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
Official minimum wage levels for all the provinces in Java were announced on 29 November 2022, unexplainedly delayed eight days from the original date scheduled for announcement on 21 November 2022.
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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Car Free Bali – Sundays Return to Denpasar
After ceasing operations for two years because of the COVID-19 pandemic, “Car Free Day” has returned to the Niti Mandala Hero’s Monument Field in downtown Denpasar once a week.
On Sunday, 18 September 2022, the four-lane road on Jalan Niti Mandala was closed to vehicular traffic from 6:00 am until 10:00 am. Like Sundays before the pandemic, “Car Free Day” was suspended two years earlier, ending an event where the public often turned out to walk, run, exercise, and ride bicycles.
Quoted by the National News Agency Antara, a Denpasar resident Koming Sukerti (48), who was jogging on the roadway with his family, said: “I am delighted (at the reopening) because I have long wanted to use our free time to exercise with my family, but this was not possible until the road was reopened again for our use on Sundays. I hope that ‘Car Free Day’ (CFD) will continue, so there is a place for young people, families, and people like me can again perform exercises in public.
Another member of the public from Desa Lebih in Gianyar, Eka Putra Hamanda (24), said, “I enjoy the CFD that has been absent for two years and hope it will continue every Sunday morning.” He expressed his wish that the activities on the roadway and the adjoining park could also be expanded to include culinary contests, clothing exhibitions, and children’s games. (Main Article: Car Free Bali)
On Sunday, 18 September 2022, Dewi Wahyuni, who operates the Yan Renon Food Stall, reported that between 6:00 am and 10:00 am each Sunday, she targets to generate a turnover of Rp. 3 million in food Sales.
Each Sunday, 60 personnel from the Transportation Department (Dinas Perhubungan), Bali Police, Satpol PP, and Pecalang will be on hand to safeguard the CFD. (Main Article: Car Free Bali)
Indonesia on the Verge of Becoming Endemic
Beritasatu.com reports that the World Health Organization (WHO) has announced that the end of the COVID-19 pandemic is at hand. In Indonesia, the pandemic is relatively under control and about to transition to an endemic phase of the disease. WHO reminds vaccination programs against COVID-19 need to be continued and intensified to ensure that the current downturn in the virus does not become an opportunity for a new variant of the coronavirus to enter.
The Indonesian Ministry of Health spokesman, Dr. Mohammad Syahril, admitted that there are already regions of Indonesia that have managed to achieve 100% levels of first and second dosages and 50% levels of third booster shot administration in areas such as Bali and Jakarta.
Based on the WHO standards, for any region to be declared “endemic,” – the parameters of success are not solely linked to vaccination levels. Dr. Syahril told Beritasatu.com on Sunday, 18 September 2022, that other parameters for qualifying for a standard of endemic regions must also demonstrate:
- Levels of illness and hospitalization must be below 5%.
- Levels of fatalities must be below 3%.
- The trend for the level of community transmission and infections must be below 1.
- The positivity rate must be below 5%.
Dr. Syahril recommends that the public follow official health protocols, especially concerning wearing masks and vaccination programs, to eliminate the disease. (Main Article: Car Free Bali)
The Indonesian representative of the Ministry of Health reminded that although there are signs that the pandemic is within reach and coming to an end, COVID-19 continues to exist, meaning that health protocols must remain in place.
To that end, Syahril explained that the “true end” of COVID-19 will depend on human behavior in Indonesia and globally. International adherence to mask wearing and vaccination must be maintained until such a time as the pandemic can be declared officially “over.“
Continuing, Syahril said that WHO has given six homework assignments that must be completed to end COVID-19 finally. Adding: “If we don’t remember to keep public health protocols in place, Indonesia will lose this golden opportunity.” (Main Article: Car Free Bali)
The WHO has established six simple policies that must be followed to end COVID-19. Those six policies are:
- Testing and sequencing.
- Ensuring a good system is in place to treat COVID-19.
- Being prepared for sudden surges in new cases.
- Taking preventative steps to treat the disease and keep it under control.
- Keeping the public informed on the subject of COVID-19.
Downloaded from data provided by the Indonesian Ministry of Health, the number of national vaccinations as of Sunday, 18 September 2022:
- first dosages total 204,320 (87.07%);
- second dosages total 170,930 (72.84%),
- third dosages (booster) total 62.6 million (26,68%) from a targeted audience of 234.66 million.
