100 Indonesian islands are up for auction

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Widi Reserve - Sotheby’s

People can auction different things from art to wine, from jewelleries to ‘nature jewelleries’. The Widi Reserve, an Indonesian archipelago with more than 100 islands is about to be auctioned on Sotheby’s, the oldest and largest auctioneers in the world.

Widi Reserve is uninhabitet and is located in a protected marine zone, with more than 150 kilometres of white sandy beaches and hundreds of rare and protected species of marine mammals, fishes and birds. Sotheby’s describes the archipelago as “one of the most intact coral atoll ecosystems left on Earth and an animal kingdom of epic proportions, home to hundreds of rare and endangered species.”

The auction will take place between 8th-14th December 2022, the starting price is not stated but the bidders are required to put down a US$100,000 deposit. Indonesian law prohibits the sale of islands to non-Indonesians, so foreigners will bid for shares in PT Leadership Islands Indonesia (LII), an Indonesian development firm that holds exclusive development and management rights.

Charlie Smith, executive vice president for Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA) at Sotheby’s Concierge Auctions expects the bid for the islands to be significant. “Every billionaire can own a private island, but only one can own this exclusive opportunity spread over 100 islands.” He told the Guardian that LII has plans in place to protect the reserve while the luxury resort is developed, the development firm would be “actively involved, not just handing over the entire project”.

“The reserve has long been under pressure from shark finning, deforestation and the poaching of endangered species; left untouched the pressure on the reserve will only continue, and likely increase.”

Charlie Smith

Smith added that the business sector had “a vital role to play” while, “the islands chosen for development were picked not just for their exquisite views and unique features, but precisely because they could be developed without disturbing critical habitats.”

While, developer’s rights currently only authorise the opening of 500 rooms spread over 17 islands, development plans include a private airstrip that can serve guests from destinations such as Bali, Jakarta, and Cairns, a 1,000-metre long runway is already planned to accommodate private jets.

Source: theguardian.com