BALI WATER CRISIS – NO WATER! NO BALI!
by Akshay Parashar |Indian Intern| August 14, 2017 11:15 am
Bali, the famed Secret gateway to Heaven, with its diverse scenery of hills and mountains, rugged coastlines and sandy beaches, blossoming rice terraces and barren volcanic hillsides. Every bit of Island set a pleasing backdrop to its vibrant culture, stakes a serious claim to be heaven on earth.
The archipelago has drawn visitors from all over the map, with millions flying every year. Bali is mainly reliant on tourism Industry for its progress. Tourism industry accounts for 60% of Bali’s economy and has helped it to nurture economically and socially. The Island is relatively tiny, but it is densely inhabited (4.85Million.BPS 2017), likely to increase due to the growing employment prospects. But not all is perfect in Heaven.
Sadly, tourism the backbone of its economy is ruining its ecological and social arrangement. Bali’s increasing population and over development has led to a severe water crisis. Tourism is a major contributor to this looming crisis, for the reason that the essential element of life “water” resources that the island can provide are simply not meeting the rapidly mounting demand.
The Tourism sector on which this island relies on also stands to collapse if this manufactured disaster is not confronted.
Water is life! Bali is Heaven!
Why this tropical Island even with a green season spanning semi annually is facing such water crisis?
Bali water scarcity concern is due to range of aspects. Bali is losing its valuable tropical rain forests on alarming stage causing massive environmental and social impacts. Ever mounting deforestation and concretisation of forests land for tourism and vacation homes means that Island water natural catchment structure is weakening.
Bali is now encountering a failing water table causing groundwater levels to run down as water courses straight out to ocean. The existing water table are being exploited to indefensible levels, due to tourism infrastructures digging wells ever deeper. The paradise is in danger, with ever decreasing river and lake water, and gradually land caving in, to add to the declining water quality.
According to Kintamani residents, “Lake Batur, a major fresh water catchment which is regarded as the crucial source of all spring and river is dropped to unsustainable levels. The environmental, social impacts are questioning the survival”.
Is Bali Water crisis turning from Bad to worse?
Bali water crisis map © http://nowbali.co.id
Water is extremely essential part of life. Water is finite resource. However, inappropriate supply and excessive use of water leads to water scarcity. This is what concerning Bali inhabitants.
Water resources in Bali not even capable enough to support a population of 4.85million, with growing population this situation is getting worse. This is alarming stage seeing that how Bali will bear the tourist influx of 10 million annually flying here.
As the number the tourists increase, water scarcity is becoming ever-increasing crisis. As of 2017, Tourism utilizes two-thirds of Bali’s fresh water. As the tourism industry relies heavily on the availability of fresh water, water is often ‘taken’ from the locals and diverted to tourism related uses.
Utilization vs Exploitation © www.sawahBali.org
Balinese farmer leader Mr. Pak anggir, describes water crisis as “There is acute shortage of water, tourism industry don’t use water they exploit it. While natives of this Island are facing water crisis, tourists have the benefit of access to clean water. We understand that tourism is essential for our economy, but why they take no notice of our environment? Lack of water is dominating our lives. I cannot sleep because of worrying about water for my rice field .On the other hand tourism sector exploits water in completely worthless activities. Diverting water for golf courses, swimming pools, there are endless instances they have exploited this precious source. For us water is amrut (holy water) and we want a sustainable future of this sacred land.”
The Tourism industry draws significant amount of water averaging roughly 3-5 million of litres per day. As data show (above) that a native Balinese use approx 120-150 Litres per day, while a tourist in Bali exploits nearly 2500 litres per day . This unequal distribution and misuse of water is leading this crisis from bad to worse.
How to overcome this water crisis?
Water is life. Respect this valuable God gift. © www.Balijungle.com
Unfortunately, the damage has been done on indefensible level. This water crisis can be tackled by working with nature rather than against it. Due to the outsized players leading this crisis, its need of the hour that all the stakeholders join together and assure sustainability of water. The insignificant activities and exploitation have to end.
Sadly, Tourists – the major drivers of this industry are not well aware about this water crisis, raising awareness among players of this industry will benefit to a great extent, it will influence the strength of the tourism industry to encourage and generate corporate social responsibility programme that tourists and inhabitants can enthusiastically support.A sense of belonging should not only limit to natives, visitors must also take care of Bali as their home.
