- The Widi Reserve, a nature reserve of more than 100 islands in Indonesia, is about to be auctioned.
- The reserve is uninhabited and is known for its white sandy beaches, rainforests, and marine life.
- Included in the sale are development plans to transform the reserve into a luxury resort.
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The Widi Reserve, a nature reserve that lies northeast of Bali, is about to be auctioned.
Widi Reserve, a nature reserve and archipelago with more than 100 tropical islands, is set to be auctioned by Sotheby's, according to the online listing. Bidding begins on December 8.
The reserve is uninhabited and is known for its incredible natural scenery, including white sandy beaches and rainforests, as well as its vast marine life.
While it doesn't state an expected starting price, those interested are required to submit a $100,000 deposit just to bid, according to the listing.
The reserve is currently uninhabited.
The reserve is uninhabited with no permanent local population, although it is visited occasionally by two small communities from the mainland villages and traveling fisherman, a spokesperson for Sotheby's told Insider.
The future buyer will be able to access the reserve via a private airstrip that is included in development plans, according to the listing. The reserve is approximately a two-and-a-half-hour flight from Bali, a three-hour and 45-minute flight from Singapore, and a four-hour and 30-minute flight from Hong Kong, the listing states.
The reserve is home to hundreds of rare and endangered species.
The reserve is located in the Coral Triangle, a marine area in the western Pacific Ocean that's known for its coral and marine life. The area has 600 different species of reef-building corals alone, according to World Wildlife, the world's leading conservation organization.
The Widi Reserve could be considered "one of the most biodiverse and ecologically significant places left on Earth," due to the hundreds of rare and endangered species that inhabit it, including blue whales, whale sharks, leatherback turtles, and giant squid, a Sotheby's spokesperson told Insider.
Meanwhile, the reserve's rainforests have colonies of parrots, kingfishers, and falcons, the spokesperson added, as well as rare plants which have never before been officially documented.
The future buyer would receive development rights to transform the Widi Reserve into a luxury resort.
The Widi Reserve was established as a Marine Protected Area in 2020 and its rainforests were designated as highly protected areas, a spokesperson for Sotheby's told Insider.
Since the reserve is considered a national state asset, it is technically owned by the people of Indonesia, the spokesperson said, adding that the investment company PT. Leadership Islands Indonesia (LII) currently holds exclusive development and management rights.
The organization has spent the last several years obtaining development rights for a luxury resort and residency developments on some of the islands, which will be included in the sale, the listing states.
While Indonesian law does not usually permit private ownership of islands, shares in a business with development rights can be sold to anyone, the listing added.
The resort could potentially include around 50 eco-residencies.
Each eco-residence would have the capacity for between one and eight bedrooms, and there could be an opportunity for further sustainable development of a total of 500 rooms spread across 17 islands, the listing states.
Mainland locals could also benefit from employment opportunities, as the development plans allow for new businesses to be created on the reserve, it adds.
The development plans have a focus on conservation, a spokesperson for Sotheby's told Insider.
LII has plans in place to protect the reserve while the luxury resort is developed, according to Sotheby's. A spokesperson told Insider that there are plans to prevent deforestation and the poaching of endangered species with a highly secure patrols system, which would be supported by the Navy and Sea Police with a budget of $1.5 million.
"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," the spokesperson said, adding that the reserve has secured certain areas as "no-go areas" for tourists.
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