Preparation and prayer before the activity begins
The Yehembang Kauh Village community responded well to the socialization organized by IDEP on 8 February 2023. Continuation of the training for residents was held a few days later. The hope is that the community can get much information from the discussion at the previous meeting, especially the active role in various pieces of training that each individual needs.
The Ministry of Environment and Forestry (KLHK) once acknowledged the impact of climate change, including mitigation and adaptation, in 2010. Since then, the mitigation strategy pursued by the government has been community participation in Social Forestry, which is also known as Community-Based Forest Management. This term refers to local or indigenous peoples’ application of forest management systems to improve their well-being, environmental outcomes, and socio-cultural dynamics. Such a system is also essential because it contributes to creating awareness regarding food availability for the people while tackling climate change.
One of the agricultural systems included in the type of Social Forestry is agroforestry which has optimal and sustainable land use management through a combination of forestry and agricultural activities in social, economic, and community cultural management units. Such a system is oriented towards forest conservation and maintaining food availability.
The activity participants created their own agricultural concepts
In Yehembang Kauh Village, an agricultural system like that can be found in the Learning Forest (Hutan Belajar). It has an area of about 4 hectares and has been established since 2004. It became effective after it was legalized in 2021. Many stories have been engraved regarding this forest for residents, especially in maintaining its preservation until now. Time to get to the location can be accessed 20 minutes from the Yehembang Kauh Village Worker’s Office.
IDEP invites the community to study together at this location, assisted by the Meteorology, Climatology, and Geophysics Agency (BMKG) as a facilitator. The aim is to increase the capacity of forest farmer groups to adapt and mitigate the impacts of climate change, as well as increase capacity in implementing agroforestry for sustainable livelihoods. It also increases the ability of forest farmer groups to store seeds or plant nurseries.
It was 07.30 WITA that morning when we arrived on a small stage in front of the Kahyangan Jagat Giri Putri Batur Kancana Temple. One by one, the participants started to come. They are the Giri Forest Farmers Group (KTH) Giri Amerta.
The weather is cool enough to start activities there. The trees are pretty shady, and some of them are endemic trees. At the same time, the sun is not so stinging. This location is far from the crowds. The participants started the day well-prepared. Some people even made small talk before the session began.
Komang Sri Mahayuni, IDEP’s representative and facilitator in that day’s session, gave a speech. Next, Loka Putra, the head of KTH Giri Amertha, followed a greeting to open the event session. Participants who came from farmer groups totaled 27 people. In the middle of this speech, they also filled out a pre-test, a piece of paper with a few short questions, to find out their views and literacy regarding climate and nurseries.
Andi Yuda, representative from BMKG, explained about climate schools
BMKG had the opportunity to provide counseling about an activity called Climate Field School (SLI). Agit Setiyoko, the Head of the Information and Information Section of the BMKG Jembrana Station, explained the intent and purpose of BMKG’s presence on this momentous occasion.
I Wayan Andi Yuda started his material right at 09.45 WITA. He sat down, then stood up again on the stage. His left hand has been active in demonstrating climate change over the past 10-20 years in Bali, in Yehembang, to be precise. This information, for farmers in particular, is needed to apply agroforestry, which combines forestry and agricultural activities.
“Forests are decreasing due to human encroachment, and the earth is getting warmer (global warming). If the forest disappears, the children and grandchildren of the farmers will not see the forest in the future,” he explained. “Climate factors or human factors cause natural disasters that occur?”
Participants simultaneously answered human. They let out a laugh, before a few seconds later the answer was explained again by reading the data that appeared on the projector screen. “This change has many factors from nature, ladies, and gentlemen,” he said.
Andi Yuda shows a different picture of rainfall and heat conditions each year. Sometimes, from the data, it can be seen that rainfall exceeds extreme limits, although flood conditions cannot be separated from human activities. This condition is strengthened by the large number of trees cut so that the control over water flow and erosion is unstable.
Enthusiasm of community during the discussion
On the same issue, I Made Dwi Wiratmaja from BMKG also provides weather forecasts every ten days, 30 days, and three months. After explaining the phenomenon of La Nina, which means increasing rainfall, and El Nino, which reduces rainfall, he asked the awareness of farmer groups to understand the importance of understanding this situation. He explained, “If a farmer can be friendly and adapt to the climate, then he knows what steps must be taken, so the results will be better.”
All participants were then divided into five groups, determined by mentioning the number sequentially. One large A0-sized hvs paper was distributed to them. It contains types of plants, phases, pests, natural enemies, 3-month rain weather forecasts, and action plans. The presentation was made after the discussion of each group. One by one, the group read it, laughter could not be avoided. This part is serious, but the jokes break the ice and tend to be relaxed. From 10.45 WITA, the presentation started. It didn’t feel like it was already 11.15 WITA when all the groups had finished getting their turn.
Throughout 2020/2021, we has assisted tree planting activities, especially in disaster-prone areas around forest areas managed by KTH Giri Amertha. The natural disasters that are often experienced by communities around the neighborhood are landslides, flash floods, and droughts. In various disaster mitigation and forest conservation activities, IDEP has been assisted by KTH Giri Amertha.
Since then, most members of KTH Giri Amertha have shown interest in applying the concepts of Permaculture and Agroforestry in forestry activities. This group also shows enthusiasm for tree-planting activities in the area they manage.
Training on organic composting
The session pauses briefly. All participants and facilitators had lunch, took a group photo, and continued planting tree seedlings by BMKG. Suddenly it was already 11.25 WITA. Komang Sri restarted the event with the issue of climate-smart agriculture. He expressed a minimal understanding of agriculture in the act of hoeing. The use of mulch and applying mixed cropping were also conveyed afterward.
“Agriculture with minimal hoeing activities will make the younger generation more interested in becoming farmers, rather than conventional farming with a lot of hoeing,” he said later.
The practice then continued with planting patchouli in the forest. Patchouli is considered to have a function as a mulch that protects the soil and plants. Nursery practice follows with an explanation of grafting and grafting techniques.
I Wayan Suartana, and I Made Sukadana, facilitators from IDEP took part in this session. At 12.00 WITA, testing soil fertility with simple tools begins. The tool is made only of lights, pipes, and wires but is quite effective for testing soil fertility. After that, all participants shifted slightly. There was an explanation regarding making liquid compost with organic materials (banana stems, rice bran, brown sugar, etc.).
At the end of the event, IDEP handed over patchouli seeds and several fruit tree seedlings as well as farming & nursery tools (litmus paper, soil fertility tester, polybags, grafting knife, and grafting tape) to KTH Giri Amertha.
The head of KTH Giri Amertha advised his members to take advantage of what they had received and expressed a commitment to conducting plant/tree nurseries for agriculture and forest conservation.
Article & Photo: Nicolaus Sulistyo © IDEP Foundation