Customary Village Plays Important Role in Sea and Coastal Management in Bali

       BASICALLY, the Bali’s economy depends on the agricultural sector supported by home industries and the tourism industry. This small island’s economy is less diversified and more specific than other economies, especially in the primary sector such as agriculture and fisheries, and then in the tertiary sector such as tourism. Bali with its beautiful beaches becomes the main tourist destination for foreigners. By and large, it is referred to as the ‘tourism area’ offering natural beauty of coastal areas such as Kuta, Sanur, Nusa Dua, Tuban, Jimbaran, Candidasa, Amed, Lovina and many other beaches.

     The concept of sustainable development is stated as an adaptive process of change related to the exploitation of resources, the direction of investment and others. The key point of sustainable development is to maintain ecological integrity and diversity based on human needs, environmental conservation and appreciation of local wisdom.

     In Bali, sustainable development means the balance of economy, environment and culture. But in recent years, Bali has faced many problems related to waste. People have lost their ocean awareness. The problem of damage to coral reefs, mangroves and marine pollution gives a different story when compared to the legend of how ancient sages built temples in the coastal areas of Bali to protect the sea and coastal areas of Bali. On that account, Balinese people need to repeat their commitment to protecting the Bali’s environment as told by their ancestors. Customary villages in Bali must play a role in protecting the sea and coastal areas from destruction.

     Regarding the coastal problems in Bali, the following five strategic options can be considered:

(1) Implementing the philosophy of Tri Hita Karana (THK) as a marine and coastal management strategy. Lexically, THK means three causes of prosperity or happiness from a harmonious relationship between humans, nature and God;

(2) Strategy for implementing an integrated coastal management (ICM) model which includes three main subsystems, namely socio-demographic subsystems, economic subsystems, and marine natural resource subsystems;

(3): Combining local knowledge into development planning holistically to reduce negative impacts on the environment for future generations;

(4) Empowerment of traditional organizations such as customary village, subak (irrigation cooperative) and bendega (fishermen group) which have power in the community;

(5) Declaration of ‘Sakenan Bali Charter’ as a commitment to eliminating plastic waste in Bali. This declaration proposes the use of Balinese customary law governing each customary village and other customary associations.

     Thus, traditional organizations in Bali can play an important role in the implementation of sustainable development as seen through the implementation of the Tri Hita Karana philosophy. People respect to this belief by protecting the environment. v *) Center for Sustainable Development, Udayana University, Denpasar