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UBC Theses and Dissertations

Operationalizing indicators of resilience in Subak system of Bali, Indonesia : learning from the Satoyama approach Ono, Ayumi


The concept of the “Socio-Ecological Production Landscapes and Seascape (SEPLS)”, which are called “Satoyama” in Japan traditionally, suggests that interactions between ecosystems and human production activities can be favourable and synergistic. The importance of managing SEPLS became internationally recognized after the CBD COP10 meeting in 2010, but many recent changes such as industrialization and globalization have caused challenges to the sustainability of SEPLS. It is therefore important to learn from various real-world examples of managed SEPLS and to strengthen the resilience of SEPLS. This thesis focuses on one example of a SEPLS in Bali, Indonesia, which is famous for the rice terraces and cooperative irrigation system, called Subak. In 2023, I visited Wongaya Gede village to investigate the function of their socio-ecological production system in a Subak landscape. My study focused on three objectives of the system: (1) the relationship between traditional agricultural practices and natural ecosystems, (2) customary institutions' understanding and the state's understanding of land use, and (3) the impact of recent social and economic changes. My data was collected through participatory observation and key-informant interviews. The data were checked against the “Indicators of Resilience in SEPLS”, which is provided in a toolkit publication published by the Satoyama initiative. My findings reveal that the variety of landscape components and their spatial disposition as well as interconnection among them strengthens the resilience of the Wongaya Gede landscape. The regulations in protection forest are well-balanced with their agricultural practices. Also, people are applying their traditional practices and values to adopt external changes. Some key findings suggest generalizable lessons for the management of resilient SEPLS, namely the effectiveness of (1) complex mosaic structures of land-uses, (2) complements the benefits from protected areas, and (3) the coexistence of community rules and flexible management arrangements at the community level. The research proposes a wide range of usage of indicators, and provides a basis for further studies to explore the resilience of SEPLS in a broader and longer-term context, adding more cultural insight. The insights from this thesis contribute to research and engagement to strengthen the management of SEPLS to achieve resilience.

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