Jero Wacik, the Culture and Tourism Minister, said that three cultural sites in Bali have been proposed as world heritage sites to the UNESCO. They are: the paddy terraces of Jatiluwih in Tabanan; Taman Ayun Temple in Mengwi and a site in the river basin area of Pakerisan, Gianyar.
“A verification process is being done to assess their feasibility,” said Wacik yesterday at the Bali World Culture Forum (BWCF) in Sanur, Denpasar. Several archeological sites in Indonesia have earned the world heritage status, such as the Sangiran archeological site, the Borobudur Temple and the Prambanan Temple complex.
According to Wacik, the three sites were proposed because of their cultural values—in addition to their beautiful panorama. The Jatiluwih terrace fields, for example, are a form of respect towards nature and the environment. Therefore, the farmers working at the foot of Mount Batukaru refuse to use chemical fertilizer and insecticide.
Wacik said there are several benefits of earning the world heritage status. Besides being able to promote the location to the world, the site’s maintenance will also be supported. “Repairs will be given assistance should there be any damages, as in the case of the Prambanan Temples after the Yogya earthquake,” said Wacik.
Wacik said the BWCF is a step towards the World Cultural Forum which will be held in Bali in 2012. The forum will feature studies of local values which can contribute towards building a better world in the future. “We start by featuring the Balinese cultural values,” he said.
Meanwhile, the Komodo National Park’s position as one of the nominees for the new7wonders (N7W) is progressing. Currently, the island is at 7th position out of 28 finalists of the N7W. According to Ubaldus Gogi, the East Nusa Tenggara Tourism Promotion Board director, the position has shifted because it depends on incoming votes. He hoped Indonesians will keep submitting their votes to support the Komodo National Park.
Wacik admitted that he was not too worried about the park’s chances of being one of the seven wonders of the world, because the island has claimed the world heritage status from the UNESCO since 1991 in the Natural Sites category.