UNAIR NEWS – Since 2020, the island of Tabuhan has been widely discussed by Banyuwangi community. Not because of its beauty, but because of the pros and cons of Banyuwangi regional government which will lease the island to foreign investors. Many Banyuwangi people who do not agree with the development program for the island located in the Bali Strait.
As a response to this issue, UNAIR Banyuwangi Student Family held an open discussion to find a solution to the problem last Friday, February 14. The discussion entitled Uncertainty of Tabuhan Island’s Future, also presented Suciyono, S.St.Pi., M.P., as a lecturer of Faculty of Fisheries and Marine UNAIR Banyuwangi and Amir Ma’ruf, as Head of Tourism Awareness Group (Pokdarwis) in Wongsorejo sub-district. -Banyuwangi.
According to Amir Ma’ruf, who is also a former fisherman who had sailed around the Tabuhan island, that the problem with the government’s plan to lease the Tabuhan island was from unclear contents of MoU between the government and investors, and it did not involve the Wongsorejo community.
“The contents of the MoU are unclear. It is unclear whether the people of Wongsorejo still allowed to move around the island or not? And are the communities involved in activities there? These things are unclear, so we temporarily refuse,” Amir explained.
Amir added, with the government’s policy on the investment activities of Tabuhan Island, it means that the government has forgotten the concept of tourism in the Wongsorejo region, “People’s Economy” concept for the region.
“In the past the government established the concept of people’s economy, so until now, there are no hotels at all in the Wongsorejo area, because they prioritize lodging for residents, but why now invite foreign investors?” he said.
Mediating the ongoing discussion, Suciyono as a FPK lecturer stated that until now there has been no official statement from the government regarding the existing MoU. Not yet certain whether the investment will damage the island of Tabuhan, whether the investment does not involve the local community until the investment period is not yet clear for how long.
“Until now, everything is still possible, so that conclusions cannot be drawn as to who is right and wrong. Therefore, while we still have to wait and students can continue to oversee the existing issues, ” Suciyono said.
However, the open discussion still produced a solution, that a good program is a program that does not damage the ecology, involves the local community, does not harm the local community, does not contradict the existing culture, and brings greater benefits to the community and the environment.
“It is a joint agreement between students and community representatives, so if there is a government program that is not in accordance with the agreement, students and the community have the right to refuse, then continue to provide solutions in the best way,” concluded Suciyono ending the discussion forum. (*)
Author: Bastian Ragas
Editor: Nuri Hermawan