Friday, July 30, 2010

Indonesia Sock Exchange & Rupiah Hit New Highs

Bloomberg, Reuters & JG
Investors keeping an eye on a screen showing their rising fortunes at the Indonesia Stock Exchange (IDX) in Jakarta. The JCI rose 39.34 points, or 1.3 percent, to close at 3,096.82, a record high for a third-straight day. Analysts say they expect they expect the index to keep heading up. (EPA Photo)

Investors keeping an eye on a screen showing their rising fortunes at the Indonesia Stock Exchange (IDX) in Jakarta. The JCI rose 39.34 points, or 1.3 percent, to close at 3,096.82, a record high for a third-straight day. Analysts say they expect they expect the index to keep heading up. (EPA Photo)
Jakarta Composite Index Breaks Another Record As Rupiah Hits 3-Year High

Jakarta. The market bulls on Thursday, pushed the benchmark stock index to a record high for a third-straight day and sent the rupiah surging to its highest level in three years as the strong economy and relatively high interest rates continued to attract funds from abroad.

The Jakarta Composite Index posted the biggest gain among major Asian stock markets on the day as some of the biggest companies reported healthy earnings, despite discouraging economic news from the United States on Wednesday.

The JCI rose 39.34 points, or 1.3 percent, to close at 3,096.82. Volume was unusually heavy, with 6.7 billion shares worth Rp 6.76 trillion changing hands. Gainers trounced losers 147 to 72.

The index has risen 22.2 percent this year, making it the best performer among Asia’s 10 biggest markets.

Meanwhile, the rupiah rose to its highest level since July 2007, trading at 8,973 to the US dollar as of the stock market’s close. The currency has appreciated 4.7 percent this year, after gaining 16 percent in 2009.

Brian Jackson, a Hong Kong-based senior emerging-markets strategist at Royal Bank of Canada, said he expected the exchange rate to reach 8,800 by the end of the year.

“Foreign investors are very positive toward Indonesia and they like the medium- to long-term growth story,” he said. “Inflation is picking up and we expect the central bank to raise rates by 50 basis points in the second half. The higher yield should further support the rupiah.”

Among outperformers on the stock market, PT Astra International, the country’s biggest listed company, climbed 3 percent, hitting a record Rp 52,800 after its first-half net profit rose 50 percent due to surging auto sales and higher coal prices.

Astra, controlled by Singapore’s Jardine Cycle & Carriage, reported a net profit of Rp 6.44 trillion ($715) in the first half. This compares with a net profit of Rp 4.24 trillion in the same period last year. Analysts forecast a full-year result of Rp 12.5 trillion.

Consumer goods firm PT Unilever Indonesia rose 3.6 percent and instant noodle maker PT Indofood Sukses Makmur gained 5 percent as the consumer sector entered a period of high earnings in the July-September quarter, dealers said.

PT Bank Central Asia, the country’s biggest lender by market value, said its first-half profit rose 20 percent as strong domestic demand lifted its loan growth.

BCA, controlled by conglomerate Djarum Group, said it earned Rp 3.9 trillion in the first half, which compared with a net profit of Rp 3.3 trillion for the same period last year.

BCA’s shares closed up 3.3 percent at Rp 6,200 before the company released its results. Its shares rose 23 percent in the first half, outperforming a 15 percent jump in the JCI, but underperforming the 28 percent rally for the biggest state lender, PT Bank Mandiri, in the same period.

Investors have pumped $414 million into local stocks this month, lifting net purchases for the year to $1.27 billion.

The government predicts the economy will expand 6 percent in the second half, after growth of 5.8 percent in the first six months, and economists surveyed by Bloomberg estimated that inflation reached 5.8 percent in July.

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Jennifer Aniston reveals her long to travel the world

By: Actress Jennifer Aniston said she wants to take a break from work so she can travel the world.

The 41-year-old, who was recently in London to launch her debut fragrance, said she would love to see more of the world but not just for her job. She said to Britain’s Stylist magazine: “I travel a lot for work but I need to start traveling more for myself – it’s really important to me. You’d be shocked at my list of places I want to go. I want to go to India, Bali and I would love to go to Italy – I’ve never been to Florence or to Venice. I also want to go to Thailand and Fiji – a lot of places!”

Aniston added that she is always happy to take a trip to France as she revealed it is her top travel destination.

She said: “Paris, definitely. I love the people, the elegance, and the beauty of it. I stayed years ago at a little boutique hotel, I couldn’t tell you the name of it now, only that it wasn’t one of the big fancy ones. “I’ve always liked those little quaint places that make you feel like you’re in someone’s apartment, rather than a hotel.”

Award News, Breaking News, Entertainment News, Movie News, Music News, Hollywood News

Source: Splash News
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Tags: Actress, Bali, breaking news, Entertainment news, Entertainment/Culture, Fiji, Florence, france, Hollywood, hollywood news, Hospitality/Recreation, Human Interest, india, Italy, jennifer aniston, London, Paris, television, Television in the United States, Thailand, travel destination, United Kingdom, Venice

Australian Government will support any plea of clemency made by Schapelle Corby

Govt supports Corby sentence cut
29 Jul, 2010 05:03 PM
The Australian Government will support any plea of clemency made by Schapelle Corby, Foreign Minister Stephen Smith says.

Indonesian authorities are reportedly considering cutting Corby's jail sentence by a significant amount.

Corby, 33, is serving a 20-year jail term after she was arrested at Bali's airport in October 2004 with 4.1kg of marijuana in her boogie board bag.

Earlier this year she applied for presidential clemency, saying she was suffering from depression that could endanger her life.

Mr Smith said while the pursuit of clemency is a matter for Corby and her lawyers he had indicated to the Indonesian government Australia would support a plea.

"I made it clear to Indonesian authorities that if and when she formally made an application of clemency to the president that we would support it," he told reporters in Perth on Thursday.

Mr Smith said ultimately it was a matter for Indonesian processes and "we will await any decision made by the authorities".

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Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Foreign Investment in Indonesia Up 49% in First Half

Foreign investment in the Indonesian economy has grown significantly during the first half of 2010. (AFP Photo/Adek Berry)
Foreign Investment in Indonesia Up 49% in First Half

Indonesia. Indonesia experienced a surge in foreign direct investment in the first half of the year, creating expectations that the total for the year may exceed earlier forecasts, the Investment Coordinating Board announced on Wednesday.

Investors from Singapore, Hong Kong and the United States topped the list, with most of the capital coming from expansion of existing operations, according to Gita Wirjawan, chairman of the board, also known as the BKPM.

FDI totaled $7.8 billion during the first half of the year, an increase of 48.7 percent over $5.3 billion recorded during the same period last year, the BKPM said.

Gita said he expected the full-year FDI figure to reach $13.1 billion in 2010, an increase of 25 percent from last year’s realized investment of $10.5 billion. Previously, the government projected FDI to increase 15 percent this year.

The first-half figure for this year topped the $6.5 billion invested in the same period of 2008, prior to the outbreak of the global financial crisis.

The transportation, warehousing and telecommunications sectors combined to attract 40 percent of the total FDI in the second quarter, while the mining sector attracted 17 percent during the same time.

Gita said expansion of existing facilities was complemented by new investment in the textile and footwear sectors, especially factory relocations to Indonesia from Vietnam and China.

“It indicates a rising trust in Indonesia’s investment environment among both local and global players,” he said, adding that Indonesia’s competitive wages were a major attraction.

Rising wages in China and political uncertainty in Thailand are seen as contributing to investment in Indonesia, which has low wages, abundant natural resources and a huge domestic market.

The Indonesian Footwear Association (Aprisindo) told the Jakarta Globe last week that six footwear manufacturers would relocate from China and Vietnam to Indonesia this year, investing a total of $550 million. Aprisindo chairman Eddy Widjanarko told the Globe that he expected another 20 such relocations next year.

Carmaker Nissan last month outlined plans to double its production capacity and more than quadruple its sales in Indonesia by 2013, adding that it would consider making the country its export hub for Southeast Asia.

Gundy Cahyadi, an economist with OCBC Bank said: “In general, the total investment growth in the first half does suggest that investment climate has improved in Indonesia. Certainly, this strong number is partly caused by the low basis effect from the financial crisis that was still prevalent in early 2009. But no doubt the fact that investors are returning to look into Indonesia is a positive for the growth outlook.”

But Gundy added that investors would continue scrutinizing domestic policies and the success of the government’s reform agenda.

Enrico Tanuwidjaja, a regional economist at OSK-DMG Group in Singapore, said the encouraging investment data strengthened the group’s forecast for Indonesia’s economy to achieve 6 percent growth this year.

“It is encouraging also to see more investment, both domestic and foreign-origin, fall into the transportation area and our hope is for the investment to improve upon the efficiency of cross-provincial transportation system so as to reduce the transportation costs and consequently lower food prices” and the prices of other related items.

Gita was optimistic that the FDI figure would continue growing strongly for the year.

“There are $10 billion of investment that could be pledged and signed in the second half, mostly from abroad, like Asia and Europe,” he said.

Local investors seem to share their foreign counterparts’ bullish view, as they reportedly invested Rp 21.9 trillion ($2.4 billion) in the first half, dwarfing the Rp 1.9 trillion in the same period a year ago.

Total investment in the first half rose to Rp 92.9 trillion, up 40 percent from the year-earlier period. In 2009, total investment reached $14.9 billion.

