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NEWS

ISSUE 62

GO SOUTH LOMBOK!

SOUTH LOMBOK… INVESTOR’S PARADISE!

NEW TRAFFIC RULES AND PENALTIES

AIRLINE  MADNESS!

HOLIDAY RESORT HOSTS GATHERING FOR 700

STUDENTS PROTEST PLN PRICE RISE

BBQ NIGHTS ON THE BEACH

LOCAL SCENE

MR FIXER

INDONESIA CONSIDERS FOREIGN INVESTMENT CHANGES

ALCOHOL TAX CREATES UPROAR

1000 RUBBISH BINS FOR THE GILIS!

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GO SOUTH LOMBOK!

Welcome to The Lombok Guide – Lombok’s complete tourism paper and your guide to the best that the island has to offer. The Lombok Guide is published on Lombok every two weeks and contains valuable information for all visitors to our magical island.

Nobody can deny that the south coast of Lombok is a region of amazing landscapes. The beaches and coastal views are some of the best not only in Lombok, but throughout Indonesia.

However, nothing could prepare us for the impossibly beautiful scenery of the south when we took to the air for another flight with Sky Aviation. Flying low over headlands and bays, peninsulas and long stretches of white sand beaches, we were spellbound by the un-spoiled natural beauty of this part of the island.

In this issue, we bring you photos from our flight with Sky on page 20 and a special report on investment in the area on page 10.

It seems we’re not the only ones to look at kilometre after kilometre of magical beaches and see the awesome potential of South Lombok for tourism and investment… with a coastline like this, it’s no wonder investors are snapping up land here!

To find out more, pick up a copy of The Lombok Guide from the locations listed on http://www.thelombokguide.com/deadline_publishing.html or visit www.thelombokguide.com and discover the magic of Lombok for yourself… like thousands of others, you’ll be enchanted!

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SOUTH LOMBOK… INVESTOR’S PARADISE!

No one can deny that investment in Lombok has steadily picked up pace over the past few years and, in 2010, there is an air of expectation as the island perches on the brink of its “coming of age”.

For those who live here, the development of Lombok is bittersweet; the knowledge that we can’t keep this paradise to ourselves forever and the certainty that, with so much potential, change is inevitable.

It is true that Lombok has all the ingredients that have made Bali into a world-renowned tourism destination and attracted mass investment from all over the world. Those in the know also acknowledge that, in fact, what Bali possesses, Lombok surpasses.

Long stretches of blindingly white sand beaches; not the black or grey volcanic sands often found around Bali. Pristine clear turquoise waters, with intact reef systems – many of which are yet to be discovered. Tens of tiny coral islands laying minutes off shore on every coast around the island; some are uninhabited, most undeveloped. A towering mountain range in the north clothed in verdant jungle and forest, capped by a stunning volcano that attracts thousands of visitors every year. Rolling hills in the south, dotted with tiny villages, covered in greenery, overlooking impossibly white beaches and blue seas.

These and many more reasons are why investors are turning their sights away from the overcrowded warrens of Bali and feasting their weary eyes on the stunning natural beauty of Lombok.

Nowhere is this intense interest more focused than on the south coast of Lombok, where local villages have enjoyed the exclusivity of this breathtaking environment for generations. Kuta, which is the main resort area on the south coast, is a small town boasting a limited range of accommodations and facilities that have, until now, catered mainly to backpackers and the thousands of surfers who flock here every year.

Those who do visit are amazed that the area is so undeveloped. Peaceful bays, stunning beaches, and idyllic vistas stretch along the entire coastline here, with hardly a building in sight. Anywhere else in the world, these beaches would be lined with resorts and high rise developments.

And of course, with so much potential and with the Lombok International Airport due to open within the next year, the south coast is set to transform the most dramatically over the next few years.

Already international investors are submitting “expressions of interest” to the Lombok government for mega-developments and Exotiq Real Estate, the premier real estate agency for the area, is inundated with investors looking to get in now before the landslide becomes an avalanche.

