Indonesia puts 100-island archipelago up for auction, sparking environmental concerns

The development rights to an entire Indonesian archipelago with more than 100 tropical islands is set to be auctioned next week, sparking concerns for the environmental impact on what Sotheby’s described as “one of the most intact coral atoll ecosystems left on Earth”.

The uninhabited Widi Reserve is based in a marine-protected zone in the “Coral Triangle” area of eastern Indonesia, and will go on sale via Sotheby’s Concierge Auctions in New York from 8-14 December.

The sale of islands to non-Indonesians is banned under Indonesian law, so buyers will bid for shares in PT Leadership Islands Indonesia (LII), an Indonesian development firm that has licensed the rights to build an eco-resort and luxury residential properties on the reserve.

The auction has prompted concerns among some conservationists who say the development could cut off local communities and threaten its ecosystems, which feature rainforests, mangroves, lagoons, lakes and coral reefs that are home to vast…

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This article was written by Lorcan Lovett and originally published on