Indonesia has entered a rolling-blackout-free era

Jakarta Globe & Antara
SBY Inaugurates ‘Blackout-Free’ Era

Indonesia. Indonesia has entered a rolling-blackout-free era. At least that’s according to President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono, who arrived in Mataram, West Nusa Tenggara, on Tuesday to officially launch the government’s new electricity program.

The “Indonesia Free From Rolling Blackouts” launch was attended by, among others, Energy Minister Darwin Zahedy Saleh and Coordinating Minister for the Economy Hatta Rajasa.

The official launch came two days after Dahlan Iskan, president director of state utility PT Perusahaan Listrik Negara, said the country now had sufficient power supplies to end scheduled blackouts, which he vowed to do effective immediately after vocal protests from industries that a rate hike passed in June had burdened them with increases far greater than that promised.

Dahlan’s pronouncement was greeted with skepticism, however, by industry analysts who said the complexity of the problems facing PLN might cause Dahlan to regret making his vow.

Speaking in Lombok, Yudhoyono said 19 million households across the country still had no access to electricity, and emphasized the need for concrete efforts in the sector.

He said PLN’s next target should be to assure that anyone who wanted electricity would be able to access it.

“The government continues to strive in electricity so that the poor will be able to enjoy it,” he said. “Everyone knows it is our homework. Access to electricity is also connected with justice. It is unfair if some people still do not have access to electricity.”

He added that the central and regional governments were both actively working on the problem.

Meanwhile, Darwin said the government was now buying power from private companies, using leased generators and shortening maintenance times to help PLN meet the goal of preventing scheduled blackouts.

“If outages are still occurring, it must be because of local problems,” he insisted.

He added the government intended to accelerate the first phase of the 10,000 megawatt “fast-track” electricity generating program, with a focus on building new coal-fired plants, that was scheduled for completion in 2012.

The second phase, which will shift away from coal, is intended to add a further 10,000 MW of capacity by 2014.

Garuda Faces Strike Threat As Unions and Bosses Clash

Irvan Tisnabudi Jakarta Globe

In this file photo, a PT Garuda Indonesia airplane takes off from Soekarno-Hatta International Airport in Cengkareng, Indonesia. Union leaders and management at Garuda Indonesia are at loggerheads over recent labor negotiations. (Bloomberg Photo/Dimas Ardian)

Indonesia. Union leaders and management at PT Garuda Indonesia are at loggerheads over recent labor negotiations, with unions saying their bosses have reneged on an agreement and management claiming no deal has been reached.

Union leaders said they would petition President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono on Thursday to intervene, adding that a strike was not out of the question.

Tomy Tampatty, spokesman for union Serikat Pekerja Garuda (Sekarga), said negotiations in February had resulted in an agreement for an across-the-board 50 percent pay rise for all workers, as well as lowering the retirement age for pilots from 60 to 56.

“The joint agreement resulted in those two decisions, but management still won’t admit to those two terms,” Tomy told the Jakarta Globe.

However, Garuda corporate secretary Pudjobroto told the Globe that the negotiations were ongoing and no agreement had been reached.

“The so-called joint ‘agreement’ is still being discussed with the Ministry of Manpower and Transmigration, so it hasn’t become a formal agreement yet,” he said. “Those terms are merely demands from the workers union at this point.

“The ministry will help sort out the demands of the employees and decide which demands will be agreed upon.”

Pudjobroto said that for the past three years Garuda had adjusted salaries in line with workers’ performance and this had helped the airline’s transformation from money-loser to profit-maker.

Previously, they had periodically increased all workers’ salaries regardless of performance.

Pudjobroto also claimed that Garuda pilots had agreed to maintain the retirement age of 60, even though national law mandates retirement for all employees at 56.

However, Stephanus Gerardus, president of the Garuda Pilots’ Association (APG), told the Globe that the pilots did, in fact, request the retirement age be lowered to 56, and that management had agreed.

(Most of Garuda’s 600 pilots are members of Sekarga and APG.)

In a battle of wills that is likely to drag on, both sides have dismissed the other’s claims.

Pudjobroto has even questioned whether APG has the support of the majority of its 5,200 members.

“The demands of the workers’ union do not reflect the demands of all Garuda employees,” Pudjobroto said.

Sekarga president Salim Abubakar countered that the demands of the union did, in fact, reflect the preferences of Garuda employees, while offering some dramatic leveraging of his own.

“A strike will be conducted as soon as possible, most likely within this year, if Garuda’s management does not commit to our joint agreement with them,” Salim said.

Tomy further attested to Sekarga’s resolve, announcing that the union would send a letter to Yudhoyono on Thursday regarding their demands.

But when asked about the possibility of a strike, Tomy was less threatening, saying that it would be the last option if negotiations failed. Still, he wouldn’t completely rule out resorting to a work stoppage.

“We’ll see how the president reacts to our letter,” the union leader said.

Bali Bound on a Kite String

BALAM Dance Theatre | Jul 26, 2010 | there are 0 comments 0
Carlos Fittante as

Carlos Fittante as "Rama" in Rama's Meditation from the "Ramayana"

by Carlos Fittante, Artistic Director, BALAM Dance Theatre

What does it take to pull together the international tour of a dance company? A dance enthusiast asked me that question, which got me thinking about the skills needed to organize Bali Tour 2010 for BALAM Dance Theatre.

The stresses we face are typical, including a tight budget, many things to do and not enough staff, etc. Rather than giving advice on stretching a budget, I want to share the following directorial points of view that guide me in rallying the BALAM Dance Theatre team to stretch the kite string all the way to Bali.

Maintain a good attitude. Interact with others with a calm and trusting disposition.

Create a sense of abundance. In your daily interactions and preparations, especially in rehearsals, try to bring a feeling of ease and availability to the situation.

Patience is a virtue. When required, I have developed the ability to slow down my pace during interactions, allowing time for me to get involved in the nitty-gritty of the problem, while reducing my potential for being annoyed.

Listen to the messenger. Try to understand what is said and simultaneously feel what is in the heart of the individual, as the person states it. The motivation behind the words is the essential communication.

Use these three lucky charms: breathing, smiling, and waiting. These three activities can help divert a conflict.

Apologies can heal. The ability to apologize sincerely to a colleague is essential. Let the person know you care about their feelings, regardless of a difference of opinion. People are more important than getting what you want.

Acceptance is a sign of maturity. Be able to accept terms that are not your preferences. The creative process is all about accepting and incorporating boundaries and, at the same time, trying to stretch past them.

These realizations are the foundation of my directorial style and have helped me throughout the planning of Bali Tour 2010.
For more information about BALAM Dance Theatre or Bali Tour 2010 and ongoing updates throughout the tour, visit,, and

SBY Meets Soros at Tampaksiring Palace in Bali

Tuesday, 27 July, 2010 | 21:44 WIB

TEMPO Interactive, Jakarta:President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono yesterday departed for Bali to attend the National Students Art Creation Competition and to meet with George Soros.

The meeting with Soros was held at the Tampaksiring Palace in Gianyar, Bali. To his guest, as quoted in the President’s website, SBY introduced the Tampaksiring Palace to Soros. He also said the palace is one of the most beautiful palaces in the country.

SBY was accompanied by the Coordinating Minister for People’s Welfare Agung Laksono, Environment Minister Muhammad Gusti Hatta, State Secretary Sudi Silalahi, Cabinet Secretary Dipo Alam, Culture and Tourism Minister Jero wacik, and Presidential spokesperson, Julian Aldrin Pasha.

Before starting the meeting, the president mentioned that his meeting with Soros was to discuss about climate change. Soros, who is the United Nation’s ambassador for environmental issues, had just returned from Kalimantan to look at the condition of the forests there.

Later on Wednesday, the president is scheduled to visit Lombok, West Nusa Tenggar to attend the event “Indonesia Free From Rotating Power Shut Downs.”


BALI GREEN SCHOOL BALI - one of the most groundbreaking schools on the planet

The green school

GREEN SCHOOL BALI is one of the most groundbreaking schools on the planet, hoping to produce a generation of citizens who are knowledgeable about and inspired to take responsibility for the sustainability of the world.

Situated on the Indonesian island of Bali, the first impression could be of a hippy camp in the jungle but here, the objective is for the school’s children to tune in to the world around them, not drop out from a consumerist society.

The school was founded two years ago with a focus on environmental protection and sustainability, but the 130 pupils also learn mathematics, physics, philosophy, English grammar and mathematics to the Cambridge IGCSE standard.

"A life-changing experience," says Renee Schipp, whose 13-year-old daughter Greta has been attending the school for a few months now.

"We have seen the transformation of a teenager, who previously barely opened her mouth at meal times but now discusses Plato and environmental protection with us."

The Australians are delighted with Greta’s progress. "Our daughter has found her voice and learnt that her views are valued," says father Ashley.

"The children are more socially engaged, understand cultural and linguistic differences and have greater respect for others," explains the school’s German teacher, Satya Berger.

The stony road to the school at Sibang Kaja, which lies a quarter of an hour’s drive south of the artist town of Ubud, weaves its way through jungle and is lined by trees and palms.

Travellers have to cross the river Ayung by means of a bamboo bridge and continue along the unlit route before the school building suddenly comes into view.

The single classrooms are spread over eight hectares and are almost invisible as their construction entirely out of bamboo means they blend superbly into the forest.

The school also uses compost toilets to reduce its impact on the local environment and has, at its heart, a two-storey open hall that serves as an atrium and will also house the planned library.

Lessons take place inside and outside with students switching on a regular basis. The classrooms rely on natural ventilation and air-conditioning is only used in the bamboo huts on particularly humid days.