Exotiq Real Estate is the only western owned real estate office in south Lombok and is part of the successful Exotiq Real Estate franchise, which won the CNBC Best Real Estate Property award for Indonesia in both 2009 and 2010. Owner-operators Belinda and Neil are originally from Australia where Neil ran a successful real estate agency for over ten years and Belinda worked in the tourism and hospitality industries for over 14 years, before forming her own business. Both now live in Kuta, surrounded by the beauty of the area they know so well.

Neil first fell in love with Kuta in the mid 1980’s, when he first visited the area to surf. His passion for his surfboard, as well as the area he now calls home, continues to grow.

“In the past two years, we’ve seen investment properties rise between 100 to 200% in value and they’re still going up. Big developers are moving in and buying very large holdings of land for hotel and resort properties,” he said.
This is inevitable, as the Novotel Lombok Resort is the only major resort in the area and currently has a monopoly on the market seeking luxury accommodation in south Lombok. With the new international airport about to open, only 20 minutes drive from here, this area is going to need to expand… and quickly!

Not only will thousands of tourists be arriving, delivered virtually to Kuta’s doorstep, but accommodation is also needed for those investors who are currently building their mega-resorts.

While many will lament this rapid development, there is little risk that the area will be ruined, as has happened in parts of Bali. The south coast is just too long, with almost 100km of empty and desirable coastal land and thousands of hectares of hillsides; it could easily hold a hundred resorts without becoming crowded. Not only that, but anyone seeing the natural splendour of the beaches would quickly realise that these are assets to be preserved.

Neil also acknowledges that many small investors are snapping up blocks to build their private homes and villas, before the big developers take over.

“We’re seeing many personal investors, buying lifestyle properties for their families near the beaches,” he said, “They know that land values are soaring, so they’re getting in now to buy their little piece of paradise.”
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NEW TRAFFIC RULES AND PENALTIES

On April 1, 2010 the Indonesian government introduced a comprehensive new national traffic safety law (UU No. 22/2009). A sampling of some of the rules to be enforced and the fines that can be imposed for violations include:

• Missing technical and safety equipment (eg: side mirror, lamps, etc) Rp 250,000
• Violation of posted road rules Rp 500,000
• Inability to present a valid driving license Rp 500,000
• Failure to hold a valid driving license Rp 1,000,000
• Not wearing a certified helmet while operating a motorcycle Rp 250,000
• Driving during daylight hours without lights illuminated Rp 100,000
• Failing to concentrate on driving by doing another activity (eg: using hand phone) Rp 750,000
• Turning or changing lanes without using a turn signal Rp 250,000

However, a member of Commission V of the National House of Representatives (DPR), Abdul Hakim, has complained to Bisnis.com that the government has done an inadequate job of socialising the rules, fines and possible jail sentences awaiting those who disobey the rules.

Citing examples of the lack of public knowledge of the new rules, Hakim pointed to the law requiring all passengers on a motorcycle to use a nationally certificated helmet and the penalty of Rp 250,000 (approx US $27) or one month in jail for those violating this regulation.

The new traffic rules also provide for prison sentences of one year or fines of Rp 3 million for people convicted of reckless driving. If reckless driving results in an accident, the fine can increase to Rp 24 million and/or a prison term of 4 - 12 years.

Hakim called for an urgent and widespread socialisation of the new traffic rules in order to prevent official abuse of the new rules and in order to encourage public compliance with the law.

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AIRLINE  MADNESS!

Flights between Bali and Lombok by domestic operators have been erratic for months now and residents have been wondering just what is going on with Merpati, Trans Nusa, Trigana and Indonesia Air.

The unreliability of the domestic airlines has been a boon for fast boat operators, as more people turn to Gili Cat, Redline, Island Getaway and Blue Water Express as the only reliable ways to move between Bali and Lombok.

