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Land Loss Anchor


  • The last 15 years have seen rampant development as a response to growing number of tourists and ex-pats. Source

  • Many who settle here build private homes with pools in the middle of the working agricultural landscape.  Source

  • Land speculation and money laundering have created a real estate bubble. Sellers' exorbitant profits have fomented a sense of entitlement and greed on a scale not seen previously. This greed supersedes thousands of years of a sacred relationship with the land and threatens the future of Balinese culture. Source

  • Current land use legislation attempts to curtail development but fails to address the underlying reason why farmers are pushed to sell their land. Farming is not subsisidized by the government and cannot compete with the economic gains offered in tourism. Further, the laws are often not enforced due to corruption and bribery. Source

  • For families whose only asset is their inherited land, the lure of selling it for a large sum of money is great. Source

bali sawah rice paddy overdevelopment

Farmland is being developed for tourism at a rate of 1,000 - 3,000 hectare per year

Water Anchor


Bali's 13 million annual visitors demand large quantities of fresh water. The demand requires greater capacity than the island can distribute. All Indicators foresee annual increases in tourism.  Source  (updated 2017)

  • In 2015, water shortages became the reality in over-developed southern region, therefore water was diverted from villages Source

  • Water use in hotels and villas far exceeds usage by sawah/subak and traditional homes. Source

  • This mismanaged resource  has disrupted the island's ecosystem and traditional resource management. Source

  • Development fragments farms, the canals of the subak and natural habitats, disrupting the flow of water. Source

bali overdevelopment rice paddy

Over 50% (1.7 million ) Balinese have already lost their access to fresh water

Please read this pdf brochure for an update on the WATER CRISIS:  








food anchor
  • Unprecedented extreme weather caused by climate change have confused the planting schedule and ruined harvests. Source

  • Overdependency on mono-crops leaves no room for alternatives in the case of a poor season.

  • Bali runs the risk of not being able to provide for itself as the value of the farmer decreases and employment is sought elsewhere.

  • Bali already relies on imported rice from other countries including Vietnam, India and Myanmar. Imported rice comes with the risk of unknown contamination.

  • Decades of monocropping and chemical abuse have rendered Bali's once-fertile volcanic soil drier and nutrient-deficient.

  • Bali's enormous tourist population threatens food security: an island of 4 million residents, Bali receives and feeds an additional 13 million visitors a year. Source

bali sawah rice paddy

Bali already imports 600,000 tons of rice per year


economic anchor


  • Though tourists come to Bali to admire the beauty of the sawah, the farmers receive no direct economic benefit from their visits. 

  • Land use laws restricting the sale of farmland never recognize that the farmer's only asset is his land nor provide any opportunity for bettering their financial prospects. 

  • Tourism has granted Bali (Badung) the 2nd highest GNP in Indonesia, yet as the population moves into the middle class, the farmer is left behind.  

bali farmer

The majority of Balinese families farm, but most derive their income from other sources

health anchor


  • Chemical fertilizer and pesticides used in agriculture have increased the rate of cancers among the population. Source

  • Chemical products also enter the water table, killing aquatic species and endangering public drinking water supply. 

  • Most Balinese eat massive quantities of a hybrid white rice that lacks nutritional content and fiber and has a high glycemic index, creating a paradox of nutritional starvation and diabetes. Source

  • Lack of nutrients in the standard daily diet cause a host of other health problems that create a large financial burden on society and inhibit active lifestyles. The connection between diet and health has not been emphasized in education. 


bali pollution

7.6 million people in Indonesia have Type II diabetes


identity anchor


  • Rice cultivation is a gift given to the Balinese by Dewi Sri, the Goddess of Rice. Water, a gift from the Goddess of the Lake, is the singular most important aspect of Balinese prayer, ritual and life. Source 

  • Though Balinese culture has remained remarkably intact through colonialism, occupation and globalization, the new threats posed to agriculture could finally dismantle a fundamental of Balinese identity. Source

  • The tourist industry has created a new middle class with new Western values that often conflict with those of traditional society. Source

  • Though Bali has retained its cultural and spiritual heritage through a long history of occupation, colonization and globalization, escalating numbers of tourists on this island as well as a growing disparity between the tourist industry and other sectors have finally begun to place a strain on traditional values.

  • Real estate speculation  has created a real estate bubble that currently allows families to sell their ancestral farmland for exorbitant profits. Except for some major cities, prices here are higher than in the USA.  Due to this, ethical challenges have risen as people change the way they think; personal gain over community good.

bali tourism
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