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Raffi Ahmad scraps Beach Club project in Yogyakarta following environmental protests

Jakarta Globe - June 12, 2024

Herman, Yogyakarta – Celebrity Raffi Ahmad has decided to withdraw from a resort and beach club project in Gunungkidul, Yogyakarta, after facing opposition from residents and environmental activists.

Raffi announced his decision to withdraw from the project on his Instagram account @raffinagita1717.

"As a law-abiding Indonesian citizen, I understand the public's concerns about this project, which does not yet comply with existing regulations. Therefore, I hereby declare my withdrawal from the project," said Raffi Ahmad on Wednesday.

A petition opposing the project has emerged on Change.org. As of Wednesday, more than 50,000 people have signed the petition.

The project has garnered much criticism due to concerns that it would damage the environment. The controversy began on December 16, 2023, after businessman Arbi Leo and Raffi laid the first stone for the construction of the Bekizart Resort and Beach Club.

This beach club was planned to include 300 villas and three restaurants. The construction, undertaken by Agung Rans Bersahaja Indonesia (ARBI), is located at Krakal Beach, Tanjungsari District, Gunungkidul Regency.

In an official statement, the Yogyakarta branch of the Indonesian Forum for the Environment (Walhi) said that the planned 10-hectare development is situated in the eastern part of the Gunungsewu Karst Landscape Area. According to Regulation Number 17 of 2012, this area is designated as a national geological protected area, and its utilization must not harm the karst landscape.

The Krakal Beach area falls within a groundwater protection zone, containing underground rivers and springs that serve as water reserves for local residents.

"Despite having underground rivers, Tanjungsari District is prone to drought. The construction of the resort will exacerbate drought conditions in Tanjungsari District," Walhi Yogyakarta stated in its official statement.

Walhi Yogyakarta explained that Krakal Beach is a flat area among karst hills. At the foot of the eastern karst hills, there is a freshwater source from an underground river. The karst hills are essential as water catchment areas, serving as water reserves for the surrounding region. The extensive construction of the beach club poses a risk of damaging the karst rock areas around it.

"Damage to the karst hills can reduce their water retention and support capacity," stated Walhi Yogyakarta.

In the eastern part of the Gunungsewu, Tanjungsari District is marked as a zone vulnerable to flood and landslide disasters. The large-scale development of the Bekizart Beach Club is also feared to increase the potential for such disasters, due to the loss of water retention and support capacity in the Tanjungsari area.

Source: https://jakartaglobe.id/lifestyle/raffi-ahmad-scraps-beach-club-project-in-yogyakarta-following-environmental-protest