Each class is responsible for its own garden, supplying the canteen with any harvest. "It’s so much fun here," says one 13-year-old schoolboy from Belgium who is standing with friends at the organic restaurant on his last day before returning home for his summer holidays.

"I’m sad because we’re moving away from Bali," he explains.

As well as the usual subjects, the school’s timetable includes yoga, organic farming, water treatment and the manufacture of batik, a Javanese cloth that traditionally uses a manual wax-resist dyeing technique.

Children also learn the Balinese martial art of mepantigan which involves the techniques of throwing and locking.

Most importantly, the children have to have no fear of getting their hands dirty as a lot of physics and biology classes take place in the forest or along the river.

Berger’s seven-year-old son Melvin also attends the school.

"We were won over by the academic timetable, combined with the essential skills the children learn here that means they are more environmentally aware," he says. "They are being brought up to have values that will last them a lifetime."

Understanding the environment is not a separate topic but is a thread that runs through all subjects.

"Today’s school education needs to be more focused on the needs of the 21st century than was previously the case," explains admissions director Ben Macrory. "We want to raise creative problem-solvers."

The school was founded by John and Cynthia Hardy, an American couple who for years produced silver jewellery in Bali. The Hardys have since sold their factory, which was mainly built of bamboo and with minimal impact on the neighbouring rice fields.

"This school should stand in the vanguard of revolutionary education in the 21st century," says Cynthia.

The school emphasises taking responsibility for each other, the importance of a social conscience, promoting creativity and caring for the environment.

It’s not cheap, however, with parents paying up to US$10,000 (RM32,000) per year with scholarships only available to locals.

Next year, the Hardys expect between 150 and 170 schoolchildren through their doors. – dpa

People urged to take active role in forest conservation

Wasti Atmodjo, The Jakarta Post, Denpasar | Wed, 07/28/2010 10:49 AM | Bali
A | A | A |

The Bali Forestry Office has implemented community-based seed-planting programs in 77 villages across Bali as part of a national program to mobilize communities in forest conservation.

The head of the office, A.A.N. Buana, said they would distribute Rp 3 billion in funds from the provincial budget to run the program until the end of 2010.

"This national program is in line with our plans to empower individual communities," he said.

Through the program, the office's field staff would train villagers on how to cultivate seeds of rare plants in effective ways in a "transfer of technology from experts to the communities".

The first priority was to cultivate productive plants, which have high economic value. Farmers would be able to benefit from the wood or fruit of those plants, he said.

There are a number of endangered plants as well as productive fruit plants such as mangosteens and mango, which can be cultivated through the program.

The program also encourages active participation by locals in preserving forest areas and rare plant species. In terms of economic value, farmers will be able to sell plant seeds as well as harvest the plants' yields.

"Some trees have high economic value as they produce high quality wood fit for handicrafts and art works," he said.

The office, he said, would help local farmers select the best plants for their respective to take advantage of geographically specific soils, water abundance and other factors.

Buana said since 2008, the office had delivered one million seeds to 66 local farmer groups in Jembrana, Buleleng, Klungkung, Tabanan, Gianyar and Karangasem regencies.

I Gusti Made Oka Ratawan, a farmer who once worked at the forestry office, said he was glad to hear about the program.

Ratawan now grows various rare plants such as mejanggau, a native plant of Bali.

"Many people are unaware of the richness of native Balinese plants. They plant them in their homes without knowing their economic value," he said.

The program would encourage other farmers to cultivate the endangered plants, which are good for medicinal purposes, he said.

Carmichael wins Billabong Pro Junior

ESPN Action Sports

ASPCarmichael, handling solid swell.

Australia's Wade Carmichael has won the Billabong Pro Junior Asia in pumping, four-to-five-foot surf at the Keramas Rivermouth in Bali, Indonesia. The 17-year-old beat out New Zealand's James Woods despite Woods posting 9.0 early on in the final.

"I was really concerned when Woods scored that 9-point ride early but I sort of told myself to relax and concentrate on getting a great wave. There were a lot of excellent waves coming through and I'd scored big prior to the final and realized I simply had to score a big one again," said Carmichael afterward.

Carmichael responded to Woods's ride with a 8.75 before backing it up with a 7.75. Woods needed a 7.5 but failed to find it in the final 10 minutes.

This was Carmichael's first final and best-ever result in any ASP Pro Junior event. He took home $7,000 in prize money and Woods with $3000.

Billabong Pro Junior Asia 2010 Final Day Results:

1. Wade Carmichael (AUS/NSW/Central Coast) 16.50
2. James Woods (AUS/Qld/Coolangatta) 15.50

Semi 1: Wade Carmichael def. Blake Ainsworth
Semi 2: James Woods def. Thomas Woods

Quarter 1: Wade Carmichael def. Garrett Parkes
Quarter 2: Blake Ainsworth def. Ty Watson
Quarter 3: James Woods def. Ryan Callinan
Quarter 4: Thomas Woods def. Beyrick Des Vries (Sth Africa)

Monday, July 26, 2010

Lombok Resort Still on Track: Emaar

Lombok Resort Still on Track: Emaar

Jakarta. Dubai-based property developer Emaar Properties has again been forced to deny it has pulled out of a $600 million resort project on the island of Lombok, which has been idle for years.

The property developer said it had “responded on time and with total commitment to the proposals of [joint developer] the Bali Tourism Development Corporation for the project.”

The statement came in response to comments from the Indonesian government, published by the local media last week, which said that officials were to retender the project after Emaar pulled out.

Emaar said it had provided recommendations on how it intended to proceed with the development, adding: “Emaar has strong financial fundamentals and will undertake all strategic projects across its key markets.” Emaar did not disclose the current status of the project.

Last week, the head of the Indonesian Investment Coordinating Board, Gita Wirjawan, said potential investors from Abu Dhabi, Qatar, the United Arab Emirates and India had expressed interest and could be ready to replace Emaar.

This is not the first time that Emaar has denied pulling out of the project.

In March, the Jakarta Globe reported that Emaar said it was still planning to proceed and was awaiting a response from an expression of interest it had submitted to the Bali tourism authority.

The comment in March was made after the Indonesian ambassador to the United Arab Emirates, Mohammad Supriyadi, said that Emaar had abandoned the project.

PLN Pledges to End Rolling Indonesian Power Cuts

Jakarta. Less than a week after the president called Indonesia’s electricity problems a “crisis,” the head of state utility PT PLN said the country now had a sufficient power supply and promised an end to scheduled blackouts.

“There will be no more scheduled blackouts,” Dahlan Iskan told the Jakarta Globe on Sunday. “We have made numerous improvements in the last six months, especially in regions that used to suffer blackouts due to a shortage of power such as Aceh, Belawan in North Sumatra and Manado in North Sulawesi.

“We have made many improvements across the country,” he said, adding that there were now enough energy reserves to avoid scheduled blackouts.

“Our energy reserve in Java and the island of Bali is 19 percent, while in other regions it is 10 percent,” he said.

Dahlan acknowledged that some regions outside Java and Bali, such as South Kalimantan and North Maluku, continued to experience power shortages, but said PLN was able to channel electricity from surrounding regions to prevent blackouts.

He said he had reorganized the government’s 10,000-megawatt “fast-track” electricity-generating program, appointing heads for every project that was part of the program.

“I saw that these projects were behind schedule due to a lack of control,” he said, adding that the new project heads would help speed up the work.

Dahlan also said that PLN was now better positioned to fix failing transformers quickly, which would help ease blackouts.

“You can see with the Muara Karang incident, it was fixed in less than 30 hours,” he said, referring to a problematic transformer that caused electricity cuts in parts of the capital last week.

“We did not need two months to do it. I am going to report all the improvements we have achieved in the last six months to the president when he attends an event on Tuesday in Mataram, Lombok.”

Dahlan said he would also brief President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono on problems that PLN had yet to resolve.

Fabby Tumiwa, executive director of the Institute for Essential Services Reform, however, told the Globe that Dahlan would likely regret making such promises.

“He should not be making promises about the capacity of PLN as it is unlikely the company can fulfill them due to the complexity of the problems,” Fabby said. “Electricity is not a simple matter and when he says that there will be no more blackouts, he should realize that this involves many technical issues.”

He said PLN still had a lot of work to do. “It doesn’t have the necessary infrastructure and it should realize it can’t handle all these power issues alone, that it has limitations,” Fabby said.

He suggested Indonesia rent diesel-fueled power generators to add capacity to meet the target of having a secure power reserve of at least 30 percent. “Based on my calculations, they need more than 1,000 megawatts to be generated by the generators at a cost of Rp 5 trillion [$555 million],” he said.

“The no-blackout pledge may last only three to six months.”

Critical land' in Bali increasing

`Critical land' in Bali increasing
| Mon, 07/26/2010 10:09 AM | Bali
A | A | A |

DENPASAR: The amount of critical land in Bali has reached 51.107 hectares, or 9.1 percent of the entire island. Critical land is a term used to describe land that has suffered severe physical, chemical or biological damage.

"Plots of critical land were found inside and outside the island's forested areas. In Buleleng, Bangli, Karangasem and Klungkung we came across critical lands inside the forested areas," said I Wayan Restu a researcher at Udayana University's Center for Environmental Research.

"In 2008, the amount of critical land inside forested areas reached 18,450 hectares, or 14.1 percent of the total size of the island's forest," he said. "The area with the largest amount of critical land is Nusa Penida island. The amount of critical land on that island is 13,825 hectares. - JP

Thursday, July 22, 2010

A wild civet eats ripe Arabika coffee fruit at a coffee plantation on Bali

Sonny Tumbelakka / AFP / Getty Images

I'll have another batch for you in, oh, about 12 hours: A wild civet eats ripe Arabika coffee fruit at a coffee plantation on Bali. The cat-like critter then excretes the beans, which are washed, dried and ground to produce the world's most expensive coffee - up to $500 per kilogram. The civet's digestive system gives the brew its unique flavor.

