Almost 18,000-Hectares of Paddy Fields in Tabanan Cannot Be Developed

Over the years, Bali’s iconic rice fields have slowly been converted and developed, leaving many discussing the long-term implications to the impact this will have over safeguarding national food security. The problem is not restricted to Bali however, and has led to nationwide laws under the Lahan Sawah Dilindungi (LSD) or Protected Paddy Fields regulations, which essentially earmarks specific paddy field areas that cannot be converted or developed.

In a recent article, Detik reported that the Ministry of Agrarian Affairs and Spatial Planning (ATR) and the Tabanan Regency Government (Pemkab) have finally agreed on preserving 17,835-hectares of Protected Paddy Land (LSD) after many years of discussion and debate.

Secretary of Commission I DPRD Tabanan, I Gusti Nyoman Omardani announced on Thursday (1/6/2023) that the regulation is fixed and cannot be tweaked, meaning there will be no room for negotiations.

The determination of LSD was also decided in a cross-sector meeting on the revision of the Tabanan RTRW which was held by the ATR Ministry in early May 2023.

The Tabanan RTRW refers to the Regional Spatial Plan (Rencana Tata Ruang Wilayah) of Tabanan, that outlines the long-term spatial development strategy for a specific region. It serves as a guideline for land use, infrastructure development, and environmental management within the region.

The Tabanan RTRW aims to provide a framework for sustainable development and spatial organization within the regency, addressing various aspects such as urban development, agriculture, tourism, transportation, natural resource management, and environmental conservation.

According to Detik’s reporting, if substantive approval has come down, then the process of discussing the revision of the RTRW, which has been delayed for five years, will follow the mechanism for drafting regional regulations in the Tabanan DPRD.

Omardini said that “while waiting for the Sub-Persub, we have facilitated the draft material (RTRW revision) with the Bali Ministry of Law and Human Rights and the Bali Provincial Secretariat’s Legal Department,” which could result in regulations coming into effect as early as July 2023.

He said the discussion at the DPRD level was absolutely necessary because all regional legal products must go through DPRD and executive discussions, in this case the Tabanan Regency Government. “It cannot be violated because that is the mechanism. If it is not brought to the DPRD, it cannot be enacted into a regional regulation,” he added.

The fact that it has taken more than five years to get to this point has raised concerns regarding the legal basis for already issued permits in these designated areas. However, some of these issues have been dealt with because the licensing process still refers to the previous RTRW, report Detik.

Omardani said there have been many changes to LSD, including the Bali RTRW, but now the revised Tabanan RTRW must adjust to the Bali RTRW, which has been determined by the Provincial Government.

Detik say that in 2022, this was a hot topic and the Tabanan Regency Government proposed that LSD be set at 16,033-hectares in accordance with the realities on the ground but the ATR Ministry determined it should be 19,355-hectares.

Omardani said that “at first there were no problems. But because there were several areas that had been bought by investors and had not been developed yet, some had been mistaken for LSD areas.”

The debate was completed in early May 2023 and then concurrently with a cross-sector meeting in the discussion of the Badung Regency RTRW, especially for Tabanan LSD, it is now set at 17,835-hectares.

Source: Detik

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