Ni Komang Erviani , Contributor , The Jakarta Post, Denpasar | Mon, 09/15/2008 10:13 AM | Bali
The Bali provincial administration has pledged to take action against hotels that continue to run non-environmentally friendly components in their air-conditioning (AC) systems, an official said Saturday.
Sudirman, head of the Bali regional center of the State Ministry of the Environment, said an operation would be conducted to check that hoteliers had complied with regulations banning the use of CFCs (chlorofluorocarbons) in their AC units.
CFC emissions are proved to have negative effects on the environment such as ozone depletion.
Under the 1997 law on environmental management, anybody found to be using components detrimental to the environment could face a maximum of six months in prison or a fine of Rp 300 million (US$33,000).
“We will launch a kind of impromptu inspection to check them,” Sudirman said.
He said his office would take to court any hoteliers found to be using CFCs in their AC systems.
“There will be no excuse for delinquent hotels,” he said. “They will face legal action.”
The office will also “name and shame” noncompliant hotel operators.
“We will announce the names of the hotels that still use the CFC components through the media,” he said.
This shaming approach is expected to discourage noncompliance because of pressure from tourists, he said.
Sudirman expressed confidence the penalties would greatly affect the credibility of the hotels with potential customers at a time when more and more tourists are placing an emphasis on the importance of environment protection.
“So don’t take this announcement lightly,” he warned.
“Penalties for those who harm the environment will be heavier because the punishment will be carried out by their potential customers who will not book rooms in their hotels.”
The office’s crackdown will extend to owners of cars whose emissions exceed the acceptable level for air quality.
The first vehicles to be checked will be those belonging to hotel employees.
“This is important because hotels are close to tourists. The presence of environmentally friendly hotels will surely affect the image of Bali in the world market,” he said.
Sudirman said the order to shut down facilities deemed not environmentally friendly would start this year.
This is expected to help boost environmentally friendly and sustainable tourism in Bali, he added.