This week The Lombok Guide contacted the airlines to find out why flights are not operating and are being cancelled without warning. Fortunately, it looks like the mess will come to an end soon when Merpati resumes their regular schedule of four flights a day between Bali and Lombok, starting 16 April 2010.

The problem has been caused by the national airport authority, PT Angkasa Pura, requiring all airlines to register their plane code numbers for flights. Merpati was still in the process of registering their flights when we spoke to them, but Angkasa Pura won’t let the airline fly until all planes are registered. From 16 April, the registration process will be complete and Merpati will be allowed to resume four flights a day between Bali and Lombok.

Major changes have also been made at Trans Nusa Air, with the company now having taken over flights previously operated by Indonesia Air Transport (IAT) and Trigana Air.

Trigana Air no longer operates in Lombok. Indonesia Air Transport has also stopped operating in Lombok and has been absorbed by Trans Nusa, along with Riau Air. This is why you will sometimes book a Trans Nusa flight and find yourself on an IAT or Riau Air plane. Confused? So were we!

Trans Nusa now flies between Bali and Lombok 3 times every day. Trans Nusa no longer flies to Surabaya, but now flies to Sumbawa Besar every two days and to Bima every day for people travelling to Komodo and further east.

Now that that’s all sorted out, let’s hope our Bali-Lombok air transfers get back to normal!

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HOLIDAY RESORT HOSTS GATHERING FOR 700

The Holiday Resort in Mangsit recently hosted a family gathering of Bank SumSel Bangka Belitung employees on 5 April. A fabulous buffet dinner was served to 700 people in Holiday Resort’s lovely beachfront garden and featured fabulous entertainment by the famous local “Yankees” band.

The bank group visited Lombok and stayed in three different hotels: The Holiday Resort, The Sheraton Senggigi Beach Resort and Santosa Villas and Resort. The visit was organised by Citramulia Travel and A & T Tours. During their stay they toured Lombok, visiting places of interest and enjoying local hospitality.

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STUDENTS PROTEST PLN PRICE RISE

The state-owned power company, PT PLN, has reported a deficit of Rp 1.1 trillion (approx US $116 000) for 2009. The losses are for Lombok and Sumbawa and will be borne by the West Nusa Tenggara (NTB) government.
According to a PLN spokesman, the deficit is caused by higher production costs for the year, combined with the difference between production costs and government subsidies. With 2009 production costs reaching Rp1,446.52 per kilowatt hour (kwh), electricity should be sold for Rp 2,098 per kwh. However, under the national subsidy programme for electricity, power is sold to the consumer for only Rp 651.48 per kwh, leaving the local government to pick up the deficit.

The PLN reports that consumers paid only Rp 450 billion in 2009, rating NTB as the fifth lowest nationally, with customer arrears running at around Rp 400 million for the year.

The government has been mulling increasing the electricity rate by an average of 15 percent effective this July.
A draft of the plan is still under revision and will require parliamentary approval before it can take effect. Energy and Mineral Resources Minister, Darwin Zahedy Saleh, said that under the plan, the government would try to maintain subsidies for low-income households and small businesses.

Reacting to the news of a possible 15% increase in electricity rates, Lombok students staged a rally on 26 March in Mataram to protest the government action.  

Demonstrators called the plan half-baked, pointing out the current power supply to the region from PLN was far from satisfactory.

“Mataram and Lombok Island in general have experienced frequent blackouts for several months now,” said protestors. “Where do PLN and the government get off saying they’re going to raise the rates?”

The protesters also criticised the frequent rotating blackouts currently being implemented by PLN across the key tourism resort of Lombok. They said the blackouts, which lasted from 6pm to 11 pm every three days, had caused severe disruptions in daily activities, particularly among senior high school students studying for their final exams.
PLN West Nusa Tenggara technical manager, Ali Akbar, said the company had been forced to apply the rotating blackouts because of a power supply deficit of up to 26 megawatts (MW) in Lombok.

