SEAZA Zoo Conference at Bali Safari Park
The Indonesian Island of Bali has played host to the 30th convening of the SEAZA (South East Asian Zoos and Aquariums Association) Conference at the Bali Safari and Marine Park situated in Bali’s Gianyar Regency. The 40-hectare Park is home to over a thousand animals across 120 species. It is world-renowned for its conservation and rare species propagation program, including endangered Komodo Dragons, Orangutans, Bali Starlings, Sumatran elephants, Sumatran tigers, and more.
SEAZA has nearly 200 institutional members from Southeast Asia, comprised of conservation groups and zoos. (Main Article: SEAZA Zoo Conference)
“Every year, SEAZA holds an annual conference to be attended by members and delegates from various zoos throughout Asia, America, the Middle East, and Europe. This year, Perhimpunan Kebun Binatang Se-Indonesia (PKBSI) / Indonesia Zoos & Aquariums Association (IZAA) is the organizer of the 30th SEAZA Conference 2022 held at Bali Safari Park, November 20 to November 23, 2022,” said Rahmat Shah, said IZAA on Friday, November 11, 2022.
Known internationally as “The Island of Gods,” Bali was chosen as the venue based on its reputation as a tourist destination. Rahmat explained that Bali is well-known for its beautiful natural scenery, traditions, art, and culture. Furthermore, The Island has an established strong record for hosting international conferences.
Before the SEAZA conference in mid-November 2022, Bali hosted the G-20 Summit, which welcomed the leadership of 19 countries. Bali has also proven its ability to implement health protocols to prevent the spread of COVID-19.
In his remarks opening the Conference, Rahmat Shah said there are ten PKBSI member-operated sites in Bali that SEAZA conference participants can visit. The Conference aims to be a forum for participants to discuss and exchange views and build networks for a better future in conservation organizations.
Opening of SEAZA Conference at Bali Safari Marine Park – 21 November 2022
This year’s SEAZA Conference has adopted the theme “Stronger Together, For Sustainable Conservation & Eco-Tourism.” This theme reflects a shared enthusiasm in confronting the Covid-19 pandemic that has plagued the world for the last two years.
Rahmat hopes that through this theme, all parties can learn that togetherness is the key to creating a group spirit in embarking on a brighter future. Rahmat reminded everyone that the global pandemic affects not only health but also all sectors, including the tourism industry and the operations of conservation organizations. Adding: “The responsibility to care for and protect animals rests on our shoulders.”
The chairman of the Animal Welfare & Ethics and Organizing Committee of the 30th SEAZA Conference, Willem Manansang, said that 174 participants from 20 countries are attending the Conference.
The participants will share their experiences, knowledge, and success stories, including strategies for dealing with the Covid-19 pandemic crisis. SEAZA members will also demonstrate the role organizations can play. Bali was chosen as the venue in the hope of increasing tourist arrivals.
In addition, attending virtually or in person at the Conference was the Minister of Environment and Forestry, Siti Nurbaya Bakar; Minister of Tourism and Creative Economy, Sandiaga Salahuddin Uno; Governor of Bali I Wayan Koster; and SEAZA President Cheng Wen-Haur.
Conference participants were also treated to safari park activities, the Bali Agung Show, seminars, and expert dialogues on a wide range of subject areas. Speakers will explain issues related to conservation activities, success stories, challenges, obstacles, and solutions taken in operating animal parks.
Bali Links: Murder Verdict in MH17 Tragedy
On 17 July 2014, a Malaysian Airline Boeing 777 flying from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur was shot down by Russian-controlled forces over eastern Ukraine, killing all 283 passengers and 15 crew on board. The shoot-down occurred during the war in Donbas, an area controlled by Russian separatist forces.
