development conflicts
Specific commodities:Land
Tourism services

Project Details and Actors

Project details

The Benoa Bay reclamation project:

It's a tourist development project over 838 Hectares of land and over over a 30-year period with a possible 20-year extension. PT Tirta Wahana Bali Internasional (TWBI) is the company with permissions to build in that environmental buffer zone.

PT TWBI plans to build luxury tourist facilities, including a theme park, apartments, hotels, a hospital and an university campus.

Project area:838
Level of Investment:3,000,000,000
Type of populationUrban
Start of the conflict:12/10/2012
Company names or state enterprises:PT Tirta Wahana Bali Internasional (TWBI) from Indonesia
Environmental justice organizations (and other supporters) and their websites, if available:KEKAL (Komite Kerja Advokasi Lingkungan Hidup) Bali, WALHI (Wahana Lingkungan Hidup Indonesia) Bali, Sloka Institute, Mitra Bali, PPLH (Pusat Pendidikan Lingkungan Hidup) Bali, PBHI (Perhimpunan Bantuan Hukum Dan HAM) Bali, Kalimajari, Yayasan Wisnu, Manikaya Kauci, Yayasan IDEP, Komunitas Taman 65, Komunitas Pojok, Bali Outbond Community, Penggak Men Mersi.
Conservation International (CI)
ForBALI (Forum Rakyat Bali Tolak Reklamasi)
STUDENT ORGANIZATIONS (Organisasi Mahasiswa):
M UNHI (Badan Eksekutif Mahasiswa-Universitas Hindu Indonesia), BEM KBM Politeknik Negeri Bali, BEM Fakultas Hukum Universitas Udayana, Himpunan Mahasiswa Perencanaan Wilayah Kota- Fakultas Teknik UNHI, Himpunan Mahasiswa Jururusan Teknik Sipil- Fakultas Teknik UNHI, FRONTIER-Bali (Front Demokrasi Perjuangan Rakyat), Perhimpunan Pers Mahasiswa Indonesia (PPMI) Dewan Kota Denpasar.
COMMUNITY OF YOUTH (Komunitas Masyarakat dan Pemuda):
Pemuda Sukawati Tolak Reklamasi Gianyar, Pemuda Ubung Denpasar, Pemuda Sanur Bergerak Tolak Reklamasi, Pemuda Banjar Sama Undisan Bangli, OutSIDers & Lady Rose Bali, OutSIDers & Lady Rose Ungasan Jimbaran, OutSIDers & Lady Rose Bali Timur, OutSIDers & Lady Rose Julah Raya Buleleng, Komunitas sepeda Alcoholic Rider, TAPALA (Teruna Pencinta Alam) Satak, Kayumas Kaja,karangasem, The Rinzougners , Pemuda Banjar Yangapi, Muncan, Selat,
Villages (Desa Adat):
Desa Pakraman Tanjung Benoa, Desa Pakraman Kelan, Desa Pakraman Pemogan, Desa Pakraman Kepaon, LPM Kelurahan Tanjung Benoa, LPM Kelurahan Kedonganan, Banjar Adat Kedaton Kesiman Denpasar, Dusun Batu Bintang Dauh Puri Kelod,
ST. Yadnya Panti. Br. Anyar, Tanjung Benoa, Kabupaten Badung, ST. Dharma Sentana, Br. Anyar Gede, kedonganan, ST. Teruna Sanggraha Yasa, Br. Pande Mas. Kuta, ST. Wira Aditya. Br. Teba Sari, Kuta, ST. Mandala Kerthi, Br. Pering, Kuta, ST. Sadharana Dharma, Banjar Pelasa, Kuta, ST. Wija Adnyana, Br. Pekandelan, Legian, St. Manggala Sunu, Br. Legian Kaja, Kec Kuta, ST. Jaya Dharma, Banjar Legian Kelod, Legian, STT. Pajar Mas, Kelurahan Lukluk. Badung, STT. Yowana Dharma Bhakti, Pemogan, STT. Tunas Ambara, Banjar Ambengan, Pedungan, Kota Denpasar, ST. Dharma Kretih Br. Kedaton Kesiman, STT Mekar Sari, Banjar Tegeh Kori, STT. Ayu Nulus Nadi Gadung, ST. Yowana Jaya, Banjar Lebah, Sumerta Kaja, ST. Banjar Tampak Gangsul, STT. Panca Dharma Banjar Tegal Buah Padang Sambian Kelod Denpasar, STT. Yowana Satya Dharma, Banjar Bukit Buwung, Kesiman Petilan, Kota Denpasar, STT. Widya Putra, Banjar Malmundeh, Kabupaten Tabanan, STT. Putra Kencana, Banjar Batannyuh, Belayu, Marga, STT. Widya Dharma, Banjar Meranggi, Kediri, Tabanan, STT. Budi Utama, Br. Tengah, Desa Marga Dajan Puri, Tabanan, STT. Pemuda Relawan, Banjar Sukawati & Babakan, Slemadeg Tabanan, STT. Abdi Utama, Marga, Tabanan, STT. Eka Tunas Satya, Batubulan, Kabupaten Gianyar, ST. Tunas mekar, Br. Dauh Labak, Ubud. STT. Eka Cita, Banjar Pekraman Mendega, Desa Pekraman Dauh Waru, Kabupaten Jembrana, ST. Eka Semadi, Banjar Tegalasih, Desa Batuagung, STT. Setia Budi Banjar Sebual Jembrana, STT. Sadar Triguna, Banjar Adat Undisan, Desa Jahem, Kec. Tembuku, Bangli.
Superman Is Dead, Navicula, Nosstress, The Bullhead, Geekssmile, Parau, Nymphea, Devildice, Eco Defender, The Dissland, Rollfast, Joni Agung & Double T, The Hydrant, Scares Of Bums, Ripper Clown, Ugly Bastard, Ganjil, The Sneakers, Goldvoice, Rootsradical, The Brews, Blackened, Suicidal Sinatra, Steel Bone Rigid, Suitcase For Kennedy, The Kantin, Ska Teenagers Punk, Durhaka, Refugee, Hyena Wants A Party, Patrick The Bastard, The Room, Evi Band, Billy Bob Cats, Poison And Rose, Bali Xtreme Drummer, Bali Guitar Club, The Ledorz.