The technical solution can be using rain water filtration system and rain water harvesting system that will definitely help to access clean water to urban and rural areas. Sometime the solution just fallout from the sky especially in tropical places like Bali where rain water are so abundance in 1 millilitre of rain at 1 m2 of space equal 1 litre per second so if you have 100 m2 roof that will collect 100 litres of rain water per second or 360,000 litres of rain water in an hour. Sustainability is way of life that should be adopted for betterment of environment and society.
The purpose of this article is to educate society about the threats and severe blows Bali is facing. The awareness about water crisis is essential to tackle this disaster. Alarm bells are starting to sound in Bali, so now it’s time to act for sustainable Bali. Our actions will Support Bali in retaining No.1 Spot as World best tourism destination.
The author is a researcher at the Symbiosis School of International Studies, Pune,India.
[Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author based on the Understanding and communication with people and do not necessarily reflect the position of the Tri Hita Karana Bali]
AJEB BALI MELALUI PALEMAHAN
Oleh Akshay Parashar | Indian Intern | Agustus 2, 2017 11:55 Siang
BALI: Surga yang hilang? © http://www.huffingtonpost.com
Bali, Pulau Dewata yang terkenal, dengan pemandangan perbukitan dan pegunungan yang beragam, garis pantai yang terjal dan pantai berpasir, teras padi yang mekar dan lereng bukit vulkanik yang tandus. Setiap bagian pulau memberi ketenangan pada budaya yang penuh warna, intens spiritual dan unik, memiliki klaim serius akan surga di bumi.
Ini adalah Bali, gerbang rahasia menuju surga. Bisakah anda mengulanginya? Apakah itu sama dengan Bali ” tersesat di surga”?
Bali the Wonderland – Kenyataan di lapangan jauh lebih rumit.
“Pulau para dewa” adalah tujuan wisata tertinggi di seluruh dunia dengan jutaan terbang setiap tahun untuk mengagumi keindahannya. Bali pada dasarnya bergantung pada Industri Pariwisata atas kemajuannya. Pulau menyambut semua orang, setiap bit Pulau memukau. Tapi Tanah ciptaan Hyang Widhi sedang menghadapi kerusan berat dari keserakahan pemeran pariwisata.Bali sekarang benar-benar kehilangan pesonanya. Keselarasan unik dengan alam berada dalam bahaya, pelanggaran hukum alam pada tahap yang mengkhawatirkan, dan inilah saatnya untuk bertindak.
Apakah Pariwisata menghancurkan langit di bumi? Atau ada aktor sentral lain yang berbagi pertanggungjawaban atas penghancuran ini. Sekarang, ini kebutuhan untuk menentukan pilihan “hilang di surge” atau surga yang telah hilang”?
Menghidupkan kembali Bali melalui Palemahan
Di Bali, pandangan dan filosofi hidup adalah TRI HITA KARANA. Ini adalah penyusun budaya Bali yang diwariskan dari generasi dan berfungsi sampai sekarang. Makna literatur Tri Hita Karana adalah tiga penyebab Hap-piness atau kesejahteraan dan didasarkan pada tiga prinsip
1) Parhyangan (Harmoni dengan tuhan)
2) Pawongan (Harmoni antar manusia)
3) Palemahan (Harmoni dengan alam)
Tri Hita Karana filosofi © https://tkhbali.wordpress.com
Orang Bali sangat menyukai filsafat mereka. Hari lokal Bali dimulai dengan persembahan kepada tuhan dan menjaga kedamaian dan harmoni di dalam dirinya dan komunitasnya. Filosofi ini adalah cara hidup. Meski, aspek lain dari Tri Hita Karana dihormati namun tindakan dan Prinsip dalam arah harmoni dengan Alam tidak demikian.
Sudah saatnya untuk memperhatikan dan menjaga keseimbangan dengan cara hidup. Filosofi hidup ini kehilangan nilainya karena orang-orang yang hanya berfokus pada Parhyagan dan Pawongan meninggalkan Palemahan di belakang. Prinsip Palemahan adalah sistem nilai, untuk memberikan cetak biru untuk perbuatan terhadap alam, sehingga menjadi penting.
Bagi masyarakat untuk menangani prinsip ini juga.
Kesejahteraan dan kebahagiaan dicapai melalui Karma, berdasarkan Dharma.
Dharma mengubah dirinya menjadi harmonis dengan alam.