Read more:
Wednesday, Jul. 21, 2010

I'll have another batch for you in, oh, about 12 hours: A wild civet eats ripe Arabika coffee fruit at a coffee plantation on Bali. The cat-like critter then excretes the beans, which are washed, dried and ground to produce the world's most expensive coffee - up to $500 per kilogram. The civet's digestive system gives the brew its unique flavor.

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Red Bull Heli Surf Winners Exclaimed Contentment!

Red Bull Heli Surf
Surfersvillage Global Surf News, 21 July, 2010 : - - Bali – The unique paddle race host by Red Bull called Red Bull Heli Surf had successfully held for the first time in Bali at Halfway, Kuta Beach on July 17, 2010.

On the sunny day, all 150 participants of Red Bull Heli Surf showed the real art of paddling, which is essential for surfing. The enthusiasm was obviously seen from their faces since the registration until the race start at 14.30 WITA. They had been in position at 14.00 WITA and not even bothered by the high sun. The race started when Red Bull helicopter appeared above all participants and spectators.

Red Bull Heli Surf not only attracting local surfers but also surfers from worldwide who are in Bali for vacation as well. The interesting fact of this race is a 6-year-old boy participant who competes with the seniors with no fear and doubt. He is the youngest participants in this race. On the other side, a 53-year-old man is the oldest participant.

All participants had to paddle from the Kuta beach to a buoy in a distance ocean about 350 meters. The first to reach the buoy is a young surfer from Sydney, Australia. The 19-year-old surfer, Mitch Kenyon reached the buoy in only 10 minutes. Followed by a 25-year-old Switzerland surfer, Michael Schmid, and the third one is a 21-year-old surfer from UK, Matt Rivers.

Exited winners were awarded by event sponsors Oakley and Macbeth while the grand prize was waiting for them – a private helicopter flight to G-Land. The three lucky winners had the opportunity to spend the whole weekend in G-Land Joyo’s Camp attending the private coaching clinic with Red Bull Pro Surfer, Ross Clarke-Jones, legendary Australian big wave rider.

Unforgettable experiences and satisfaction were clearly seen from the three winners’ faces after they came back from G-Land. “This is really a once-in-a-lifetime experience! G-Land is really cool and awesome! A weekend of perfect barrels in a great company! There is no other better place! I am so fortunate to participate in this race”, said the first winner Mitch Kenyon.

The other two winners agree with Mitch. “It’s really an awesome weekend. I’ve never thought I will win this race”, explain Michael. Matt added,” That was my first time in helicopter and also my first time in G-Land! I heard a lot about this place - the perfect waves and still not crowded. I was very excited!”

Mitch actually has known the Red Bull Heli Surf race in his country but has no chance to participate. When he came for vacation in Bali and found out that Red Bull will held Red Bull Heli Surf in Bali, he quickly came to participate with no doubt. “I’ve known this race in my country, but had no chance to participate. Knowing it will be held in Bali, I, with no doubt trying to compete and accomplish it. It’ll be my awesome vacation prize!” explain Mitch. He learns how to surf at 11 years old.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Bali to design road map to become green province

Ni Komang Erviani, The Jakarta Post, Denpasar | Wed, 07/21/2010 12:06 PM | National

Bali has laid out a road map to create a clean, green and healthy province, the first green province in Indonesia.

Governor Made Mangku Pastika claimed that all policies regarding tourism, agriculture, businesses must be in line with the administration's strong commitment in going green.

All stakeholders in the community such as religious leaders, business people, NGOs and academics are involved in drawing up the green plan.

In February this year, Bali declared itself as a green province with the launch of Bali Clean and Green campaigns.

"The planned road map will be a landmark to realize our commitment to establish a green province," Pastika said.

There are three main programs in the road map, namely green culture, green economy and green environment. Included in the programs are the revitalization of traditional organic farming systems and non-plastic waste programs.

In the last few years, Bali has faced serious environmental problems due to the rapid growth of the tourist industry and its increasing population.

Massive developments of various tourist-related projects and supporting infrastructures have robbed the island's fertile lands and have caused environmental degradation in several areas.

According data from Bali Agriculture office, the island loses around 750 hectares of rice paddies per year, mostly due to land conversion into hotels, villas and housing.

In 2009, the office's data showed that the island's total area of rice paddies was 81,361 hectares, significantly less than the 86,071 hectares recorded ten years ago.

However, since last year local administrations have pledged to implement pro-farmer policies. Denpasar municipality, for instance, provides tax breaks to farmers who retain their rice fields.

The administration allocated up to Rp. 2.5 billion from its annual budget to subsidize 1,000 hectares of rice paddies. This policy has proven effective in curbing the rate of land conversion as well as encouraging farmers to retain their rice paddies.

Bali pledges to revive village cooperatives

| Wed, 07/21/2010 12:06 PM | National
A | A | A |

DENPASAR: Bali is looking to further revive its village unit cooperatives, which have become the island's major economic drivers.

Dewa Patra, head of Cooperatives and Small Scale Businesses, told reporters prior to the commemoration of the 63rd anniversary of the Indonesian cooperatives, that Bali has around 3,457, or 93.7 percent, of Bali's 3,689 cooperatives were "healthy". Around 70 percent of the total are registered as qualified cooperatives.

"The annual growth of cooperatives has been encouraging at five percent a year," he added.

In rural areas, village cooperatives have played significant roles in driving the local economy. Bali cooperatives have around Rp 3.2 trillion in assets, employ 14,155 workers and have almost 860,000 members.

"We are optimistic to develop Bali as a cooperative province earlier than its targeted year in 2012," Patra said.

Currently, Gianyar regency has 1,000 cooperatives with artisans making up the bulk of members. Bali has numerous farming cooperatives, savings and loans cooperatives, handicraft cooperatives and many others. - JP

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Celebrity Cruises to return to Australia, New Zealand Bali in 2011

Comments 4

By Gene Sloan, USA TODAY

JUST POSTED: Celebrity to end voyages from Baltimore. Click HERE for details

Celebrity Cruises says it will return to Australia and New Zealand in late 2011 -- nearly three years after pulling out of the region.

The line says the 1,814-passenger Celebrity Century will sail a series of voyages around the countries starting in November 2011.

"We're thrilled to return to Australia and New Zealand," Celebrity CEO Dan Hanrahan says in a statement. "It's a region our guests and trade partners around the world have said they wanted to experience again with Celebrity."

Celebrity sailed its last voyages in Australia and New Zealand in early 2009. It announced its pull-out from the region in late 2008 as the economy tumbled and American vacationers cut back on far-flung travel.

The new Australia and New Zealand cruises will be book-ended by a series of vacation options in Hawaii as well as voyages that stop in Indonesia and French Polynesia. The lineup includes 10 distinct itineraries with six departure ports including Sydney and Perth (Fremantle), Australia; Auckland, New Zealand; Honolulu, Hawaii; San Diego, California, and Ensenada, Mexico.

RELATED: Royal Caribbean to dispatch a second ship to Australia
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ALSO ONLINE: Are Seabourn and Crystal the world's best lines?

The new series of Pacific and Asia cruises begins Oct. 2, 2011, with two consecutive 15-night Hawaii sailings from San Diego, followed by a 10-night Hawaii cruise from Ensenada to Honolulu. An 18-night "Pacific Jewels" voyage departs Honolulu on Nov. 11, 2011 followed by five 12- and 13-night New Zealand cruises between Sydney and Auckland.

Celebrity says the new New Zealand cruises will offer a more destination-rich experience for cruisers that what is available from most competing lines, with only three days at sea as compared to five on many rival itineraries.

Cruisers also will have the opportunity to experience a rare, 36-night circumnavigational voyage – a first for Celebrity – through two combinable 18-night sailings: One will sail around the southern portion of Australia, featuring an overnight stay in Sydney and transits through three sounds – Milford, Doubtful and Dusky – in New Zealand's World Heritage-designated Fiordland National Park. The second of the combinable 18-night sailings takes cruisers around Australia's northern coast, and features a visit to the idyllic island of Bali, Indonesia – marking yet another first for Celebrity.

The new series also includes two 18-night trans-Pacific voyages visiting the French Polynesian islands and Hawaii.

Among the ports Celebrity will visit for the first time are Geraldton, Broome, Darwin, Cairns, Brisbane, Adelaide, Albany, Bunbury and Perth, Australia, in addition to Burnie, Tasmania, and Bali.

Celebrity also says it has created a series of cruisetour packages to complement the Australia cruises, with details to be announced when bookings open for the entire slate of vacation options on Thursday, July 29. Celebrity says it also will announce details of an early booking incentive on that date.

The 1,814-guest Celebrity Century is ideal for offering guests spectacular views of the scenic region, having been refitted in 2006 to add 314 new verandas, along with the elegant Murano restaurant and the truly "cool" Martini ice bar.

Celebrity's new itineraries replace a previously announced series of 12-night Caribbean cruises from Baltimore on Celebrity Century.

Cruise Loggers, share your thoughts below.

Posted Jul 19 2010 11:19AM

Monday, July 19, 2010

Indonesian Government Puts Cap On Electricity Rate Hike

President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono said the rate hike was an unavoidable “bitter option,” and warned companies not to take advantage of the situation. (Antara Photo/Bhakti Pundhowo)

Jakarta. The government on Monday vowed to cap an electricity rate increase for industrial users at 18 percent.

