Cultural Landscape of Bali Province: the Subak System as a Manifestation of the Tri Hita Karana Philosophy (Indonesia) (C 1194rev)
Year of inscription on the World Heritage List 2012
Year(s) of inscription on the List of World Heritage in Danger N/A
Previous Committee Decisions see page https://whc.unesco.org/en/list/1194/documents/
Requests approved: 0
Total amount approved: USD 30,000
For details, see page https://whc.unesco.org/en/list/1194/assistance/
UNESCO Extra-budgetary Funds
Previous monitoring missions
January 2015: ICOMOS/ICCROM Advisory mission
Factors affecting the property identified in previous reports
The following factors were identified at the time of inscription of the property in 2012:
- Vulnerability of the subak system
- Lack of support for traditional farming systems and of benefits that would allow farmers to stay on the land
- Protection of the setting of the landscape to protect the water source that underpins the subak system
- Development pressures
- Lack of functioning governance system to implement the Management Plan
Illustrative material see page https://whc.unesco.org/en/list/1194/
Conservation issues presented to the World Heritage Committee in 2015
On 28 January 2015, the State Party submitted a state of conservation report. Furthermore, as recommended by the Committee, a joint ICOMOS/ICCROM Advisory mission was invited by the State Party and visited the property in January 2015. Both reports are available at https://whc.unesco.org/en/list/1194/documents, and the information can be summarized as follows:
- With a view to enhancing the participation of subak communities, a mechanism known as Communication and Coordination Forum for the management of the Cultural Landscape of Bali Province has been initiated. This Forum involves subak communities and customary villages, as well as the government of 5 regencies (Buleleng, Tabanan, Badung, Gianyar and Bangli). Under this Forum, the traditional subak communities, along with the caretakers of the pura (temples) in the subak system, are further empowered by their involvement in their respective Regional Secretariat of the regencies. In addition, the traditional subak communities are also involved through the establishment of a forum of Pekaseh (head of subak organization), which meets regularly and has established an awig-awig (set of by-laws based on customary laws). This network provides opportunity for more interaction between farmers and the authorities.
- Although the Governing Assembly, a key part of the management plan in place at the time of inscription, is functioning, the Coordination Forum and the pekaseh Forum are expected to strengthen the involvement of subak communities with the Governing Assembly.
- An adaptive co-management system has also been established between academicians, government institutions, civil society organizations, and the local community to better identify and implement necessary measures in managing the In 2014, a World Heritage Monitoring System, equipped with a regional database and a digital thematic mapping system, was established.
- The State Party is exploring the possibility for the property to become a National Strategic Area. Such National Strategic Areas are protected by law, and would not allow for development activities that could threaten the Outstanding Universal Value (OUV) of the
Analysis and Conclusions of the World Heritage Centre, ICOMOS and ICCROM
The Advisory mission noted that the commitments made at the time of inscription for effective management to protect the OUV of the property still remain high. However the mission also noted that the pressure for land conversion remains significant, creating a considerable vulnerability that is challenging the ability of the authorities to sustain OUV. The current nesting of national, Province and Regency legislation and policy appeared to be insufficient to regulate the conversion of land within the property, as the traditional management systems – led by the pekaseh – have considerable autonomy to make land conversion and/or development decisions.
The mission also noted the growing need for strategic planning for community-centred cultural and eco-tourism, particularly for Jatiluwih and the area near Mount Batur, although the entire property is vulnerable to tourism pressure due to the lack of effective strategic planning.
At the time of inscription, due to the centrality of the communities and their traditional structures in the OUV of the property, it was envisaged that there would be full engagement of the subak farming communities with the Governing Council for the effective implementation of the management plan. However, the mission noted that the representation and engagement of the farmer community in the Governing Council, as proposed at the time of inscription, seems not to have been effectively implemented. Although the new Forum Coordination mechanism recently started by the State Party could be considered as a potential contribution to the improvement of the management system, the mission considered that it was too early to evaluate the effectiveness of this mechanism.