Focusing on three key areas in Indonesia:
– First Dosage: above 100% (12.67 million dosages)
– Second Dosage: above 100% (10.79 million dosages)
– Third Dosage: 53.32% (5 million dosages)
– First Dosage: above 100% (4 million dosages)
– Second Dosage: 96.47% (3.64 million dosages)
– Third Dosage: 56% (2.11 dosages)
– First Dosage: 99.49% (1.79 million dosages)
– Second Dosage: 85.34% (1.54 million dosages)
– Third Dosages: 40.75% (734,569 dosages)
Restoring Peace and Quiet to Bali’s Shores
The growing number of entertainment night spots in the Seminyak, Kuta, and Canggu corridor of Bali and the resulting noise pollution that occurs almost every night, lasting until the early morning hours, has become a source of constant anger and upset for those living in the areas.
As reported by Balipost.com, residents have published an online petition to the attention of President Joko Widod and Bali Governor Wayan Koster, demanding firm action to eliminate the general disruption and extreme noise pollution found in North Kuta – such as Batu Bolong, Brawa, and Canggu. (Main Article: Car Free Bali)
In response to these complaints and the resulting publicity, the Chief of the North Kuta Police Precinct, Police Commission Putu Diah Kurniawandari, said on Tuesday, 13 September, that his force will coordinate with the Badung Regency Enforcement Agency (Satpol PP Badung) to visit local night spots and recommend that music volume be reduced starting from 10:00 pm.(Main Article: Car Free Bali)
Local public ordinances and zoning laws stipulate outside amplification is forbidden, limiting amplified sound to enclosed sound-proofed interior spaces, specifying curfew hours by which amplified music must cease, and a specific outside decibel limit of 70 decibels in areas surrounding Bali night spots. Other local zoning laws stipulate minimum setback distances from the shoreline for construction to preserve open public access to the seas.
Much to the chagrin of residents in this area and the general public in Bali, these rules are seldom applied or enforced by enforcement agencies, with officials disingenuously claiming they lack the proper authority to take action against violating business. (Main Article: Car Free Bali)
Meanwhile, environmentalists are blaming noise pollution in beachside areas as being destructively harmful to sea life ranging from whales, porpoises, the general fish population, and nesting sea turtles.
A resident describes how the Batu Bolong and Brawa Beach areas of North Kuta are disturbed by open-air entertainment venues.” Every night, every weekend, every month, both before and after the pandemic, people report they cannot sleep at night. After 10:00 pm, noise booms out from open-air bars adjacent to sacred Balinese temples. The noise makes windows and doors vibrate. It’s worse than an earthquake.” The resident continued, saying the noise pollution happens every night until 1, 2, 3, or sometimes 4 am. (Main Article: Car Free Bali)
The online petition published at Change.org originated by P. Dian on behalf of the people of Bali and, particularly, the people living in the Canggu. The petition area addressed to Indonesian President Joko Widodo, the chair of the PDIP Parti Megawati Seokarnoputri, Bali Governor Wayan Koster, the Regent of Badung Regency I Nyoman Giri Prasta, the chairman of Parisada Hindu Dharma Indonesia (PHDI) Major General (Ret) Wisnu Bawa Tenaya, working chairman of PHDI-Bali Nyoman Kenak, traditional chiefs (kelian) in Canggu and Berawa, the provincial head of Bali Enforcement Agency (Kasatpol PP Provinsi Bali) Dewa Nyoman Rai Dharmadi, and the head of Kasatpol Badung I Gusti Agung Ketut Suryanegara. (Main Article: Car Free Bali)
The petition has accumulated more than 8,000 petitioners and remains online, still garnering more signatures at Change.org .
One petitioner commented: “We sincerely request the government immediately enact strict regulations with official and severe sanctions, with strict monitoring by the Public Order Enforcement Officers. We can no longer remain silent because our beautiful island of Bali can still be saved. Rioters are obliterating our sacred culture for the sake of their businesses solely at the expense of the interests of thousands of other people and the ‘basic human rights of most people to rest,” one petitioner wrote.
“Other countries have formal rules that forbid loud amplification after 10:00 pm. In these locales, violators are subject to strong penalties and can even have their businesses closed, licenses revoked, and doors sealed,” said a police spokesman. (Main Article: Car Free Bali)
Residents also complain that the beach area is becoming known for outrageous and immoral acts, causing many local people to abandon their homes in search of more peaceful surroundings. Petitioners cited a pattern of actions at area bars, including public intoxication, public sex acts, and urinating on temple grounds. (Main Article: Car Free Bali)
Police officials and residents cite the growing number of new large beach clubs with capacities for thousands of tourists as the worst contributors to sound pollution. One new open-air night spot – Atlas Fest – is Asia’s largest beach club and entertainment center. Finns Beach Club – one of several competitors – claims to have hosted 10,000 guests for its 2021 New Year’s Eve Party.
