Thu, 01 Apr 2010

Minister of Marine Resources and Fisheries Fadel Muhammad has approved the Banyuwangi regental administration's plan to rent Tabuhan Island to Maldives investor PT Safari International Resort.

"A recommendation letter has been received by the Banyuwangi regent," head of the investment section of the administration's development planning agency Made Mahartha said as quoted by on Thursday.

The 5.33-hectare island, which is located at Bengkak village in Wongsorejo district, will be developed into a marine tourist site to be equipped with lodging facilities.

The island, which is at the Bali straits water, is now vacant. Its surroundings is well-known for its beautiful coral reefs, Made said.

Made explained that according the proposal, PT Safari will rent the island for 30 years at a cost of Rp 100 billion.

Banyuwangi Regent Ratna Ani Lestari, he said, had set up a regional coordination team led by administration secretary Sukandi.

The team will be in charge of further deliberating the cooperation draft, which will cover, among others, obligations and responsibilities of the two sides, revenue sharing scheme and environmental insurance.

"This has been regulation in Government Regulation No. 50/2007 on regional cooperation implementation," Made said.

The plan to rent the island had earlier sparked pros and cons from environmental activists, who demanded that the Banyuwangi administration strictly watch out the cooperation implementation, especially the environment preservation.