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UN selects Bali for green tourism project

The United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) has chosen Indonesia's Bali for the destination of tourism, according to local media on Monday.

UNWTO assistant secretary general Geoffrey Lipman quoted by the Jakarta globe as saying that choosing of Bali because its local wisdom regarding the balance between mankind, nature and spirituality.

"That wisdom is alive and well and is still deeply held to this day," Lipman said in Bali.

The question now, he said, was how to apply this wisdom to meet actual challenges such as climate change that could damage the environment.

Despite, the natural environment in Bali was relatively well preserved thanks to the intimate relationship between its people and nature, it was still at risk, especially without proper planning, he said.

The assistant secretary general said his agency would work to assist Bali in meeting these challenges.

Initially, UNWTO would analyze Bali's problems and needs, including such issues as alternative energy sources and natural conservation.

It would also try to help Bali secure financial support from international donors including the World Bank and the Asian Development Bank, he said.

The assistant secretary general also said that it was necessary to implement the green tourism concept as part of a green economy.

Bali Governor I Made Mangku Pastika expressed hope that the nomination would strengthen the island's reputation as an environmentally friendly tourist destination. The governor said he hoped tourists who visited Bali would be those who appreciated the preservation of the natural environment and culture.

He said the nomination challenged all Balinese to reconsider nature and its preservation.