The initial findings of the Dutch Safety Board (DSB) and a Dutch Government investigative team that the missile was fired by the 53rd Anti-Aircraft Missile Brigade of the Russian Federation was affirmed last week by the Dutch Courts on Thursday, 27 November 2022. Lead Justice Hendrik Steenhuis declared that the Dutch Court found that MF17 was hit by a Russian-made BUK missile launched from a farm field near Peryomaisk, Mykolaiv Oblast in Ukraine, resulting in the death of 283 passengers and 15 crewmembers.
The ruling by the Dutch Court was handed down more than eight years after the catastrophe. Steenhuis said the Court had conclusively found that Russians were in complete control of the rebel troops operating in eastern Ukraine at the time of the incident that saw a field of crash debris spread across a wide area, including a field used to cultivate sunflowers. The Dutch Court also convicted in absentia for terrorism and murder two Russians and one pro-Moscow Ukrainian who failed to answer the summons to appear before the panel of judges.
The three remain at large and were sentenced to life imprisonment. A fourth Russian man was found not guilty due to a lack of evidence. The three mass murderers who are now under an international warrant for their arrest are:
- Igor Girkin (51)(a/k/a Igoe Ivanovich Strelkov)– a former colonel in the Russian Federal Security Service (the primary successor agency to the former KGB). At the time of the incident, Girkin was the minister of defense and armed forces commander for the Donetsk People’s Republic militia. He was dismissed from his position one month after the missile attack. Girkin has publicly admitted “moral responsibility” for the attack but denies actually “pushing the button” that fired the missile.
- Sergey Dubinsky,a Ukrainian serving under Girkin’s command.
- Leonid Kharchenko, a Ukrainian serving under Dubinskiy’s command.
A fourth man, Oleg Pulatovis, the only indicted man represented by legal counsel, was found not guilty by the Court due to a lack of evidence.
Meanwhile, Moscow has repeatedly refused responsibility for the shoot-down of MH17. The Russian Foreign Affair Minister has pledged to review the decision of the Dutch Court carefully.
The vicious missile attack on MH 17 caused the death of 283 passengers and 15 crew. The death toll of 298 comprised:
- 27 Australians
- 4 Belgians
- 1 Canadian
- 4 Germany
- 12 Indonesians
- 43 Malaysians
- 193 Dutch Citizens
- 1 New Zealander
- 3 Philippines
- 10 United Kingdom
The tragedy was sorely felt on the Island of Bali, with many foreigners and Indonesians who died in the plane’s downing had family, friends, and lovers in Bali.
If anyone knows the physical whereabouts of any of these three men, they should report that information to their local police or the nearest Interpol office.
Bali Targets 11 Million Malaysians in 2022
The continuing increase in the number of international airlines and air routes connecting the world traveling to Denpasar’s Ngurah Rai International Airport has prompted the management of Bali’s airport to target 11 million international and domestic travelers in 2022.
Spirits buoyed by the reactivation of flights between Kuala Lumpur and Denpasar by Air Asia X, Handy Heryudhitiawan, the general manager of Bali’s airport, has retargeted the total number of domestic and international passengers traveling through his airport at 11 million. Although there is only a little more than a month remaining in the year, he is optimistic that the 11 million total Malasyain traveler target will be reached.
Many are challenging Handy Heryudhitiawan’s projection suggesting it may be over-ambitious or misspoken, including all passengers of any nationality traveling on flights traveling between Malaysia and Bali. But, even from that perspective, the 11 million figure appears to be very over-inflated.
The inaugural Air Asia X Flight from Kuala Lumpur to Bali on Thursday, 24 November 2022, an Airbus A330 – Air Asia X Flight Number D7 798, carried 227 passengers. The return flight to Kuala Lumpur loaded and carried 325 passengers.
The new service connecting Kuala Lumpur and Denpasar will operate three times a week, flying on Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Saturdays.
From January – October 2022, a total of 56,026 Malaysians landed at Bali’s airport. Currently, 22 international air routes connect Bali to the world, operated by 25 airlines. New routes and airlines have declared their intent to resume flights to Bali in the coming months.
