1.         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

Criteria  (ii)(iii)(v)(vi)

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/

International Assistance

Requests approved: 0 (from 2001-2001)
Total amount approved: USD 30,000
For details, see page https://whc.unesco.org/en/list/1194/assistance/

UNESCO Extra-budgetary Funds

N/A

Previous monitoring missions

January 2015: Joint ICOMOS/ICCROM Advisory mission

Factors affecting the property identified in previous reports

Illustrative material  see page https://whc.unesco.org/en/list/1194/

Conservation issues presented to the World Heritage Committee in 2017

On 30 November 2016, the State Party submitted a state of conservation report, which is available at https://whc.unesco.org/en/list/1194/documents/.

Following consultative meetings with experts and stakeholders, the conservation and management of the property are focused on the establishment of a Coordination Forum, spatial planning and of a sustainable tourism strategy.

The Coordination Forum is intended as a means of enhancing engagement and participation of Subak farming communities, as part of the implementation of the Management Plan for the property. Heads of farming communities and customary villages as well as temple priests were invited to meetings at the regency, provincial and national levels.

The State Party is committed to protecting the property from land conversion pressure. The processes to establish the property as a National Strategic Area are in progress, notably through a preliminary study, which will delineate the boundaries of protected zones and buffer zones and formulate approaches to zoning regulation. A spatial study for the entire property aims to compile data to support a future presidential decree aimed at the protection and appropriate use of the Cultural Landscape of Bali.

In recognition of the need to support traditional ways of living while providing benefits to the local community and delivering a positive visitor experience, a Sustainable Tourism Strategy has been prepared, with guidance from the World Heritage and Sustainable Tourism Programme. This Strategy was developed through a series of workshops involving local communities, policy makers, academics, non­governmental organizations and the private sector. It emphasizes the need for improved tourism management to help sustain the Subak System and includes a shared vision, strategic objectives and an Action Plan.

A guidebook for the property has been published, providing narratives on the Subak system and the Tri Hita Karana philosophy and supporting teacher training, the inclusion of Subak within the local school curriculum, and the participation of Subak guardians in touristic activities.

A range of financial incentives exist for the farmers, including land and building tax relief, grants or other assistance and concessions from the local mayors or the governor. Income generation for farmers was addressed through initiatives such as an organic ‘Farm-to-Table’ program.

Analysis and Conclusions of the World Heritage Centre, ICOMOS and ICCROM

The State Party, the province and regency governments have made substantial progress in implementing previous Committee decisions and the recommendations of the 2015 Advisory Mission, in accordance with the commitments, which were made at the time of inscription.

The establishment of a Coordination Forum for the management of the Cultural Landscape of Bali Province is a key initiative, which will provide a structured forum for the participation of Subak farming communities in the formal processes for the conservation and management of the property, in a manner that can address and sustain their traditional practices as well as their economic and social needs. It is now important that the operations of the Coordination Forum be monitored to ensure that it contributes to the effective management of the property.

The availability of land and building tax relief, grants and other assistance and concessions to support Subak farmers is welcome, and it is desirable that these programs become available to support the livelihoods of all Subak communities.

Spatial planning can help protect the property from land conversion and other developments that may threaten its Outstanding Universal Value (OUV), such as the unsuitable developments, which have occurred at Jatiluwih. The spatial planning initiative remains in progress and requires additional support. An integrated approach to catchment management is essential for water quality, forest management and natural resources, and both natural and cultural resources are essential for the healthy operation of the Subak system. Therefore, it is important to continue the current efforts to have the property recognised as a National Strategic Area, to implement customized natural resource management within the protected zones and buffer zones of water catchments and cultural properties, and to finalise the proposed presidential decree as a high-level statutory protection mechanism.

It is recommended that the Committee encourage the State Party to prepare Environmental Impact Assessments (EIA) and/or Heritage Impact Assessments (HIA) for new developments in the property and its setting, particularly at Jatiluwih, in conformity with the IUCN World Heritage Advice Note on Environmental Assessments and/or the ICOMOS Guidance on HIAs for Cultural World Heritage Properties (as appropriate), including a specific section on the potential impact of the projects on the OUV of the property. The EIA/HIA documentation should also be provided to the World Heritage Centre, for review by the Advisory Bodies, before making any decisions that would be difficult to reverse, in accordance with Paragraph 172 of the Operational Guidelines.

Finally, the completion of the Sustainable Tourism Strategy is a major achievement that responds to previous calls for strategic planning, decisive actions and detailed tourism planning, and the Strategy can support Subak communities and contribute to the long-term sustainability of the property. It is recommended that the Committee commend the State Party for these and other initiatives, including publications, teachers training, and the inclusion of the Subak in the local school curriculum. However, substantial challenges remain for this living Cultural Landscape and it is important that current efforts and programs maintain momentum through continued government support, and that there be close vigilance of any proposed major developments, including appropriate scrutiny by the World Heritage Centre and the Advisory Bodies.

Decision Adopted: 41 COM 7B.91

The World Heritage Committee,

  1. Having examined Document WHC/17/41.COM/7B,
  2. Recalling Decision 38 COM 7B.14 and 39 COM 7B.66, adopted at its 38th (Doha, 2014) and 39th (Bonn, 2015) sessions respectively,
  3. Commends the State Party for the progress made in implementing the Committee’s previous decisions and the recommendations of the 2015 Advisory mission, which align with the commitments made at the time of inscription to ensure effective management as a means of protecting the Outstanding Universal Value (OUV) of the property;
  4. Welcomes the establishment of the Coordination Forum for the management of the Cultural Landscape of Bali Province, the preparation of the Sustainable Tourism Strategy and other measures to reduce the threat posed by land conversion pressures;
  5. Also welcomes the initiation of programmes which provide income and financial incentives for local farmers, including land and building tax relief, grants and other assistance and concessions, but requests the State Party to make these initiatives available to all of the Subaks within the property;
  6. Also requests the State Party to closely monitor the Coordination Forum, including participation rates by local farmers and province and regency governments, any emerging issues, and the timeliness and effectiveness of responses and outcomes;
  7. Takes note of the continued need for a catchment management approach to water quality, forest management and natural resources, as part of strategic planning to safeguard the water catchment, and further requests the State Party:
    1. To take all necessary steps to ensure that the property is designated as a National Strategic Area, with special provisions that can deliver natural resource management within the protected zones and buffer zones of water catchments and cultural properties, and
    2. To finalize the proposed presidential decree;
  8. Requests furthermore the State Party to ensure that Environmental Impact Assessments (EIA) and/or Heritage Impact Assessments (HIA) are carried out for new developments in the property and its setting, particularly at Jatiluwih, in conformity with the IUCN World Heritage Advice Note on Environmental Assessments and/or the ICOMOS Guidance on HIAs for cultural World Heritage properties, with a specific section focusing on the potential impact of the projects on the OUV of the property, and to ensure that the EIA/HIA documentation is provided to the World Heritage Centre for review by the Advisory Bodies before making any decisions that would be difficult to reverse, in accordance with Paragraph 172 of the Operational Guidelines;
  9. Finally requests the State Party to submit to the World Heritage Centre, by 1 December 2018, an updated report on the state of conservation of the property and the implementation of the above, for examination by the World Heritage Committee at its 43rd session in 2019.