Tuesday, April 7, 2015

Threats to the sustainability and continuity of Subak in Bali

Rice field in Bali, Indonesia
Rice field in Bali, Indonesia
In the case Subak system model of social cooperation in managing water, essentially in the social system, the landscape should not be changed. River flow created by the volcanic mountain streams are not changed, but regulated the flow of water to meet the needs of the rice field. In case of violation, the penalty imposed, made through the payment of financial penalties in the form of money or obligation to conduct the ceremony. Because it is built from the bottom (bottom up), the government does not intervene in the management of this Subak system.

But along with the times, as well as changes in lifestyle and needs, now increasingly threatened the existence of Subak. Subak sustainability as a world cultural heritage threatened by the rapid development and the need to support tourism. Sale of land and water become the most vital factor in the preservation of Subak.

Here are the factors that threaten the existence of Subak in Bali:

  1. The use of harmful chemicals as pesticides that affect soil fertility. Farmers increasingly difficult to restore soil fertility for organic farming needs, because the land has already chemicals to fertilize the soil for many years.
  2. Tourism is causing fragmentation Subak rice field terraces, thus increasing the rate of sale of agricultural land and eliminate the unity of landscape, the land with one another, thus speeding up the transfer of agricultural land conversion in a place into shopping complex, housing, villas, hotels, and shopping centers.
  3. Water quality is declining as a result of the rapid development in the upstream region and the loss of forest area were converted into new agricultural land.
  4. The potential for the occurrence of natural disasters, including earthquakes and landslides, causing changes in the landscape and waterways, because Bali is formed from volcanic eruptions.
  5. Climate change can affect the cycle of the seasons and changes in the frequency of rainfall, rainfall is increasingly rare, or vice versa, so that the growing seasons can not be determined with certainty.

The problem that occurs is systemic. When a plot of land have been sold to be converted to commercial buildings such as hotels, then automatic property tax and the land will be increased, not only to the field of the land sold, but also an impact on the field of land neighbors who are in one area. Read also: Agricultural land conversion to residential in Bali.

Although it has been since the year 2012 be declared Subak Cultural Landscape World Heritage Site by UNESCO, but until now the cultural heritage site management model is still being sought and formulated. In contrast to the cultural heritage of the dead, then Subak is a living cultural heritage, dynamic on the one hand, but if not maintained properly will turn into damaged or lost. Read also: Subak a world heritage site by UNESCO.