On February 3, 2019, IDEP in collaboration with the community conducted a joint tree planting activity around the area of Pura Puseh, Batumadeg village, Nusa Penida island. The community involved came from representatives of four local villages, namely Batu Madeg, Bantu Kandik, Suana and Tanglad. In addition to representatives of the community of 120 people, this activity was also attended by a number of local government representatives.
The types of planted trees are varied, ranging from daksina coconut, cempaka, sandat, nangka, cendana, andong, mengkudu to intaran. Uniquely, the whole type of tree planted is used as materials for the offerings in community religious ceremonies.
On the island where the majority embrace Hinduism, the needs of offerings are fairly high every day. Especially when big ceremonies arrive. However, to meet these needs, the public must spend money to buy it from the nearest market. “The need for a ceremony was taken from our garden. Some are already exist. For example, the coconut. Fruits too. But they don’t meet our needs. Finally, we have no choice but to buy in the market, “said I Wayan Rata, a resident of Batumadeg village.
To adress the issue, as explained by Muchamad Awal, IDEP Executive Director, the trees planted are expected to strengthen the environmental carrying capacity to support the community livelihoods in Nusa Penida. For example, by planting these tree species independently, the community at least gets two benefits at the same time. In addition to being able to meet the needs of the ceremony without spending money, the addition of trees planted can also reduce the impact of climate change which is increasingly worrisome. Especially for island like Nusa Penida that do not have adequate sources of clean water.
This planting activity is one part of the Community – Managed Sustainable Living: Environmentally Sustainable Agriculture and Income Generating Practices program that IDEP has run in Nusa Penida since October 2018. In the program, IDEP is supported by the Global Environmental Facility (GEF), Small Grants Program (SGP), UNDP, Wisnu Foundation and Klungkung Regency government which administratively oversees the island.
As a general description, the main livelihood of the local community is as fishermen and seaweed farmers. Conventional agriculture is not very desirable because of the dry soil conditions and limited water as mentioned earlier. This issue is also coupled with the lack of community capacity regarding dryland agriculture management. Aside from being a fisherman and seaweed farmer, some people are also involved in the tourism business which is starting to get crowded due to increasing tourist arrivals. Nusa Penida is indeed charming with several karst caves, cliffs and views of the Indian Ocean, as well as its marine biodiversity.
Therefore, to increase community capacity in managing local resources, IDEP first started this program through a series of training on organic gardening through the permaculture method in the family yard. This was done to meet the healthy food needs of households in the four villages mentioned earlier.
Through the permaculture method that has been successfully implemented by IDEP in several regions in Indonesia, the community was invited to learn to manage the dry land. The limited source of water which is an obstacle is dealt with by giving more organic elements to the garden which is supported by a waste water management to water it.
In order to support the sustainability of this program in the future, Awal continued, the community of four villages will also be invited to learn and practice directly about seeding (local seeds) and nurseries. By being able to do these two things, the community is expected to be able to continue planting, both to meet household food needs and religious ceremonies.
I Wayan Rata, who is also chairman of the Banjar Mawan farmer group in Batumadeg village, responded optimistically to the program. “If the seeds we receive from IDEP Foundation can later be harvested, of course we will clearly reduce our expenses, especially for housewives. It feels helpful because it eases the burden on the community.” He also added his hope that this program could be sustainable to either meet basic needs for households or their religious ceremonies.
Trees planted in the activity amounted to 220 trees. Before the planting was held, the community also received and planted 250 trees of various types for the needs of religious ceremonies in their big gardens outside the yard. The total number of trees targeted to be planted by the community is 23,000 trees. This amount will gradually be fulfilled through a nursery process carried out by the community independently after being trainned by IDEP. In addition, there are 750 cendana and intara seedlings that will be fulfilled from the Bali’s Unda Anyar Management of Watershed and Protected Areas (BPDASHL), who is very enthusiastic in supporting this activity. (Ed)