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Cultural Landscape of Bali Province: the Subak System as a Manifestation of the Tri Hita Karana Philosophy

Indonesia
Factors affecting the property in 2023*
  • Changes in traditional ways of life and knowledge system
  • Governance
  • Housing
  • Identity, social cohesion, changes in local population and community
  • Land conversion
  • Management systems/ management plan
  • Society's valuing of heritage
Factors* affecting the property identified in previous reports
  • Changes in traditional ways of life and knowledge systems (Vulnerability of the Subak system)
  • Identity, social cohesion, changes in local population and community (Lack of support for traditional farming systems and of benefits that would allow farmers to stay on the land)
  • Land Conversion (Protection of the setting of the landscape to protect the water source that underpins the Subak system)
  • Housing (Development pressures)
  • Governance, Management systems/management plans (Lack of functioning governance system to implement the Management Plan, Absence of a strategic tourism plan)
  • Society’s valuing of heritage
UNESCO Extra-Budgetary Funds until 2023

Total amount granted: USD 20,000 from the UNESCO/Netherlands Funds-in-Trust provided for a preparatory assistance to the nomination process (2001).

International Assistance: requests for the property until 2023
Requests approved: 1 (from 2001-2001)
Total amount approved : 30,000 USD
Missions to the property until 2023**

January 2015: Joint ICOMOS/ICCROM Advisory mission

Conservation issues presented to the World Heritage Committee in 2023

On 1 December 2022, the State Party submitted a state of conservation report, which is available at https://whc.unesco.org/en/list/1194/documents/. Progress in a number of conservation issues addressed by the Committee at its previous sessions is presented in this report, as follows:

  • The Bali Province and the Regency governments have taken actions to strengthen the governing bodies for the Subaks;
  • The Tabanan Regency has introduced regulations to assist Subak farmers to maximise their production of rice. The Balinese government has introduced regulations to encourage the use of local agricultural products in hotels and restaurants, as well as retail establishments;
  • The Traditional Society Development Service of Bali Province is currently re-registering Subaks in each of Bali’s Regencies, and has provided financial support to Subaks;
  • Planning for the draft National Strategic Area Spatial Plan is continuing, and this will be part of the programme of drafting Presidential Regulations in 2023;
  • Technical guidance for Heritage Impact Assessment (HIA) was completed in 2021 and will be updated to incorporate the recently released revised guidance;
  • Detailed Spatial Plans are being prepared in several districts;
  • No developments with the potential to impact the Outstanding Universal Value (OUV) are planned in the property or its buffer zone.
Analysis and Conclusion by World Heritage Centre and the Advisory Bodies in 2023

The report provided by the State Party underlines the importance of supporting the economic viability of Subak farming, and regulations have been developed by the Tabanan Regency and Balinese Provincial Government. The implications for the World Heritage property of the Balinese Government’s re-registration of Subaks across all Regencies are not explained, and the State Party could be requested to provide additional information. The development of a guidance document on operational directives which incorporates HIA is welcomed, although to be effective in practice, this will need to be accompanied by local capacity building.

In previous decisions, the World Heritage Committee considered the designation of a National Strategic Area to be an important means of ensuring the protection of this property. The brief information provided by the State Party indicates that this process is progressing, although the previously estimated timeframe has not been achieved. The State Party should be encouraged to finalise the process of designating the property as a National Strategic Area as soon as possible.

The State Party advises that there are no developments with the potential to impact the OUV. The strength of traditional management practices such as the awig-awig is acknowledged. However, some areas within the serial property are subject to development pressures, and it is not clear how the traditional and institutional decision-making structures work together to ensure that the requirements arising from Paragraph 172 of the Operational Guidelines are met. There is mention of the development of Detailed Spatial Plans in some districts which should further support effective local decision-making although further information about how this is ensured is needed. These should be encouraged in all parts of the serial property.

Decisions adopted by the Committee in 2023
45 COM 7B.163
Cultural Landscape of Bali Province: the Subak System as a Manifestation of the Tri Hita Karana Philosophy (Indonesia) (C 1194rev)

The World Heritage Committee,

  1. Having examined Document WHC/23/45.COM/7B,
  2. Recalling Decision 44 COM 7B.143 adopted at its extended 44th session (Fuzhou/online, 2021),
  3. Welcomes the advice of the State Party regarding the Provincial and Regency regulations and intiatives developed to support the economic viability of Subak farming;
  4. Encourages the State Party to finalise the process of designating the property as a National Strategic Area as soon as possible;
  5. Notes the process for the re-registration of Subaks across all Balinese Regencies, and the information provided by the State Party regarding the completion of the operational directives materials that include Heritage Impact Assessments (HIA), and encourages the State Party to develop associated capacity building activities;
  6. Also notes the advice from the State Party that local traditional decision-making structures will be further supported by the development of Detailed Spatial Plans in several districts, requests that further information is provided to explain how local traditional decision-making will be specifically supported through these Plans, and recommends that these are developed for all component parts of the serial property;
  7. Reiterates its previous request to the State Party to ensure that all development projects within the property and buffer zones are subject to HIAs, in line with the Guidance and Toolkit for Impact Assessments in a World Heritage Context, and that information about any project that could have an impact on the OUV of the property is submitted to the World Heritage Centre for review by the Advisory Bodies, before any decision is made that would be difficult to reverse, in accordance with Paragraph 172 of the Operational Guidelines;
  8. Requests the State Party to submit to the World Heritage Centre, by 1 December 2024, 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 47th session.
Draft Decision: 45 COM 7B.163

The World Heritage Committee,

  1. Having examined Document WHC/23/45.COM/7B,
  2. Recalling Decision 44 COM 7B.143, adopted at its extended 44th session (Fuzhou/Online, 2021),
  3. Welcomes the advice of the State Party regarding the Provincial and Regency regulations and intiatives developed to support the economic viability of Subak farming;
  4. Encourages the State Party to finalise the process of designating the property as a National Strategic Area as soon as possible;
  5. Notes the process for the re-registration of Subaks across all Balinese Regencies, and the information provided by the State Party regarding the completion of the operational directives materials that include Heritage Impact Assessments (HIA), and encourages the State Party to develop associated capacity building activities;
  6. Also notes the advice from the State Party that local traditional decision-making structures will be further supported by the development of Detailed Spatial Plans in several districts, requests that further information is provided to explain how local traditional decision-making will be specifically supported through these Plans, and recommends that these are developed for all component parts of the serial property;
  7. Reiterates its previous request to the State Party to ensure that all development projects within the property and buffer zones are subject to HIAs, in line with the new Guidance and Toolkit for Impact Assessments in a World Heritage Context, and that information about any project that could have an impact on the OUV of the property is submitted to the World Heritage Centre for review by the Advisory Bodies, before any decision is made that would be difficult to reverse, in accordance with Paragraph 172 of the Operational Guidelines;
  8. Requests the State Party to submit to the World Heritage Centre, by 1 December 2024, 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 47th session.
Report year: 2023
Indonesia
Date of Inscription: 2012
Category: Cultural
Criteria: (iii)(v)(vi)
Documents examined by the Committee
SOC Report by the State Party
Report (2022) .pdf
arrow_circle_right 45COM (2023)
Exports

* : The threats indicated are listed in alphabetical order; their order does not constitute a classification according to the importance of their impact on the property.
Furthermore, they are presented irrespective of the type of threat faced by the property, i.e. with specific and proven imminent danger (“ascertained danger”) or with threats which could have deleterious effects on the property’s Outstanding Universal Value (“potential danger”).

** : All mission reports are not always available electronically.