He added PLN could only supply 83 MW currently, far less than the demand of 109 MW. He said the company was looking at a variety of short-term measures to deal with the deficit, including renting a 5-MW generator from PLN’s Bengkulu office.

* Note: On 16 November 2009, the PLN announced that it would rent four generators powering up to another 25 megawatts. The first 10MW generator was supposed to be installed by December 2009 – Ed

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BBQ NIGHTS ON THE BEACH

What to do when you have just acquired another piece of prime beachfront land while, next door, your restaurant is bursting at the seams? For Qunci Villas the solution is simple: set up some pretty tables and create a beachside barbecue!

That’s exactly what Qunci Pool Villas in Mangsit did recently and the result is success. Now each Thursday night Quali Restaurant at Qunci sets up some tables in the sand, complete with linen napkins and flickering candles, and serves up delicious barbecue to the delight of diners.

The menu is simple: fresh king prawns, squid basted in marinade and fillets of fish threaded on skewers, tender chicken breasts and tasty steaks are barbecued on the beach and guests can choose what they want, and have as much as they like, for the one price of US $35++.

A buffet is set up displaying accompaniments and salads. There’s chunky crab and corn soup, garlic bread, garden salad, baked potatoes and sauces of every description. For dessert, finish off with fresh tropical fruits and delicious coconut ice cream, with complimentary tea or coffee.

Of course, there’s an extensive drinks list available at Quali Restaurant with all the popular cocktails, spirits and wines. If you get there early, you can even enjoy the Happy Hour on the deck at sunset, with two drinks for the price of one on all cocktails, beer and spirits.

The atmosphere is lovely, with lights shining out over the ocean, the enticing smell of barbecue in the air and the sound of the waves creating natural music. The candlelit tables on the beach and the palm trees and stars overhead give a sense of true tropical island dining. Every table was full on the night we dined, so reservations are recommended.

Cocktails at sunset followed by a barbecue on the beach… what a heavenly combination from Qunci!

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LOCAL SCENE

SOUTH COAST FROM SKY

South Lombok is well known for stunning beaches but the views are breathtaking when we take to the air with Sky Aviation

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(Tongue-in-cheek answers to your personal building problems)

QUESTION: I am a single lady from Sweden, 53 (going on 35) years of age with blonde hair, blue eyes and a petite figure. I have recently retired and like to spend 6 months in Lombok and 6 months in Scandinavia with my family. I have a modest villa with pool.  Although I live alone, I have 2 cats called Ginger and Kitty. My pussycats are lots of fun and great company. Just the other day, I met a nice man from Belgium who I invited round for coffee. He suggested I install a cat flap in the door so my adorable pussycats could come and go as they pleased. As I was bending down to reach the milk from the lower shelf in the fridge, one of my cats came in. My guest said I had a nice pussy. I was very flattered but thought this was very forward of him, especially on our first meeting.   He then added that his ex wife had a large ginger pussy but he hadn’t seen it for some time. Was it his Belgian accent or does he like me? He is quite handsome. Both my cats are black. Do you think a cat flap would be a good idea?

MR FIXER: Cat flaps, although quite common in Europe, may be difficult to find in Lombok. You may find one in the pet shop in Senggigi, or they may be able to order one for you. Alternatively, you could have one made. Just a simple frame with flapping door hinged at the top would do the job. As your cats have managed quite well till now without one, why waste time messing about with a cat flap. You may be better off spending your time getting to know the Belgian a little better. He sounds like he knows what he’s looking for.

QUESTION: On a recent holiday visit to the beautiful tropical island of Lombok, I purchased a small plot of beach front land with the intention of building a holiday home for myself and friends who may wish to rent or borrow. Buying the block of land was the easy part. Getting someone to build what I have in mind is proving to be more difficult than I thought. I have visited a few architects with my sketches and ideas, and although they all seem enthusiastic, they don’t seem to understand fully what I want and most of them are asking for large sums of money up front. 