In response to the petition getting international press coverage, the head of the Badung Enforcement Agency (Kasatpol PP – Badung), I Gusti Agung Ketut Suryanegara, announced his office would coordinate with the Provincial Government of Bali on the extent of any violations committed by the night spots. These investigations will specifically focus on Home Affairs Minister Directive No. 42 of 2022 and Bali Governor Regulation No. 16 of 2016, which regulates amplified sound. (Main Article: Car Free Bali)
Generally, acceptable maximum continuous sound levels in residential areas are 55 DBA – a decibel level roughly equivalent to the sound of a vacuum cleaner. Business and entertainment areas increase the maximum sound level to 70 DBA – a decibel sound level compared to the sound of a dishwasher or washing machine.
Currently, restaurants and bars are allowed to remain open until 2:00 am, stipulating that volume levels will be dramatically reduced starting from 10:00 or 11:00 pm. (Main Article: Car Free Bali)
What The Petition Says
The petition is still available for signature at change.org and addressed to both national and provincial leadership, made the following points:
∙ The people of Bali, including those in the Canggu area, who have suffered during the COVID-19 pandemic, are now suffering after the pandemic from the practices of beachside night spots.
∙ Bali’s reputation as a place of beauty, spirituality, and culture is threatened by the behavior and practices of “loud, rowdy bars, beach clubs, night clubs, with ugly behaviors happening right next to our residences and next to sacred Balinese temples.”
- The petitioners are joining forces to prevent Bali from being “obliterated from the face of the earth before it is completely too late.”
- “The booming sound from open bars in both Batu Bolong and in Brawa, next to Balinese holy temples, is so loud that it makes the windows and doors vibrate. Worse than an earthquake. This noise disturbance lasts every night until 1 am, 2 am, 3 am, and some bars even until 4 am!
- Despite some enforcement efforts by local law officials, the noise levels in the area are now “worse than ever.” (Main Article: Car Free Bali)
∙ These continuing activities deny the basic human rights of restful nights and are causing “thousands” of people, including Balinese residents, expats, and foreign and domestic tourists, to abandon Canggu and Bali, vowing never to return. (Main Article: Car Free Bali)
∙ Bali is becoming “a place of insane noise pollution with the sound of loudspeakers blaring from bars till almost dawn, combining with the sound) of motorbikes and shouting drunken tourists.”
- ”Many of these clubs and bars are directly adjacent to temples, including “Pura Kahyangan Jagat’” which are among some of the most sacred in Bali. And next to these temples, indecent and disrespectful acts have been occurring, including drunkenness, sexual behaviors, urinating in the temple walls area, and the possible consumption of illegal substances.
∙ There are frequent fights and speeding drunk motorcyclists have ended in fatal accidents. Some bars built directly on the beach also cause environmental problems due to their proximity to the sea.” (Main Article: Car Free Bali)
∙ The petitioners are calling on the government to pass and enforce strict regulations that include severe sanctions. Satpol PP must diligently monitor these rules.
The Indonesian Minister of Tourism and the Creative Economy announced he was imminently flying to Bali to personally survey the situation and to meet with officials and community members
Troubled Bridges Over Bali Waters
RadarBali.com reports that repairs on three major bridges on Jalan Gatot Subroto Timur, targeted for completion on 31 December 2022, may have suffered a major setback. The bridges span major river gorges on the road that connects Bali’s east and west coast across Denpasar north. (Main Article: Car Free Bali)
Repairs and upgrades on three bridges are budgeted to cost Rp. 109 billion.
Portions of the bridge construction over the Ayung River reported suffered a collapse on 23 September 2022.
Following the collapse, an observer on zoning and infrastructure who is also a senior professor in the Technical Faculty at Bali’s Udayana University, Dr. Ir. Putu Rumawan, has expressed his concerns, questioning the quality of the concrete being used on the bridge. (Main Article: Car Free Bali)
The partial collapse of the Ayung River Bridge occurred on Thursday, 22 September 2022, during a rain storm while a heavily loaded truck filled with sand was crossing the gorge. The contractor employed to repair the bridge recently complained of high fuel costs and the burden of constructing retaining foundations to protect local temples.
Professor Rumawan focused on the continuing passage of vehicles over the bridge still in the process of repairs and reconstruction. “It is difficult to undertake constructions on a bridge still open to traffic. I am worried that the concrete will crack, exposing the interior steel strengthening rods to corrosion, resulting in an overall weakening of the structure,” he said.
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