Hata Rajasa, the coordinating minister for the economy, said most industries would see an increase of between 12 percent and 15 percent, as outlined when the rate hike was passed last month.

“Only a small number will see a price hike that reaches 18 percent,” the coordinating minister said at the State Palace.

Meanwhile, President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono said the rate hike was an unavoidable “bitter option,” and warned companies not to take advantage of the situation by introducing excessive price increases on goods and services for consumers.

He said the rate hike was not too severe for companies, and that the government had already considered its impact on production costs.

“It is morally unacceptable for companies to take advantage of the situation by doubling [prices] despite the fact that the actual increase is relatively small,” Yudhoyono said. He said he had instructed Hatta to ensure the rate increase by PLN would not make the public suffer.

“I will not be reluctant in warning those who heartlessly increase the cost of production, goods or services more than the proper rate,” he said.

Sofyan Wanandi, chairman of the Indonesian Employers Association (Apindo), said an estimated 60 business associations had agreed to delay any price increases or layoffs as a result of the rate bump until the situation was clarified, or until Aug. 1, when they were scheduled to receive their power bills.

Erwin Aksa, chairman of the Indonesian Young Entrepreneurs Association, said on Monday that the association’s members could accept a cap of 18 percent.

Erwin, president director of cement producer Bosowa Production, said the electricity rate for the cement industry had soared by 40 percent, and if unchanged would lead to a price increase of up to 15 percent.

“Electricity costs account for roughly 25 percent of production cost,” he said.

The House of Representatives last month approved an Energy Ministry decree enabling state utility PT Perusahaan Listrik Negara to raise rates.

The rate hike was intended to enable PLN, which has been forced to sell electricity at below costs for years, to raise revenue and invest in the nation’s ailing power infrastructure. The government electricity subsidy was Rp 56 trillion ($6.2 billion) last year alone.

However, the government promised a rate hike of between 6 percent and 15 percent for industrial users, and was later forced to acknowledge that some rates had climbed by 40 percent, while some industries claimed their rates soared by 80 percent or had even doubled.

The government blamed “extra variable fees” for the discrepancy. These fees impose additional charges for large industries during peak usage hours and for those that exceed average consumption levels.

Effendi Simbolon, an Indonesian Democratic Party of Struggle (PDI-P) lawmaker and deputy chairman of House of Representatives Commission VII, which deals with energy affairs, said the commission would support a cap at 18 percent if businesses agreed.

He also urged the government to issue a presidential decree to enact the rate hike, instead of the existing Energy Ministry decree.

He said a presidential decree was needed because any rate hike must supersede a presidential decree establishing the existing rates, and a ministerial decree could not do that legally.

“The ministerial decree can be considered illegal as the [existing] presidential decree is superior to the ministerial decree. A ministerial decree can’t cancel out a presidential decree,” he said.

“If PLN insists on using the ministerial decree to calculate monthly power rates, the rates can be considered illegal and an act of corruption.”

Housewives complain about rising prices

| Mon, 07/19/2010 11:47 AM | National
DENPASAR: Housewives in Bali's capital are expressing outrage at the sudden increase in the price of basic commodities.

"Rice now costs Rp 14,000 per kilogram, a Rp 500 increase from three days ago. Chili now sells for Rp 50,000 per kilogram. This increase will badly affect our expenses," a housewife, Nyoman Surni, said, adding that her husband was only a low-level clerk with a limited salary.

Surni said she usually spent Rp 20,000 per day to buy basic commodities, but that currently, that amount wasn't enough any more. - JP

Hometown Hero Dede Suryana Wins West Java Open 2010

West Java Open
Supported by Quiksilver

Coca-Cola ISC Tour 6 Star event
Cimaja, West Java
14 - 18 July 2010

Surfersvillage Global Surf News, 18 July, 2010 : - - Cimaja-West Java: Hometown surfing hero Dede Suryana claimed victory today at the West Java Open 2010 supported by Quiksilver at his homebreak of Cimaja, putting together a riveting display of aggressive and radical surfing against Pepen Henrik from Bali, who is the current Coca-Cola ISC Tour points leader.

To the delight of the fans gathered along the shore, Suryana and Hendrik traded waves and big maneuvers in the 25-minute final held in 3-4 foot waves at the cobblestone beach righthander. Suryana took the lead early and never relinquished it, but was seriously threatened near the end of heat. Had Hendrik landed an aerial he attempted on the inside section there might have been a different result, but the consistency and quality of Suryana’s surfing had him completing difficult maneuvers and racking up points to come back to the beach the victor.

Suryana was ecstatic and very emotional, saying, “I’m so happy right now, this is the best thing ever. To win this event at my hometown in front of my family and friends is like a dream come true. I’ve been all over the world doing WQS events lately so to be at my home break with my parents, brothers, sisters friends and everyone here, is something super special.” He then paused to wipe tears from his eyes, overcome with emotion.

Dede Suryana : photo Tim Haim / ISC

“It’s my mom here who is really the champion, so to have here and my dad to see me win is so great. Later on the podium he added, “I want to thank my sponsors Quiksilver and Coca Cola for their support, the ISC, and all the surfers from Bali that came to compete in this event. I hope the government can continue to support this event next year and on in the future. Thanks to them and to Diki, Boyke, and all the locals who have helped out in this event and made it a success.”

For his win today, Suryana receives Rp 12.5 million in cash and 3,000 ISC Championship points, and runner up Hendrik receives Rp 7 million and 2,500 points. Hendrik was also smiling after the final, knowing that he put on a good performance and that his number one ranking on the ISC tour was still intact with his runner up finish.

When asked about his he felt about the outcome he replied, “I was being patient in the final waiting for the best waves, because I knew I would have to get a big wave and surf it well or I wouldn’t win against Dede. But there just weren’t many coming through in the first half of the final so I got behind, which made it hard. If I would’ve completed that one aerial it might have been enough to take the win. But Dede was surfing so good out there, he deserved to win. I’m really happy for him and I’m still at the top of the rankings, so it’s been a great event here at Cimaja for me.”

Open podium : photo Tim Hain

The West Java Open 2010 Coca-Cola Indonesian Surfing Championship event began last Thursday, July 15, with 65 surfers from all over Indonesia coming to the seaside town of Cimaja in West Java to compete for prestige, cash and points towards the Coca-Cola ISC Championship, where at years end the overall champion in the Open Division will receive Rp. 100 million.

The official opening ceremony took place at the DiDesa Hotel in Cimaja on July 15 with speeches, and cultural dances, and the opening gong being rung by Mr. Ir. H. Herdiwan MM from the West Java Tourism Department. The closing ceremony will also be held at the same venue tonight at 7 pm.

Preceding the Open Division surfing finals today there were also the Master’s Division and Women’s Division finals.

Womens podium : photo Tim Hain

In the Women’s Division it was last year’s Coca-Cola ISC Women’s Champion Yasnyiar Gea (Nias) who was the winner, putting on a great backside surfing performance to best her opponents and receive Rp 2.5 million. Runner up Febrie Rahmaningsih (Sumatra) recently won back-to-back events in Bali but couldn’t best Gea today, but goes home with Rp 1.5 million.

In the Master’s Final it was Ketut Wirtawan from Bali taking it out over his fellow over-35-year-old competitors, also on his backside. Throwing up huge fans of spray with his powerful turns he impressed the fans on the beach and the judges to get the win over last year’s Coca-Cola ISC Master’s Champion Wayan Widiartha. Wirtawan jumps up to second place in the rankings with his win today as well as puts Rp 2.5 million into his pocket.

Coca-Cola ISC Judge and Javanese surfing legend Arya Subyakto was very pleased and optimistic after the event, saying “This is the first time that the government has involved a professional organization like the ISC in an event like this, so it’s a great step forward for both surfing and tourism in Java. This is an ideal example for other areas in Indonesia to follow, as we hope that more and more government entities recognize that this is supporting both the surfing athletes and the tourism in their area.”

Masters podium : phto Tim Hain

You can view photos and video's of the West Java Open 2010 also at Facebook at Indonesian Surfing Championship and Quiksilver Indonesia

West Java Open 2010 Contest Results

Open Division
1st Dede Suryana – West Java (14.75 points)
2nd Pepen Hendrik – Bali (13.9 points)
Equal 3rd – Raditya Rondi (Bali) and Dedi Santosa (Bali)

Master’s Division
1. Ketut Wirtawan (Bali)
2. Wayan Widiartha (Bali)
3. Ketut Juliarta (Bali)
4. Sujary (West Java)

Women’s Division
1. Yasnyiar Gea (Nias)
2. Febrie Rahmaningsih (Sumatra)
3. Iis Trisnawati (Pangandaran)
4. Jasmine (Bali)

The Coca-Cola Best Wave Award goes to Wayan “Betet” Merta for his perfect 10-point wave on Day 2 of the West Java Open 2010

Complete Results & Heatdraw

The West Java Open is a part of the West Java government’s tourism promotion initiative for 2010, supported by Vice Governor of West Java Mr. Yusuf M. Effendi, the Head of West Java Tourism Mr. Ir. H. Herdiwan MM, and the mayor of Sukabumi Mr. H. Dadang Hendar. Mr. Diki Zulfikar from Cimaja is the Contest Director.

The West Java Open 2010 is sponsored/supported by the Tourism Department of West Java, Quiksilver SEA, Coca-Cola Amatil Indonesia, the Coca-Cola ISC Tour, DiDesa Hotel and Spa, and Hotel Augusta with media partners Spice, FHM, Cosmo Girl, Trax, Men’s Fitness, SurfTime, Magic Wave, and Lines.