The mission, while welcoming the tax relief to subak farmers in Gianyar and Tabanan Regencies mentioned to the mission, considered that the establishment of financial mechanisms to support traditional subaks and reduce pressure for land conversion is a continuing priority across the whole property.
In order to strengthen the overall management processes, the mission recommended that the Governments of Indonesia and Bali Province should recognize formally the revised structure of the management system (incorporating the Forum Coordination). The mission also recommended the development of:
- Regular and well-supported engagement between the Province and Regency Governments and the Forum Coordination;
- Financial and other incentives to support the livelihoods of subak communities, through land taxes, and through optimising other forms of income, such as farm produce and agro-tourism;
- A catchment management approach to water quality, forest management and natural resources as part of strategic planning to safeguard the water catchment areas and essential for the healthy functioning of the subak system;
- More effective coordination in relation to land conversion processes and changes in land use, including new developments;
- Action Plans to reflect the wide range of issues that impact on the property;
- Effective mechanisms for strategic planning;
- Impact assessments for new developments in the property and its wider setting;
- Detailed and strategic tourism planning to ensure that enhanced tourism activity can support the subak communities and contribute to the long-term sustainability of the property.
The mission considered that all of these (and other recommendations) were of high and urgent priority, even though many of them will be ongoing and/or long-term in duration.
Acknowledging the high vulnerability of the property to development pressures and land conversion, and the fragility of the traditional subak systems, it is recommended that the Committee urge the State Party, as a matter of urgency, to strengthen the overall management of the property through much greater engagement of, and support for, subak communities, and through more detailed strategic planning, including addressing the need to safeguard the water catchment areas and foster sustainable cultural tourism.
Decision Adopted: 39 COM 7B.66
The World Heritage Committee,
- Having examined Document WHC-15/39.COM/7B.Add,
- Recalling Decision 38 COM 7B.14, adopted at its 38th session (Doha, 2014),
- Commends the State Party for having invited an Advisory mission to share concerns and issues raised by the Committee; and notes that the commitments made at the time of inscription for effective management to protect the Outstanding Universal Value (OUV) of the property still remain high;
- Notes with concern that the pressure for land conversion remains significant, creating a considerable vulnerability that is challenging the ability of the authorities to sustain OUV and that, although it was envisaged at the time of inscription that there would be full engagement of the subak farming communities with the Governing Council for the effective implementation of the management plan, this seems not to have been effectively implemented;
- Takes note that improvements are being introduced to engage communities more effectively through new Forum Coordination mechanisms, although it is too early to evaluate the effectiveness of this mechanism for the overall management of the property;
- Also commends the action taken by one Regency to provide tax incentives to the farmers; and also notes that the establishment of financial mechanisms to support all the traditional subaks and reduce pressure for land conversion is a continuing priority;
- Further notes that no comprehensive tourism strategy is in place covering all regencies;
- Also takes note of the importance highlighted by the mission regarding the protection of water catchment areas for the survival of the subak system;
- Requests the State Party, in order to strengthen the overall management processes and to address these issues, to implement the recommendations of the Advisory mission as a matter of priority, including the development of the following on an on-going and long-term basis:
- Engagement between the Province and Regency Governments and the Forum Coordination,
- Financial and other incentives to support the livelihoods of subak communities,
- Means to safeguard the water catchment area, essential for the healthy functioning of the subak system,
- More effective coordination in relation to land conversion processes, and changes in land use, including new developments,
- Action Plans to reflect the wide range of issues that impact on the property,
- Effective mechanisms for strategic planning,
- Impact assessments for new developments in the property and its wider setting,
- Detailed and strategic cultural tourism planning;
- Also requests the State Party to submit to the World Heritage Centre, by 1 December 2016, an updated report, including a 1-page executive summary, on the state of conservation of the property and the implementation of the above, for examination by the World Heritage Committee at its 41st session in 2017.