Kelemahan lingkungan mulai dari Deforestasi hingga krisis air mempertanyakan jalan hidup Pulau ini.Pulau firdaus menggelegar dan meminta perdamaian dan sinkronisasi di antara semua prinsip.
Pak wayanJuli, (masyarakat lokal Bali dan lingkungan terkemuka) dalam menangani kondisi pulau yang menyedihkan mengatakan “Bali dalam bahaya sekarang, pembangunan berlebih, polusi, pantai yang rileks dipenuhi sampah, lalu lintas macet, krisis air dan sawah dan rimbun. Pemandangan hijau berubah menjadi pohon beton. Dimana gerbang rahasia menuju surga? Penduduk setempat dan pemerintah menunjukkan kekhawatiran tentang meningkatnya turis dan ketakutan akan terlalu banyak komersialisasi, namun mereka hanya menunjukkan, tidak ada tindakan yang dilakukan untuk melindungi Pulau ini ”
Dia menambahkan lagi “Turis bertanggung jawab atas segala sesuatu yang salah. Wisatawan terbang disini karena mereka terpesona dengan pemandangannya, sawah, kultur kaya bukan dengan akomodasi mewah dan overdevelopment yang tidak masuk akal. Tidak diragukan lagi, wisatawan bertanggung jawab untuk mengeksploitasi Pulau ini tapi masyarakat Bali juga bersalah dan harus bertanggung jawab untuk tidak melestarikan tanah suci sendiri. ”
Palemahan adalah hukum alam; Pelanggaran hukum ini akan menyebabkan kesusahan, gejolak dan penderitaan. Ancaman perubahan iklim yang drastis dan kejutan lingkungan lainnya saat ini berdampak pada Bali dan jika gangguan ini akan terus berlanjut, pasti akan merusak jalan kehidupan.
Pak anggir, (idola petani Bali) mengatakan “Bali kehilangan seribu hektar sawah dan hutan setiap tahun, petani Bali lebih memilih untuk menjual tanah mereka dengan cepat dan kemudian sawah akan berubah menjadi resor. Kami penduduk asli tanah suci ini bertanggung jawab atas eksploitasi. Menyalahkan wisata yang berat dan pembangunan berlebih hanyalah alasan semata. Jika penduduk setempat tidak mempertahankan tanah mereka, bagaimana mungkin Anda bisa melakukannya kecuali orang luar?Orang Bali menggunakan bahan kimia, zat berbahaya yang menyebabkan degradasi tanah. Hal ini terjadi sejak tahun 1970an hampir empat dekade sekarang; Tidak ada pariwisata saat itu. ”
Bali akan menghidupkan kembali
Masyarakat Bali dapat memainkan peran penting dalam melestarikan tanah dengan melakukan prinsip yang paling esensial dari Tri Hita Karana yaitu Palemahan. Harmoni dengan tuhan dan harmoni antar manusia hanya akan ada bila akan ada lingkungan yang damai dan berkelanjutan. Hanya sedikit komunitas dan organisasi lokal di Bali yang bekerja dalam arah ini namun usaha akan berhasil hanya bila setiap orang Bali akan maju untuk melindungi Surga.
Sifat memaksa manusia untuk bertindak karena mereka bertanggung jawab untuk berhati-hati. Tidak ada yang bisa mengabaikan peringatan Alam karena setiap manusia tidak berdaya saat alam menyerang. Lebih baik memilih Bali yang lestari daripada memanjakannya.
Semua orang yang menuai keuntungan dari tanah ini, menikmati dan mengagumi keindahannya juga harus memulai dengan melindungi Pulau ini. Bangkit kembali Bali dengan bekerja untuk Bali yang berkelanjutan.
“Jika Anda membunuh Alam, maka Anda akan dibunuh oleh Alam,Jika Anda Menjaga Alam, maka Anda akan dijaga oleh Alam.Oleh karena itu Alam tidak boleh dibunuh,Karena Alam yang terbunuh akan membunuhmu kembali.”
Penulis adalah seorang peneliti di Symbiosis School of International Studies,Pune
[Penafian: Pandangan dan pendapat yang diungkapkan dalam artikel ini adalah pendapat penulis berdasarkan pada Pengertian dan komunikasi dengan orang-orang dan tidak mencerminkan posisi Tri Hita Karana Bali]
REVIVING BALI VIA PALEMAHAN
by Akshay Parashar |Indian Intern| August 2, 2017 11:25 am
BALI: LOST PARADISE? © http://www.huffingtonpost.com
Bali, the famed Island of the Gods, with its diverse scenery of hills and mountains, rugged coastlines and sandy beaches, blossoming rice terraces and barren volcanic hillsides. Every bit of Island given that a pleasing backdrop to its colourful, intensely spiritual and unique culture, stakes a serious claim to be heaven on earth.