The West Java Open 2010 is sanctioned by the Coca-Cola Indonesian Surfing Championship Tour.

Check all related reports

New Bali service ready for take-off


July 19th, 2010

A NEW air service between Darwin and Bali is to start in October.

It will operate four times a week using 180-seat Airbus A320 planes.

Malaysia-based AirAsia will operate in competition to Jetstar, which has had a monopoly on the route since Garuda pulled out last year.

The service will be run by AirAsia's Indonesian arm.

Territorians will be able to fly to Kuala Lumpur via Bali and access the airline's network of cheap services including flights to Europe.

Return fares to London can be as little as $500.

Jetstar said yesterday it was not surprised that AirAsia was starting up a Darwin-Bali service.

The Australian airline operates a daily service to Denpasar and has connections from Bali to Singapore.

Jetstar spokesman Simon Westaway said the Darwin-Bali service was timed for seamless travel from around Australia.

He said flights from interstate arrived to link with the service if needed.

Mr Westaway said passengers could holiday in Bali and then kick on to Singapore, where Jetstar serviced 20 destinations.

"And that's separate from the Qantas services from Singapore," he said.

Mr Westaway said Jetstar was developing flights hubs at Darwin and Singapore.

The Northern Territory News predicted in March that AirAsia would start operating a Darwin-Bali service before the end of the year.

Territorians have complained that AirAsia changes flight times with little notice.

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Chinese tourists arrival to Indonesia's Bali ranks third

* Source: Xinhua * [18:02 July 07 2010]

Chinese tourists arrival to Indonesia's Bali province ranked third in January-May 2010 after Australia and Japan, an official said here on Wednesday.

Chinese position beats China's Taiwan and Malaysia.

Data released by Bali's Central Bureau of Statistic shows that foreign tourist arrival to the province in the period amounted 952,073 or increased 9.43 percent from the same period last year of 870,029.

"Chinese tourists amounted 83,350 or 8.77 percent, decreasing 2 percent compared to a year before," said the agency's head Ida Bagus Komang Wisnu.

He said that the decrease was predicted to many activities in China and the impact of chaos in Thailand.

"Chaos made Chinese reluctant to go to Indonesia as they have to pass Thailand before arriving here," he said.

Head of Bali Tourism Board Ngurah Wijaya said that potential of Chinese tourists are big. Statistics show that they are always in top five.

The problem is, he said, limitation of accommodation rate in Ngurah Rai International Airport in accommodating direct flight.

The agency's data shows that Australia was at the first position with 22 percent, Japan 10.54 percent, China 10.54 percent, China's Taiwan 8.77 percent and Malaysia 5.76 percent.

Royal Cremation ceremony of Mengwi’ queen’s, Ida Tjokorda Istri Winten

abels: ArtCulture, Bali

Mengwi Bali’s Royal Cremation 2010 (Revised)

(Source and Copyright

Royal Cremation ceremony of Mengwi’ queen’s, Ida Tjokorda Istri Winten from Puri Ageng Mengwi, Friday (Juli 2nd, 2010 was attended by thousands of Mengwi residents. The royal cremation ceremony took place around 1 PM with a grand procession of nine-tier cremation tower and three bull-shaped sarcophagi that are used as cremation container for the deceased. The procession started from the courtyard of the Mengwi’s palace and ended at the graveyard of Mengwi village. Upon arriving at the graveyard body of the queen is taken down from the cremation tower and then kept in the white bull sarcophagi for the cremation. The body was cremated along with the sarchopai. After the cremation ceremony, the remains of the queen were taken to the sea for a send off with proper ceremony.

This royal ceremony is not just for the Queen of Menwi but also for 104 of retainer, this cremation can also be categorized as mass cremation. Apart from a normal cremation ceremony this cremation ceremony also joined by some retainers who held ngelungah ceremony. Ngelungah ceremony is a type of cremation ceremony that is designed for baby whose age is 42 days up to the fall of his or her first teeth.

Ngelungah is a type of cremation ceremony in which the deceased can not be cremated right away but it has to be buried first and when there is a cremation ceremony is held the Ngelungah ceremony can be held as supplementary ceremony to the proper ngaben ceremony. The Ngelungah ceremony though can be categorized as ngaben but in most area in Bali it is can not be held on its own it should be held in accordance with other type of Ngaben.

Bali Officials Say Most Condotels in Operating Illegally.

Is Bali being Conned by Condotels?

Bali Officials Say Most Condotels in Operating Illegally.

Radar Bali quoted the Head of Tourism for Badung, I Made Subawa, as saying there are "tens" of illegal Condotels operating without the required licenses and permits in his regency. Said Subawa: "There are around 30 or more condotels that are without operating licenses. This figure is based on the initial 'principal permits' issued for these project."

The principal permit is the initial permit to pursue an investment project. The Condotels in question are performing commercial operations without the sundry permits required under the law.

The Condotel mentioned by Radar Bali as lacking operational permits is the Bali Kuta Residence (BKR) on Jalan Majaphait which has been open for nearly an entire year. Reprimands and warnings have been issued by the Badung tourism office. A tourism official told the press that when BKR is asked for their operational permits, they freely admit that they are only in the process of organizing their trading license (SITU) and "free of local disturbance" (HO) permits, both of which should have been done before the building was constructed.

The management of the BKR fend off officials, claiming that those staying at the building are "only attending meetings." Such activities are nonetheless commercial in nature and, as such, violate the requirement to have completed the legalization process before commencing business. One Badung official warned: "If they do not soon complete their operational licenses, the operations of the BKR will be stopped.

Of the more than 30 condotels operating in Badung at this time, only 7 hold operational licenses.

The process to obtain an operating licenses for a new condotel is somewhat complicated. The process begins with obtaining a building permit (IMB). If the construction phase has reached 80% the owners are obliged to obtain a trading license (SITU) and a statement of "no disturbance" to the local environment/community (HO). Following this the zoning authority (Dinas Cipta Karya) must issue a building use permit.

In a separate report, members of the Badung House of Representatives (DPRD-Badung), are calling for the regency's enforcement agency (SATPOL PP) to close down all condotels found to be operating without the required licenses. Legislators are branding the local law enforcement procedures as being "toothless" in the face of the report of more than 30 illegally operating condotels in Bali.

© Bali Discovery Tours. Articles may be quoted and reproduced if attributed to All images and graphics are copyright protected.

Nationwide vehicle sales soared by 76 percent during the first half of the year

New cars during a motor show in Jakarta last year. Sales of passenger cars surpassed sales of lower-cost multi-purpose vehicles during the first half of the year. (EPA Photo)
Feeling Flush, Consumers Spending More on Vehicles

Nationwide vehicle sales soared by 76 percent during the first half of the year, with buyers increasingly opting for comfort and status over affordability as passenger cars and SUVs outsold low-end multi-purpose vehicles, the Indonesian Automotive Industries Association said.

The association, also known as Gaikindo, said vehicle sales totaled 370,000 units during the first half of the year, up from 210,000 units during the same period last year.

“The economy is getting better and Indonesian car buyers have more confidence and better purchasing power,” said Juwono Andrianto, the secretary general of Gaikindo.

Sales of multi-purpose vehicles such as the Toyota Avanza and Daihatsu Xenia declined as a percentage, adding up to 32 percent of all vehicle sales in the first half of the year, down from 48 percent during the same period last year. More expensive models such as SUVs totaled 23 percent, and sedans 15 percent.

When Indonesian car buyers were less confident in the first half of 2009, multi-purpose vehicles accounted for 48 percent of total cars sold, while SUVs took only 17 percent of sales and sedans 10 percent.

Gaikindo has projected that vehicle sales will total 555,000 this year, up from 486,000 in 2009.

However, PT Astra International, the country’s biggest car retailer, has projected total nationwide sales of 650,000 this year.

The 2010 Toyota Avanza MPV, which has a price tag between Rp 130 million and Rp 175 million ($14,000 and $19,000), is the most widely sold MPV in the nation, accounting for about 60 percent of the market share. Meanwhile the Daihatsu Xenia, the second most popular multi-purpose vehicle, is priced at between Rp 120 million to Rp 145 million, depending on model and features. It accounts for 26 percent of the market share.

PT Toyota Astra sold more than 138,000 cars in the first six months of 2010, 58 percent of which were all purpose vehicles, down from 74 percent of 83,000 units sold in the first half of 2009.

“We have seen a trend this year of customers avoiding the cheaper MPVs in favor of Toyota’s lineup of pricier cars,” said Rouli Sijabat, public relations manager for Toyota Astra.

Liong Ho, who owns the Grand Auto car dealership in the Kemayoran area of Central Jakarta, said he was seeing a similar trend.

“Throughout the year I’ve been seeing customers choose the more premium cars like they did in early 2008,” he said.

“Business was slow in 2009, and back then my customers preferred the more affordable, lower cost cars, such as the Avanzas and Xenias.”

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Officials from 13 countries gathered in Bali agreed to increase law enforcement to protect the tigers

Wild tigers have been offered a lifeline by countries where they still roam. The countries have agreed to work together to double the tiger population within 12 years. Officials from 13 countries gathered in Bali agreed to increase law enforcement to protect the tigers and preserve their habitats across Asia.

A Sumatran tiger roars in protest at his captors from the Indonesian forestry department. The animal had rampaged through villages and palm oil plantations in search of food, killing four farmers. After months in captivity, the cat was released into a Sumatran national park.