One architects office I visited however, has a very helpful young lady who is very slim and attractive with long dark hair, large almond-shaped eyes and a beaming smile. She is always pleased to see me and can’t seem to be able to do enough for me. Unfortunately, the architect himself is never there despite many attempts at meeting him. He is either called away on site, in court, having domestic problems, or visiting a more important client. I am eager to get going with building. Can you recommend a good architect?

MR FIXER: There is no such thing. They are all rogues, sharks and charlatans and should all be rounded up, lined against a wall and shot at dawn! If it’s quick, inexpensive and reliable quality you are looking for, have you considered a pre-fabricated wooden chalet style building similar to the ones advertised in the Bali Advertiser? According to the advert, they are quick, simple, strong and cheap and – here’s the best part – they are movable. Build your dream villa in around 1 month. Some of them even feature a small pool for less than EUR 10.000.  As they are not regarded as a permanent structure, the 50 meter rule may not apply but check this first, (dwellings and other permanent structures where concrete foundations are used are not permitted within 50 meters of the beach and quite right too!) Why not discuss this possibility over a long romantic candlelit dinner by the sea at Café Alberto with the girl from the architect’s office, who may be able to help with the erection!

Mr Fixer is happy to suggest solutions to your problems… just email him at kitadesign@hotmail.com

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INDONESIA CONSIDERS FOREIGN INVESTMENT CHANGES

On 31 March Bloomberg announced that Indonesia will allow foreigners to buy property in the country and own bigger stakes in health-care companies as it completes a review of investment rules, the country’s investment coordination agency said.

Southeast Asia’s largest economy plans to deregulate its property industry by the end of the first half, allowing foreigners to buy homes and commercial real estate directly, Gita Wirjawan, chairman of the Investment Coordination Board of Indonesia, said in a forum in Singapore on 31 March. The move will “unleash value,” he said.

“The government is committed to continuously comb through policies to make it easier to invest in Indonesia,” Wirjawan said in an interview after the forum. “I am optimistic that once we can be seen to be taking steps in the right direction, we’ll be able to reach a 15 percent increase in foreign investment over last year’s US $14 billion,” he said.

 “Property companies that sell apartments will benefit the most, especially those who are currently building,” said Natalia Sutanto, a property analyst at PT Bahana Securities.

The Indonesian government is still working on the details of the regulation and there have been talks that the new rights for foreigners may be limited to high-rise housing purchases with a value above 1.5 billion rupiah (US $165,000), Sutanto said.

The regulation also may stop short of allowing total ownership of the property and only give foreigners a right to its use for a certain time period, she said.

Indonesia has finished reviewing a 2007 presidential decree known as the “negative investment list,” which limits overseas ownership in companies, Wirjawan said. The new rules, which should be released soon, will include changes in the cap on foreign stakes in industries such as health care, education, logistics and agriculture, he said.

“There is a spirit of liberalization with respect to health care and hospitals, which was closed off to foreign investment in the past,” the investment agency chief said.

Foreign investment in health care will be capped at 67 percent, versus 49 percent for other industries, because “there is a recognition Indonesia needs better health care facilities,” he said.

A draft of the revised investment rules is with President Yudhoyono, Wirjawan said during the forum on Indonesia’s investment climate.

“This has been a long overdue process, and we’ve finally gotten to a point where all the relevant ministers agreed,” he said. “We’ve all signed off and sent it over to the President and it’s waiting on his desk to be signed.”
Wirjawan also said he sees no reason why Indonesia’s credit ratings won’t rise to investment grade in the next 18 months.

 “Indonesia will continue on its upward trajectory for years to come and with the government’s renewed mandate and commitment to reforms, Indonesia’s ability to remedy its mistakes will continue to improve,” Wirjawan said.
He expects investment to come from Indonesia’s neighbours, and the country will also target “new frontiers” including the Middle East, China and India, he said.