This is Bali, the secret gateway to heaven. Could you repeat that? Is it the same Bali “Lost in Paradise”?
Bali the Wonderland – The reality on the ground is a lot more complicated.
The Island of the gods is the top tourism destination around the globe with Millions flying every year to admire its beauty. Bali is basically reliant on Tourism Industry for its progress. The Island welcome everyone, every bit of Island is mesmerizing. But the divine Land is facing the Onslaught of heavy tourism. Bali is now completely losing its charm. The unique harmony with nature is in danger, the violation of nature law is at alarming stage, and it’s high time to act.
Is Tourism destroying the heaven on earth? Or there are other central actors sharing the accountability for this destruction. Now, it’s the need of the hour to opt for “Lost in Paradise or Lost Paradise”.
Reviving Bali via Palemahan
In Bali, the outlook and Philosophy on life is TRI HITA KARANA. It is a constituent of Balinese culture that was inherited from generation and functioning till now. Tri Hita Karana literal meaning is three causes of Happiness or well-being and it is based on three principles
1) Parhyangan (Harmony with god)
2) Pawongan (Harmony among people)
3) Palemahan(Harmony with nature)Tri Hita Karana Philosophy © https://tkhbali.wordpress.com
The Balinese people are very particular about their philosophy. A local Balinese day commence with offerings to god and maintaining peace and harmony within itself and its community. This philosophy is a way of life. Although, the others aspects of Tri Hita Karana are honored but the actions and Principles in the direction of harmony with Nature is not.
It’s high time to regard and maintain balance with the way of life. The philosophy of life is losing its worth as people focusing only on Parhyagan and Pawongan leaving Palemahan in the rear.
Palemahan principle is a value system, to provide a blueprint for deeds towards nature, thus it becomes essential
for society to address this principle as well.
The welfare and happiness are achieved through Karma, Based on Dharma.
Dharma transforms itself into harmony with nature.
The environment distress ranging from Deforestation to water crisis is questioning the way of life of this Island.
The Paradise Island is blaring and it requests for peace and synchronization among all the principles.
Mr. wayanJuli, (local Balinese and Prominent environmentalist) on addressing the miserable condition of the Island said “Bali is in danger now, the over development, pollution, relaxing beaches are littered with waste, traffic is gridlocked, water crisis and rice paddies and lush green landscapes are turning into concrete Jungles. Where is the Secret gateway to heaven? Locals and government show concern about mounting tourist and fear for too much commercialization, but they just show, no actions are taking place to safeguard this Island”
He further added “Tourists are held responsible for everything that went wrong. Tourists flying here because they are fascinated by its scenery, rice paddies, rich culture not by luxurious accommodations and senseless overdevelopment. No doubt, tourists are accountable for exploiting this Island but Balinese society is also guilty and should be held responsible for not preserving own sacred land.”
The Palemahan is nature law; violation of this law would cause distress, turmoil and suffering. Drastic Climate change threats and other environmental shock by now impacting Bali and if this nuisance will stay on it will definitely going to damage the way of life.
Pak anggir, ( Balinese farmer idol) said “Bali is losing thousand hectare of paddy fields and forests every year, Balinese farmers prefer to sell their land for quick cash and later the paddy field will turn into a resort. We the natives of this sacred land are responsible for its exploitation. Blaming heavy tourism and over development is just a sheer excuse. If the locals will not defend their land then how they can you except outsiders to do so?
Balinese people using chemicals, harmful substances leading to soil degradation. This is going on since 1970s almost four decades by now; there was no tourism that time.”
Bali will Revive
Balinese community can play significant role in preserving the land by performing the most essential principle of Tri Hita Karana i.e. Palemahan. Harmony with god and harmony among people will only exist when there will be a peaceful and sustained environment. Few local communities and organizations in Bali are working in this direction but the efforts will be successful only when every single Balinese will come forward to safeguard the Paradise.
The nature forces the humans to act because they are responsible to take care. No one can afford to neglect the warning by Nature because every human being is helpless when nature strikes. It’s better to opt for sustainable Bali instead of spoiling it.