In an ongoing battle for territory between humans and wild tigers, tigers are the biggest losers. Rapidly shrinking habitats and poaching are decimating their populations.

The World Wildlife Fund estimates the number of wild tigers has declined by 40 percent in the past decade, to about 3,200 animals with only 1,000 actively breeding females.

In an effort to arrest this slide into extinction, leaders from 13 tiger nations gathered this week in Bali to draft a declaration on conservation, as part of the Global Tiger Recovery Program. The program is led by the World Bank and a coalition of international non-profit organizations. The centerpiece of the nations' commitment is an ambitious plan to double the number of wild tigers by 2022.

Underscoring the immensity of this challenge, several countries said the goal is unrealistic.

Indian delegation leader S. P. Yadav says his country will focus on stabilizing tiger numbers in existing conservation areas.

"We are the largest, tiger-range country," said S. P. Yadav. "We have around 1,500 tigers in the wild; so almost 50 percent of tigers are in India. We have identified 39 tiger reserves, covering an area of around 32,000 square kilometers. Within this number of tigers and the area, we are facing the problem of tiger-man conflict, and in some areas, it is a very serious issue. So there is very little scope in further enhancing the area to accommodate more tigers in our country."

The Wildlife Conservation Societies' vice president for conservation and science, John Robinson, says is it possible to double the number of tigers as planned.

"Within protected areas we could increase overall tiger numbers probably by 50 to 60 percent, and the tigers within those protected areas would still not reach the carrying capacity of that habitat," said John Robinson. "And that gives an ability to bring these numbers back rather dramatically. Across broader tiger landscapes, if protection was put into place, if we could control the illegal hunting, we could bring back very significant tiger numbers"

Conservationists agree poaching presents the greatest threat to tiger populations. Poaching and the international trade in tigers and tiger parts is increasing across the region.

John Sellers heads the enforcement office of the Secretariat of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora, or CITES.

"I think if you had looked at this area 10 to 15 years ago, you would have found that a lot of the demand was taking place amongst Asian ethnic communities in either North America and Europe," said John Sellers. "That really has disappeared now. Instead, I think the market is now amongst the wealthy in parts of Asia, particularly China, where they have the money to pay for the genuine article. There are undoubtedly practitioners with the contacts to acquire this. I remember speaking to a practitioner in Thailand a few years ago who told me he had traveled to the border with Myanmar in order to purchase genuine tiger bones."

The sale of tiger parts is prohibited in most tiger countries and the penalty for poachers in China is death. But law enforcement within countries and across national boundaries remains weak and disorganized.

In recent years new markets for tiger products have emerged. Some animal parks in China openly sell tiger bone wine, just one product spurring the establishment of tiger-breeding farms.

John Sellers says in some parts of China and Tibet a revival of old traditions is driving the market for tiger pelts.

"From what I understand in Tibet, it was traditional for warriors who had been brave in battle to be presented with a small piece of animal skin, such as a tiger or leopard - a snow leopard - just as the way a soldier would be in the West might be presented with a medal," he said. "And so what had been a traditional practice using small parts of skin, then just grew into this situation where they began to build huge panels of tiger and leopard skin into these chubas, the traditional jackets that the local communities wear there."

Early estimates suggest the cost of implementing the global tiger project will be more than $350 million, and more if the target of doubling tiger numbers within 12 years is to be met.

World Bank Global Tiger Initiative Director, Keshav Varma, says tiger nations have some capacity for funding tiger conservation, but wealthy nations will have to contribute.

"This sector is extremely poorly resourced," said Keshav Varma. "It does not have money for minimum sustainable management. So we need more resources. And I think this is again an opportunity for global leaders to really understand the value of ecosystems."

Included in the draft declaration was a commitment from tiger countries to collaborate and coordinate efforts to protect tigers and their habitats across national boundaries and to improve enforcement of anti-poaching and trafficking laws.

The Bali meeting's draft declaration will be presented to government leaders for ratification at a September summit in St. Petersburg, Russia.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Merpati Flight Crew, Passengers Panic as Smoke Fills Bali-Bound Plane

Merpati flight MZ 6601 departing from Mataram to Denpasar was canceled after thick smoke engulfed the plane on Wednesday (Photo Courtesy Indoflyer/Gerry Soejatman)

Flight crew and passengers scurried for safety as thick smoke engulfed a Merpati MZ 6601 plane, which was scheduled to depart from the Selaparang Airport in Mataram, West Nusa Tenggara, to Denpasar, Bali, on Wednesday.

“The smoke was caused by a short circuit in the cockpit,” Lia Handayani, a Merpati Nusantara official, told members of the press at the Selaparang Airport on Wednesday. “Our technicians are looking into it.”

Widi Kurniawan, a passenger seated on the second row, told online news portal that he saw smoke coming out of the overhead air-conditioning unit at about 7 a.m..

He initially did not panic because he thought that it was only cold breeze. Ironically, it occurred just as the flight attendants were demonstrating the safety procedure when the plane was readying to take off.

Panic quickly spread among the passengers after the flight attendants started running out toward the emergency exits and smoke filled up the cabin.

“The passengers were panicking,” Widi said. “Children were screaming. A white man tried to break open the emergency exit, but it only opened after about 15 seconds.”

He added that some passengers jumped off the plane even while there was no direction from the flight attendants. “The flight attendants were nowhere to be seen, maybe because they were panicked too,” he said.

Merpati has confirmed that no passengers or crew members were injured in the incident. The passengers were to be flown to Denpasar using a different plane.

Meanwhile, the National Transportation Safety Committee (KNKT) said that they would verify the incident with Merpati. “We will do information verification first. We are still coordinating with the Directorate General of Air Transportation,” said JA Barata, the committee spokesman.

The KNKT would decide on whether to dispatch a team to Mataram after they receive complete information.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Bali to boost seaweed production

Bali administration has targeted to increase seaweed production from the 135,000 tons harvested in 2009 to 150,000 tons in 2010.

Bali has huge potential to develop seaweed as its primary export product, Bali Maritime Affairs and Fisheries Agency chief I Gusti Putu Nuriartha said.

"But, we are facing so many problems in making seaweed a competitive product because of our limited processing skills," he said.

Farmers in several coastal areas in Nusa Penida, Klungkung, Badung and Buleleng regencies harvest two types of seaweed - cottoni and spinosum.

Nusa Penida currently produces the bulk of Bali's seaweed, Nuriartha said.

"The production of seaweed increases every year, but local farmers are still using traditional methods that affect the quality of the products," he said.

During the drying process, for instance, most farmers dry the seaweed on plastic or bamboo mats, but the dried seaweed is often contaminated with sand and stones, Nuriartha said.

"Farmers cannot sell their product at the current market prices," he said. On the local market, seaweed prices are set at Rp 7,000 per kilogram, but Bali farmers could only sell it for between Rp 4,000 to Rp 5,000 per kilogram, Nuriartha said.

To improve the quality of their products, the Bali Trade and Industry Agency has provided 295 drying units for seaweed farmers in Nusa Penida Island in Klungkung regency.

"We will distribute the drying units to other farmers in Buleleng and Badung regencies," he said.

Providing direct access to markets is another way the government is working to help seaweed farmers.

"Farmers sell their product to middlemen, who have power to determine market prices. This is one of the more difficult areas the local government will have to work on," he said.

Made Sarwi, a 40-year-old seaweed farmer from Badung, said the seaweed prices were unstable depending on the quality and market.

"The price of seaweed changes almost every day. Sometimes we get Rp 12,000 per kilogram, but then another day middlemen only pay us Rp 5,000 a kilogram," she said.

Sarwi also said seaweed was affected by seasonal diseases. "If this happens, our harvest can be halved."

Sarwi harvests at least 500 kilograms of seaweed a month.

- JP/ Ni Komang Erviani

Bali to boost seaweed production

Bali administration has targeted to increase seaweed production from the 135,000 tons harvested in 2009 to 150,000 tons in 2010.

Bali has huge potential to develop seaweed as its primary export product, Bali Maritime Affairs and Fisheries Agency chief I Gusti Putu Nuriartha said.

"But, we are facing so many problems in making seaweed a competitive product because of our limited processing skills," he said.

Farmers in several coastal areas in Nusa Penida, Klungkung, Badung and Buleleng regencies harvest two types of seaweed - cottoni and spinosum.

Nusa Penida currently produces the bulk of Bali's seaweed, Nuriartha said.

"The production of seaweed increases every year, but local farmers are still using traditional methods that affect the quality of the products," he said.

During the drying process, for instance, most farmers dry the seaweed on plastic or bamboo mats, but the dried seaweed is often contaminated with sand and stones, Nuriartha said.

"Farmers cannot sell their product at the current market prices," he said. On the local market, seaweed prices are set at Rp 7,000 per kilogram, but Bali farmers could only sell it for between Rp 4,000 to Rp 5,000 per kilogram, Nuriartha said.

To improve the quality of their products, the Bali Trade and Industry Agency has provided 295 drying units for seaweed farmers in Nusa Penida Island in Klungkung regency.

"We will distribute the drying units to other farmers in Buleleng and Badung regencies," he said.

Providing direct access to markets is another way the government is working to help seaweed farmers.

"Farmers sell their product to middlemen, who have power to determine market prices. This is one of the more difficult areas the local government will have to work on," he said.

Made Sarwi, a 40-year-old seaweed farmer from Badung, said the seaweed prices were unstable depending on the quality and market.

"The price of seaweed changes almost every day. Sometimes we get Rp 12,000 per kilogram, but then another day middlemen only pay us Rp 5,000 a kilogram," she said.