“Those are the guys that are hungry for investments in Indonesia,” he said. “The English, the Europeans and the Americans, those are the toughest bunch because of what they’ve gone through in the last 15 months and they see Indonesia as a basket case. It’s off their radar.”

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ALCOHOL TAX CREATES UPROAR

A recent decision by the government to eliminate luxury taxes applied on imported alcoholic beverages raised momentary hopes that Indonesia’s regime of very expensive wine and liquor prices might be coming to an end.
Such expectations have, however, been dashed by the government’s decision to introduce a 40% excise tax that could result in a 40% increase in the cost of enjoying alcoholic drinks in Indonesia.

The luxury import tax being scrapped cost consumers between 40% and 150% of the declared value of the alcoholic beverage. A finance ministry decree only made public on days before its implementation will supplant the cost burden of the old luxury tax with an increased excise tax of between 100% and 214%.

While the results await the actual implementation, the consensus is that the cost of alcoholic beverages will soon increase up to 40%.

The increase in tax, done with little public consultation, has precipitated an uproar of protest from the nation’s alcoholic beverage producers, hotels, restaurants and the national tourism sector.

Indonesia’s beer brewers are estimating that their annual tax burden will increase by US $86 million, an amount to be apportioned to each glass of beer consumed. In practical terms, the excise tax on a litre of beer will increase from Rp 3,500 (US $0.37) to Rp11,000 (US $1.17).

The tax on a litre of locally made wine will increase from Rp 10,000 (US $1.06) to Rp 30,000 (US $3.19). Imported wine will incur a tax increase from Rp 20,000 (US $2.12) to Rp 40,000 (US $4.25).

Imported spirits with an alcohol content of more than 20% will see taxes increase from Rp 50,000 (US $5.40) to Rp 130,000 (US $13.80) per litre.

While the new decrees officially state that the increase in tax is intended to compensate for revenues the government will lose from the elimination of the luxury tax, the higher rates to be imposed also suggest a desire to dissuade the consumption of alcohol through the application of a “sin tax”.

Joining those protesting the higher tax regime is the Indonesian Hotel and Restaurant Association (PHRI) which is calling for an urgent review the higher excise tax levels, alleging the higher taxes will cause irreparable harm to efforts to promote tourism.

Representative from the country’s meeting, incentive, conference and exhibition sector (MICE) are also concerned that alcohol beverage costs that are already the highest in the region will increase further, making Indonesia non-competitive in the lucrative conference market.

Concerns have also been expressed that the high cost of alcohol will only serve to enlarge the already bustling black market in illegally imported alcohol into the country.

”High import duties (and taxes) inflate the price. The high taxes also will increase the incidence of smuggling,” said Panudiana Kuhn, the Chairman of the Provincial Entrepreneurs Association (APINDO).

Meanwhile, the provincial government of Bali’s chief of Industry and Trade Department, I Gede Darmaja, is convinced that price increases are inevitable. His department will soon meet with distributors to discuss the situation.

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1000 RUBBISH BINS FOR THE GILIS!

As we reported in issue 55 of The Lombok Guide, the Gili Eco Trust has a number of projects in place in 2010 to push forward waste management on the islands, particularly on Gili Trawangan.

During high season and peak tourist times, up to 10 tonnes of rubbish is produced on Gili T alone in a single day. That’s a lot for one small island to handle and it’s a situation the Eco Trust is determined to rectify!

The Trust has implemented a number of initiatives to help reduce waste on the island and to handle the rubbish that is unavoidable. The largest project involves the purchase of 1000 rubbish bins, to be supplied to local businesses on the island. Each business will receive three of these rubbish bins, which are colour coded for easy use, and will be responsible for sorting their rubbish into three categories: blue for paper; yellow for tins, cans, plastic and glass; and green for organic waste.

Buying 1000 bins to give away and get the programme started is a large achievement in itself but, thanks to the generosity of the businesses on Gili T, the goal has been achieved! Two of the largest donations have come from PADI who purchased 250 of the bins, and Scallywags Resort, which purchased 125 bins. 100 of these will be distributed on Gili Air, where waste management programmes do not yet exist.