All those who reap profit out of this land, enjoy and admire its beauty should also start off with safeguarding this Island. Revive Bali by working for sustainable Bali.
“If you kill the Nature, then you will be killed by Nature,
If you Keep the Nature, then you will be guarded by Nature.
Therefore Nature should not be killed,
Due to the Nature that is killed will kill you back.
The author is a researcher at the Symbiosis School of International Studies,Pune.
[Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author based on the Understanding and communication with people and do not necessarily reflect the position of the Tri Hita Karana Bali]
PAK ANGGIR – THE BALINESE FARMER IDOL
by Akshay Parashar |Indian Intern| July26, 2017 08:40 pm
The Balinese Farmer Idol Pak Anggir. Photo © Chakra Widia
Five hundred million rupiah is a whopping thump of money for a successful tycoon. Adequate to buy a new car, allow new-fangled business ideas or even pay down the mortgage.
But for a dirt- poor Balinese farmer who constantly struggle for his existence five hundred million rupiah is an incredible fortune.
So Just imagine the strength it would have taken for 65-year-old Pak anggir to refuse an Australian tourism developer’s proffer to him 500 million rupiah to get hold of his rice paddies in the vicinity of Ubud in Bali’s Island.
“My land is near the Ayung River, prominent for white water rafting adventures so developers keep on asking me to sell it. But I am not going to give up my land Just like this”. Mr. Anggir said.
Bali is the top tourism destination around the globe with thousands flying every year to admire its beauty.
Ubud, the major hot spot of the Island is trailing its magnificence to accommodate the mounting tourists. Developers try to acquire land to put up infrastructures to please tourists. Though tourism industry is the backbone of Bali archipelago, but the adverse impacts of these greater than development projects are destroying its milieu.
“It was extremely tough decision of rejecting the whopping offer but this land belongs to me and my family, In Balinese there is a saying for money “easy come easy go”. There is no point to be “in the black” like this. I told my family we need to buy land not to sell because my ancestors told me that preserving your land was the hard-est thing to do. Selling is the easy way out.” Mr. Anggir said.
Mr. Anggir brave stand to preserve his sacred land and refusing the tourism million rupiah is inspiring the Balinese farmer community. He is Farmer Idol for them.
“I feel happy when my folks address me as their Idol; this helps me to influence more and more Farmers and friends and I always tell my fellow farmers and friends. Stop giving up your land to the investors, who exploit and disregard your soil.” He added.
The agricultural sector of Bali struggled in the past from the era of green revolution 1970s to the tourism boom in late 1990s.The present scenario of disregarding the environment will beyond doubt going to impact the future of Island.
Mr. Anggir is one of the few farmers who switched to the system of rice intensification method (SRI) over tradi-tional conventional methods. He inspires his fellow farmers to do so.
Mr. Anggir land in the vicinity of Ayung River, Ubud, Bali. Rice plantation using SRI.
“Life is difficult. A farmer life is full of struggle for continued existence. But if a different path can lessen your difficulty then what is the problem?”. He said.
“The first time I witnessed the SRI, when I was passing through west Bali. I saw farmers using different techniques of weeding and rice paddies flooded water was trimmed down. I was curious so I went and asked them about it. Then I got to know about this method. Increasing yield, enhanced soil quality and most importantly lesser requirement for water overwhelmed me. Since then I am going ahead with SRI”. Mr. Anggir said.
The foremost reason for why farmer end up selling his land is quick income. Because the conventional method requires mounting Agrochemicals and hybrid seeds which increase expenditure and spoils soil fertility, ultimately farmer end up with low harvest. Those problems remain disregarded and even still prevailing. Whilst SRI proved itself by achieving every aspect of sustainable dimension.
Balinese farmers performing SRI method for rice plantations. Photo © THK Bali
“Bali is losing its rice paddies at alarming level. Every year farmers give up their land to developers. It is need of the hour to fight back the concerning issues. If we didn’t address this problem, in near future there will be no rice paddies, the scenic beauty of Bali will lost. The initiative taken by Mr. Pak anggir, will not go in vain. It’s high time now. The Balinese farmer should engage more and more in preserving their sacred land and revive the forgotten paradise Bali”. Mr. Chakra Widia said. (Sustainable solution specialist and Mr. anggir farmer friend).