Sarwi also said seaweed was affected by seasonal diseases. "If this happens, our harvest can be halved."

Sarwi harvests at least 500 kilograms of seaweed a month.

- JP/ Ni Komang Erviani

Chances are you've already enjoyed Balinese food without realising where it originated:

Be it a flash restaurant or budget eatery, the menu delights, writes Ute Junker.

Favourite flavours

Chances are you've already enjoyed Balinese food without realising where it originated: dishes such as satay sticks with peanut sauce, nasi goreng (fried rice with egg on top), mie goreng (fried noodles with egg on top), gado gado salad and lumpia (fried spring rolls) have all become popular dishes around the world.

The local drop

Bintang beer is something close to a national drink but Bali also has a great range of fresh fruit juices at dirt-cheap prices. If you're feeling adventurous, then try avocado (alpukat) juice — something completely different!

Top tables

With languidly swirling ceiling fans and wicker chairs, Kafe Batan Waru (Jalan Dewi Sita, Ubud, +62 361 977 528, is the perfect place to enjoy Balinese cuisine. Try lemper ayam (grilled parcels of sticky rice and shredded chicken wrapped in banana leaf) and ikan woku belanga (Buginese red snapper stew scented with turmeric and kemangi leaves). For fussy eaters, there's also an extensive range of Western dishes, from pasta to salads. For chic seaside dining, you can't beat the renowned Ku de Ta (9 Jalan Laksmana, Seminyak +62 361 736 969, For 10 years, this vast beachfront complex — which includes a funky bar, a waterside deck and terraces - has pulled the most glamorous crowd on the island with its delicious sashimi, yabbies and lamb. Beduur Restaurant at Ubud Hanging Gardens hotel (Desa Buahan, Desa Payangan, +62 361 982 700, is a little way out of town but for lovers of creative cuisine, it's well worth the trek. The stunning setting is quickly overshadowed by the meals themselves, designed for both maximum flavour and maximum visual impact. Dishes such as a lobster caviar maki roll — improbably served with a large glass containing a vividly green miniature rice paddy — look so good it feels wrong to eat them.

Budget bite

It's cheap and it's delicious, so it's no wonder that queues start forming early at Ibu Oka (Jalan Suweta, Ubud), the place to sample suckling pig, or babi guling, a Balinese classic. It's the only thing on the menu at this no-frills favourite, which opens at 9am and closes when it runs out of food — usually about 2pm. Patrons have to sit cross-legged on cushions but portions are generous and the succulent spiced meat and crispy crackling are sensational and well worth any physical discomfort.

Special night

Dinner at Mozaic (Jalan Raya Sanggingan, Ubud, +62 361 975 768, - picked for Restaurant magazine's prestigious list of the best 100 restaurants in the world - is not an experience you want to rush. Start with a drink in the glamorous red, black and white bar, then move to the leafy courtyard to savour one of chef Chris Salans' degustation menus. The Discovery Menu, designed to showcase the best local flavours, is built around indigenous ingredients, many of which you won't come across anywhere else.

Locals love

It's spelt "sate" rather than "satay" here but the delicious skewers of charcoal-grilled meat served with peanut sauce are instantly recognisable. This is a true taste of Bali.

Don't leave without trying

If you're anywhere near Jimbaran, you must enjoy at least one meal at one of the open restaurants on Jimbaran beach. Our favourite is Lia Cafe. (Jimbaran beach, +62 81 2390 7411). The set-up is basic but the seafood is super-fresh.

Source: The Sun-Herald

Bali Festivals in July

The Negara Bull Races

With the month of July, commences the annual bull races held on every Sunday during the July – October period. Though it might sound ridiculous to some, the bull race is a wonderful spectacle to watch. It takes place at Perancak which is located a few miles from Negara. On race day, the bulls are washed, painted, decorated with garlands and raced after coupling them to their chariots. Only two bulls are raced at a time and the winner is decided based on the speed and style of racing. The true story behind the origin of the festival is not known however, since the rice crops are harvested around the same time, it is believed to be a celebration of the harvest.

Tumpek Kandang

If you happen to hold a booking in one of the hotels in Bali on the 31st of July, Tumpek Kandang is one festival you wouldn’t want to miss while you are there. This festival is celebrated by the Balinese Hindu population of Bali, which accounts for more than 93% of the island population. This day is dedicated to Sang Hyang Rare Angon, the god of farm cattle and livestock. All domesticated animals including cows, chicken, dogs, ducks and birds are pampered with the best food while the cows enjoy a special bath in the river following which they are dressed as humans and decorated with coconut leaves hung around their horns. Besides paying homage to their gods, the festival is also a way of showing respect to animals.

Bali Arts Festival

The Arts Festival of Bali is a cultural extravaganza with several performing arts, handicrafts and other cultural activities on display. The festival is already underway and is scheduled to do so until the 10th of July. If you haven’t already, it’s still not too late to book one of the hotels in Bali and head towards the Mecca of Indonesian culture.

Monday, July 12, 2010

Preliminary plans are to shoot "South Pacific" in Bali

New wave breaks in 'Pacific'
Producers plan fresh take on classic tuner
'South Pacific'

So you've gotten the feature rights to "South Pacific," more than half a century after Mitzi Gaynor dazzled moviegoers in 1958's top-grossing film.

How in the world do you engage 21st century filmgoing audiences with a remake that, while still enjoying successful legit revivals, might seem a bit musty, to put it mildly?

Producers Ileen Maisel and Bob Balaban, who announced their rights deal on July 8, believe the key is to combine the fantasy world of the beloved Rodgers & Hammerstein songs with the gritty realism of wartime romance and racism. It's a tall order but the duo believes it's the path to a story that works for contemporary crowds.

Balaban, whose producing credits include "Gosford Park," and New Line veteran Maisel are meeting with screenwriters in the U.S. and the U.K. in hopes of finding a scribe who can execute that vision.

They won't go out to directors until they've got a completed script in hand.

"We want to show how people really did talk and act in 1944, which is something that the film and play don't come anywhere close to showing," Maisel notes. "What we're going to do is to make the songs the emotional underpinning of the story. So the songs will be the emotional ying to the realistic yang."

And unlike many modern musicals, the new "South Pacific" producers won't delve into the realm of magical realism. "This isn't going to be something like Martin Scorsese's 'New York, New York,' " Maisel notes.

Preliminary plans are to shoot "South Pacific" in Bali, home to some of the world's most spectacular scenery. But the new realism of "South Pacific" will only go so far, since Bali was occupied by Japan during World War II.

Balaban's Chicagofilms and Maisel's Amber Entertainment are the production entities along with Netherlands-based Imagem, owner of the Rodgers & Hammerstein copyrights. Maisel and Balaban will produce with Imagem chief financial officer Denis Wigman and Ted Chapin, president of the Rodgers & Hammerstein company.

Funds Awarded for Bali Airport Terminal Expansion

By NewsDesk

Air, News 2 days ago

The international terminal expansion at Ngurah Rai International Airport in Bali, Indonesia, has received IDR1trn ($110m) of funding from state airport operator PT Angkasa Pura I.

Under the proposed expansion, international flights will move to the domestic terminal to cope with the increased number of international travellers.

The terminal will then be expanded to 120,000m² and equipped with new accommodation facilities.

Domestic flights will move to the smaller international terminal.

Once the expansion is complete, the terminals will cover a combined area of 190,000m² and will be able to handle up to 20 million passengers a year by 2013.

Angkasa Pura is yet to announce contractors for the project, which is scheduled to begin in the third quarter of 2010.

Tiger conservation discussed in Bali, Indonesia

Page last updated at 03:58 GMT, Monday, 12 July 2010 04:58 UK

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Sumatran tiger, London Zoo, 2005 Conservationists say tiger numbers ned to double to save the species

Officials from 13 countries are meeting in Bali, Indonesia, to agree on ways to try to double the number of tigers in the world.

The World Wildlife Fund (WWF) conservation group has warned that a lack of global action could kill off the endangered species.

Hunting and a loss of habitat had cut numbers to about 3,200 tigers - the lowest ever.

The Bali Tiger Forum is a precursor to a planned global summit in December.

There is a particular focus on China, where a huge demand for tiger parts fopr consumption has fuelled a drop in numbers.
Tiger's year

Conservationists are concerned about the proliferation of Chinese tiger farms, where 5,000 tigers are kept in captivity - they say this spurs the trade in tiger parts, and demand for illegally caught wild tigers.

Representatives from China, India, Indonesia, Nepal, Russia and Thailand

Dr Bivash Pandav, landscape co-ordinator for the WWF tiger network initiative in Nepal, said political action was needed to enforce laws against poaching, secure habitats, and help communities who come into contact with tigers.

"This year offers an unprecedented opportunity to put in place a co-ordinated, multi-state plan to save the tiger," said Diane Walkington, head of species at WWF-UK.

"There has never before been this level of momentum for action on tigers and governments must take advantage of it.

"If we lose the tiger, not only do we lose one of the world's top predators, we will lose so much more.

"By safeguarding their habitats , we will protect hundreds of other species in the process," she said.

The BBC's Indonesia correspondent, Karishma Vaswani, says Indonesia, the host nation, is home to around 400 Sumatran tigers.

It has come up with a proposal to boost its tiger population whereby rich Indonesia could adopt a pair of tigers for $100,000 (£66,360).

They hope to discourage illegal poaching by legalising tiger ownership but critics say the plan is unrealistic and that the focus shoud be on protecting tigers in their natural habitat.