The Buleleng Bali Dive Festival: Coral Reef Conservation through Ecotourism

23 Sep 2016

The normally quiet town of Buleleng on the northern coast of Bali will come alive when the highly  anticipated annual Buleleng Bali Dive Festival (BBDF) is staged at the Pemuteran Village on the 23-26 October 2016.  Among divers, Pemuteran is known  worldwide for its uniquely inspiring underwater temple, which is a creative artwork involving coal reef revitalization. 

Once a barren underwater ocean landscape devastated by destructive fishing, bleaching and sedimentation, the reefs at Pemuteran Village have now been totally transformed and are the world’s largest and most successful reef restoration program, alive with underwater creatures.   

The result from collective efforts done by the local community,  Pemuteran Bay now glows with bright colourful corals, schools of fish, and counting over 70 separate stunning Biorock reefs.  The community is proud that their efforts  at coral reef conservation that were done purely with local resources have proven to be a national success that has even garnered international recognition in the form of many national and international awards  - namely the prestigious PATA Gold Award, the Equator Prize and the Millennium G20 Award.

Local hotels and dive shops led by Taman Sari Resort, Amertha Villas and Bali Diving Academy have all been involved in the restoration project by supporting community environmental education and management initiatives to promote ecotourism, making Pemuteran economically sustainable for the local community.

The Buleleng Bali Dive Festival is aimed to both spread the need and benefits of global awareness on reef conservation at the same time promote Pemuteran and Buleleng’s art and culture internationally.  Divers from around the world are invited to witness firsthand the beauty of marine life that Buleleng has to offer and participate in, and learning about the many conservation programs in the area. 

The festival will feature an Underwater Art Parade, Reef Check Monitoring, Underwater Photography Competition, Live Painting, Underwater Expo, Kids & Students Reef, Culinary Bazaar, Performing Art Stage, Biorock Reef Conservation Workshop and the prestigious release of  the Bedawang Nala statue (the 2016 BBDF icon).

This year the Bedawang Nala was chosen as the festival’s icon since it symbolizes Mother Earth and universal balance and harmony. The statue which is created from Biorock coral was masterfully crafted by a team of artists and Biorock specialists and will be placed on the sea floor, close to last year’s BBDF icon, the Gadjah Mina which represents the guardian of the sea.

Many arts and performances will be showcased at this impressive event including the Pemuteran Community Heritage Celebration of Gebug Ende.  The Gebug Ende combines performance art with a fighting ritual that is usually performed to invite rain during the dry season. The ritual symbolizes respect to the universe and the spirits, and asking for blessings from the gods for harmony among mankind.

This one of a kind event is free for public . The Buleleng Festival is expected to draw an attendance of  over 15,000 people.



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