Once the bins are installed, Delphine Robbe and her Eco Trust team will be visiting the different businesses to teach staff how to sort the rubbish. A “Green Team” or a “Mr or Ms Green” will be chosen and will be responsible for overseeing the sorting of rubbish for each business.

Eco Bali, an organisation that has already implemented successful programmes in Bali, visited the Gili Eco Trust between 12-13 of February for a “partnership and sustainable solution meeting” for rubbish management on the Gilis. They will help to organise the rubbish bin educational event to encourage people to take responsibility for their trash and learn how to sort rubbish properly.

Working together with the FMPL (the local organisation which collects rubbish on the island), the Gili Eco Trust has arranged for the FMPL to collect the rubbish with different horse carts according to the type of rubbish.
The Eco Trust will also create a recycling program where some rubbish will go for building; plastic and glass bottles, as well as cartons, boxes, tins and cans will go to Lombok for recycling; and “tetra pak” and plastic bags will be sent to recycling centres in Bali. This is good, but it’s important to remember many other things can not yet be recycled in Indonesia, so please think twice when you purchase things. Always think: Reduce-Reuse!

Now that the rainy season is almost over, the existing rubbish dump on Gili Trawangan is once again accessible and the Eco Trust is negotiating to borrow land to improve access. Thanks to the Trust’s efforts, many businesses on Gili T are already sorting their rubbish into recyclable and non-recyclable waste and local people are now collecting bottles and cans and selling them to businesses on Lombok.

In the past, much of this waste was burnt by locals, with plastics and other rubbish releasing dangerous chemicals into the environment. This is understandable, as most waste in Lombok was previously organic but, now that we are using so many plastics and other non-organic products, the need for education of the local people is vital. Many Indonesians don’t understand what plastic bags and bottles are made from, or some believe they are made from a type of wood; so it is natural for them to follow their traditional practice of burning rubbish.

Once trained, businesses and local people will be encouraged to set up composting heaps on the island to turn their organic waste into fertiliser – providing much needed nutrients to the island’s sandy soil. Several businesses have already set up compost heaps for their organic waste, including Trawangan Dive, Big Bubble, Karma Kayak and Eco Villa. It makes sense for businesses operating a kitchen and restaurant to compost their waste and reuse it to fertilise their gardens; perhaps even establishing organic vegetable gardens to supply their restaurants. A compost centre will also be established at the rubbish dump and be managed by local people, who can then sell the compost fertiliser and generate additional income.

The Trust also hopes to ban plastic bags on the island and replace plastic bags with “Eco Bags”. Made from recycled plastic and cotton, these bags are available by donation from the Trust and from responsible businesses on the island. Accommodation businesses on the island collect Rp 50 000 “bungalow tax” from guests staying on the island, who receive an Eco Bag to be used during their stay. Proceeds from the tax fund ongoing waste management, rubbish recycling, and education programmes on the island. So far, around 30 businesses have joined the programme.

People are also encouraged to re-use existing plastic bags for as long as possible and to avoid throwing them in the rubbish bins. Old clean plastic bags can be recycled and Gili businesses are being encouraged to collect these rather than throw them away. Clean dry bags can be sold to Sam Miller at Bombastic Plastix, who is making wallets, bags, and other items from clean plastic bags only. He is happy to buy the plastic bags at Rp 6000 per kilo. Blue Water Express has kindly offered to transport them to Bali for recycling, free of charge. 

Small islands have limited resources and the Gili Eco Trust is setting programmes in place now to support the ecosystem of the Gilis into the future. If you can help with donations to fund Eco Trust projects, please contact: Delphine Robbe, Gili Eco Trust Manager, on +62 (0) 813 3960 0553 or the local SATGAS Organisation: Rais on 0812 376 3491 or Usman on 0856 4696 4612 or visit them on the web: www.giliecotrust.com

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