Monday, 28 November 2011 00:00
Pastika unveils Internet, releases rare birds on remote island
Trisha Sertori, Contributor, Nusa Penida, Bali | Mon, 11/28/2011 11:08 PM
Nusa Penida, an isolated island off Bali’s east coast, was connected on Saturday with modern technology for the first time. Bali Governor Made Mangku Pastika unveiled solar panels and an Internet-ready computer to get the island online. The solar panels and computer are housed in the Toya Pakeh community hall, making Internet access available to all.
Pastika was on a goodwill tour of the island to launch the solar-powered Internet facility, visit local homes renovated under the government’s housing policy and also to focus on environmental concerns by attending the release of 10 Bali Starlings, or Jarak Bali, as they are known locally.
Nusa Penida is classified as one of the poorest districts within the Klungkung regency.
The endangered Bali Starling is the province’s emblem; a local foundation, Friends of the National Parks Foundation, has been working with Nusa Penida residents over the past five years to develop the island to become a bird sanctuary and offer the birds a safe habitat. Pastika congratulated the foundation and the local community on their success in protecting the birds, which have now begun to successfully breed.
Combining technology, conservation and the built environment during his visit, Pastika subtly highlighted how green technology, such as solar power, safe housing and environmental conservation, ties into Hinduism’s Tri Hita Karana philosophy.
“Today, we are implementing the philosophy of Tri Hita Karana. This promotes harmony in the relationships of people to God, people to people and people to the environment. This means we pray, return birds to the wild and plant trees. It means we love and care for our environment,” said Pastika ahead of the birds’ release.
Bringing technology, such as solar power and the Internet, to Nusa Penida and upgrading homes would improve the human environment on the island, Pastika added.
“Introducing solar cells, information and technology to Nusa Penida will help to improve the quality of life for the people living here,” said Pastika.
The Governor was clearly delighted following the release of the Bali Starlings into the blue skies over Nusa Penida.
“We are very, very happy to have this lovely bird returned to freedom and I hope our people will care for them like family. I would like to see the Nusa Penida [conservation] model undertaken in other parts of Bali to focus on preserving these birds, but the local villagers must be prepared to take care of them,” said Pastika.
Friends of the National Parks Foundation is currently developing a second bird sanctuary on mainland Bali, in an area of more than 50 square kilometers in Besikalung, Tabanan regency.
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