||Tolak Reklamasi Teluk Benoa”, freely translated as “reject the Benoa Bay
reclamation”, is the slogan which can be seen on many posters and banners on the
streets of Bali nowadays. Balinese locals are protesting against the Benoa Bay
reclamation project, which is seen as the biggest mass tourism project in Bali.
According to those who oppose the project, the reclamation endangers the physical
and cultural landscape of the Balinese. Since 2013, the protest has turned into the
largest civil protest, since the Reformasi era, against tourism development. Thousands
of people have been protesting the $3 billion reclamation project at the offices of the
Bali provincial government in Denpasar. In order to realize the Benoa Bay project,
more than 700 hectares of water will be drained out of the former environmental
protected zone. Many specialists argue that draining the bay
will cause environmental, socio-cultural and political problems in Bali, so how and why
is the project still in the running? what is the significance of the Benoa Bay reclamation
project, and what are its implications?