Conflict & Mobilization

IntensityHIGH (widespread, mass mobilization, violence, arrests, etc...)
Reaction stagePREVENTIVE resistance (precautionary phase)
Groups mobilizing:Farmers
Indigenous groups or traditional communities
International ejos
Local ejos
Social movements
Forms of mobilization:Artistic and creative actions (eg guerilla theatre, murals)
Creation of alternative reports/knowledge
Development of a network/collective action
Involvement of national and international NGOs
Lawsuits, court cases, judicial activism
Media based activism/alternative media
Objections to the EIA
Official complaint letters and petitions
Public campaigns
Street protest/marches
Arguments for the rights of mother nature
Massive mobilizations almost every week, concerts and traditional performances. Massive suicide ("puputan") threatened.


Environmental ImpactsPotential: Air pollution, Biodiversity loss (wildlife, agro-diversity), Desertification/Drought, Floods (river, coastal, mudflow), Food insecurity (crop damage), Global warming, Loss of landscape/aesthetic degradation, Noise pollution, Soil contamination, Soil erosion, Waste overflow, Deforestation and loss of vegetation cover, Surface water pollution / Decreasing water (physico-chemical, biological) quality, Groundwater pollution or depletion, Large-scale disturbance of hydro and geological systems, Reduced ecological / hydrological connectivity
Health ImpactsPotential: Malnutrition, Mental problems including stress, depression and suicide, Health problems related to alcoholism, prostitution, Infectious diseases
Socio-economical ImpactsVisible: Increase in Corruption/Co-optation of different actors
Potential: Displacement, Increase in violence and crime, Lack of work security, labour absenteeism, firings, unemployment, Loss of livelihood, Loss of traditional knowledge/practices/cultures, Social problems (alcoholism, prostitution, etc..), Violations of human rights, Land dispossession, Loss of landscape/sense of place


Project StatusPlanned (decision to go ahead eg EIA undertaken, etc)
Conflict outcome / response:Criminalization of activists
Strengthening of participation
Under negotiation
New Environmental Impact Assessment/Study
Do you consider this an environmental justice success? Was environmental justice served?:Yes
Briefly explain:According activists from Indonesia, “ForBali” represents a protest movement on a scale and sustainable during the time not seen in Indonesia for decades. This movement unites young people, politicians, rock stars, academic and religious institutions, environmentalists and villages. Still the project hasn't been developed.

Sources & Materials

Related laws and legislations - Juridical texts related to the conflict

Surat Keputusan Gubernur Bali no 2038/02-C/HK/2012

Perpres MP3EI

Perpres 122/2002 tentang Reklamasi

Perpres 51 tahun 2014. erubahan Atas Peraturan Presiden Nomor 45 Tahun 2011 Tentang Rencana Tata Ruang Kawasan Perkotaan Denpasar, Badung, Gianyar, Dan Tabanan

Perpres 45 thn. 2011 tentang Sarbagita

Surat Keputusan Gubernur Bali no 1727/01-B/HK/2013

UU 27/2007 ttg Pengelolaan Wilayah Pesisir & Pulau-pulau Kecil

Links to general newspaper articles, blogs or other websites

[1] What is Tolak Reklamasi Benoa

Indonesia's Protest Generation and Biggest Punk Band Are Fighting Land Reclamation

[3] Reclamation or Revitalization: The Dirty Game by Ni Nyoman Dwi Astarini

[4] Conservation International NGO report of environmental impacts

[2] Mounting opposition to Bali mass tourism project . 22 March 2016. The Guardian.

TWBI company

Related media links to videos, campaigns, social network

[5] For Bali

Navicula Music

Song: Pesisir dan Laut Milik Kami

[6] For Bali Movement

Meta information

Last update04/07/2018



Banner against Reclamation project in Bail

Source: Carmen Díaz

Demostration in Bali 2017

Source: Gde Putra. ForBali

November 16th, 2017

Source: ForBali

Januari 14th, 2018

Photograph: Putu Sayoga

A protest in the Bali capital Denpasar. Initially driven by young people, the anti-reclamation movement has now gone mainstream, with 28 village officially opposing the Benoa Bay tourism development project.