Min. Wage Levels: Java, Bali, NTB, & NTT
The minimum wage levels for the island of Bali and adjacent provinces of West Nusa Tenggara (NTB) Province and East Nusa Tenggara (NTT) for 2023 were announced earlier, to take effect on 28 November 2022.
The minimum wage levels for 2023 in Bali, NTB, and NTT.
- Province of Bali Rp. 2,713,672 increasing 7.81% from the 2022 minimum wage of Rp. 2,516,971.
- Province of NTT Rp. 2,123,994 increasing 7.54% from the 2022 minimum wage of Rp. 1,975,000.
- Province of NTB Rp. 2,371,407 increasing 7.44% from the 2022 minimum wage of Rp. 2,207,212.
The new minimum wage levels will take effect from 01 January 2023.
Mainland Chinese Poised to Return to Bali
Indonesia’s Minister of Tourism and the Creative Economy, Sandiaga Uno, announced on Saturday, 19 November 2022, that Mainland Chinese tourists are expected to return to Indonesia in 2023. Before the global pandemic, Chinese tourists represented one of the leading sources of foreign visitors to the Republic.
Sandiaga, quoted by the State News Agency Antara, confirmed that several Chinese Airlines have applied to resume flights to Indonesia. The Tourism Minister views the return of Chinese tourists as a positive development. Adding, the flight applications filed by PRC Airlines are a positive signal that the Chinese are prepared to reinstate Indonesia as a favorite holiday destination.
Sandiaga projects that at least 255,700 Chinese tourists will come to Indonesia in 2023. Before 2019 and the onset of the global pandemic, Chinese visitor numbers to Indonesia managed to achieve 2.07 million. Chinese visitors were second to Malaysians totaling 2.98 million.
At this time, the largest source of foreign tourists to Indonesia is Australia, followed in order of size by Singapore, Malaysia, India, and the U.K.
Sandiaga said the relaxation of travel restrictions imposed by the PRC government would facilitate the coming flights and significantly impact the rebuilding of Indonesia’s travel industry and creating employment opportunities.
Traffic Police: Watching From a Distance
In conformance with the order of the National Chief of Police, General Listyo Sigit Prabowo, calling for digital ticket ticketing and the ending of in-person ticket issuance by the police, equipment is being installed in major cities, including Bali’s capital of Denpasar, to allow Electronic Traffic Law Enforcement (ETLE).
As reported by Balipost.com, Commissioner Satake Bayu explained on Friday, 18 November 2022, that ELTE surveillance equipment has been initially installed in the following 7 locations:
- At the intersection of Jalan Teuku Umar and Jalan Imam Bonjol
- At the intersection of Jalan Bypass Ngurah Rai and Jalan Pulau Serangan
- At the intersection of Jalan Bypass Ngurah Rai and Jalan Raya Kampus Unud
- In front of the operations base on Jalan Bandara Ngurah Rai west of the Gas Station.
- In front of the operations base on Jalan Bandara Ngurah Rai east of the Gas Station
- On Jalan Bypass Ngurah Rai at Benoa, South Kuta
Satake Bayu said: “Electronic ticketing has been in operation for three months. The mobile system has been in use since preparations were underway for the G20 Summit.
Satake said the public who violate traffic laws are no longer ticketed directly, with traffic summons issued via an e-ticketing system. The actual traffic violation is digitally photographed and sent electronically to the violator based on the addresses recorded on the car registration (STNK).
The vehicle owner is expected to pay the fine shown on the issued ticket within two weeks or face difficulties in renewing their registration annually.
Traffic police officers on patrol can photograph the violation, which can be sent to headquarters for processing. Police say they will be patrol seeking motorists committing violations such as a failure to use a seatbelt, smoking while driving, or using a handphone while driving.
Traffic violators are given two weeks to settle their fines. Failure to pay would result in the vehicle registration being blocked in the system.
Main Article: SEAZA Zoo Conference at Bali Safari Park
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