- Author : Sophie Romillat
- Master : 1842
BALI: PARADISE IN DANGER | Doc du dimanche | France 5
Dream vacations at sweet prices: Bali, the most visited of the Indonesian islands, offers sunshine all year round, an especially welcoming people and magnificent sites. No larger than the Nord department of France, Bali has become an Eldorado for Western expatriates. From pensioner to businessman, there are nearly 2,000 French people who have fled the gray skies to enjoy the islands many advantages: cheap labor, virtual absence of urban construction regulations and a very easy tax regime. However, while 5-star hotels and luxury villas abound, the rice paddies are disappearing and this is weakening a population of which the majority is peasant and whose only wealth is rice. On Bali, runaway development is causing grave ecological problems. Visitors use 5 times as much water as a local and throw away 4 times as much trash. The result: expanding dumps, practically non-existent recycling and those of modest income sinking into poverty. Some live at the foot of garbage piles in deplorable conditions of hygiene, living off the trash by reselling the plastics. Our cameras reveal the two faces of Bali: the frantic development on the south of the island, which houses large garment factories and a plethora of chic restaurants and bars; and the conservation sites of the north. With little assistance from government, ecologists are battling with the degradation of Bali. And they are trying to reverse a dramatic trend that could signal the end of this little paradise!