The tourism industry reaps profits from this Island but less or zero contribution for safeguarding this. The tourists are major stakeholders; they can bring the change by getting aware about their favorite destination. The growing influx of visitors every year is good for Islands economic growth, but it should also benefit the community and atmosphere of this Paradise.
“I think tourists can immensely contribute by supporting local farmers, engaging in agro tourism because we need socially aware tourists and the Tourism developers and beneficiaries of this sector should fulfil their re-sponsibility towards Island and its communities.” Mr. anggir said.
“I want my fellow farmers to take action against the emerging threats to livelihood; don’t sell your land. Use methods or practices like SRI which will increase your income and your land will remain with you. Because developers money will not last forever but your land will definitely ensure your prosperity forever”.
Though Pak anggir is leading Balinese farmer by not only inspiring them, he also encourages his fellow farmers to focus on land and its productivity. Others will join this movement by “seeing in believing”.
“As long you’ve passion, faith and willing to do work you can get anything you want in this life. Still a long way to go, my land is my passion and my passion empowers me to fight back” he said.
The author is a researcher at the Symbiosis School of International Studies, Pune, India.
(Disclaimer: The Profile feature article is based on the personal-interview. The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author based on Interview and do not necessarily reflect the position of the Tri Hita Karana Bali.)
System of Rice Intensification – A Triple-Win Situation
by Akshay Parashar |Indian Intern| July 22, 2017 05:20 pm
UNESCO World heritage site Jatiluwih Rice terraces Bali.© http://www.thkbali.wordpress.com
“The impact of climate change on agriculture could result in problems with food security and may threaten livelihood activities upon which much of the population depends”
Indonesia is the third largest producer of rice. The National economy place reliance on rice cultivation and it holds central place in Indonesian culture and Indonesian cuisine. The National dish “Nasi goreng” (fried rice) clearly point out that rice is the main staple food. Rice cultivation in the archipelago dates from eighth century and still in this contemporary world the conventional methods of cultivation is prevailing.
With the emerging threat of climate change and mounting global temperature, it’s high time to start questioning such methods which are contributing in damaging the planet earth. Indonesia is constantly increasing its world share in green house gas emissions (GHG) and fitting in top GHG emitters in the world.
The country is highly vulnerable to the impacts of climate change as rising global temperature will also raise the threat of submerging islands, irregular rainfall, droughts and other consequences. It is the need of the hour to opt for respect existence or expect resistance. The agricultural expansion and deforestation are hand in glove.
According to Mr. Chakra Widia, sustainable solution expert and founder of Tri Hita Karana Bali, the agricultural expansion is primarily happening to satisfy the food production and for generating income which is less likely to happen as farmers utilize huge amount of agrochemicals and hybrid seeds that mount their expenditure and because of these harmful chemicals the harvest is heavily affected resulting in less income out of it. This is happening constantly while disregarding the ill-effects on the planet earth. Let alone Bali island is losing its precious forest land just to satisfy the needs and this extensive forest clearance exerts huge amount of carbon in the atmosphere. The methods are around to counter this climate change threat and reduce these green house gases emissions but still the conventional methods prevailing and increasingly impacting the environment.
SRI- Method to counter climate change with triple win situation
Balinese farmer using SRI method in rice paddy © https://wordpress.com
The System of rice intensification, well acknowledged as SRI, can trim down water requirements for irrigation, enhances soil fertility and encourage less dependence on synthetic agrochemicals such as a pesticide or herbicide, all whilst protecting against the climate change consequences and reducing greenhouse gas emissions.
It’s high time to substitute conventional methods and implementing the System of Rice intensification for existence.
According to Mr. Chakra, Sustainable solution specialist, who has been working for respect existence motto by doing rice cultivation using SRI method for more than a decade. He describes SRI as,” this is not a rocket science or something that is technology based, it is basically a set of principles and ideas. The implementation of principles and execution of ideas go hand in hand. The SRI accurate application makes it triple win situation, can boost farmer income, enhance soil fertility, and achieving the foremost reason behind this method, protecting environment with less or no fertilizers, water conservation by not flooding the rice paddies and absence of agrochemicals increases the productivity.”
Rice tillers (left) SRI and conventional method (Right) © http://www.thkbali.wordpress.com
Despite knowing the benefits and effectiveness of system of rice intensification, the use of conventional methods is gloomy.
According to Balinese farmer, Mr. Pak freddy.”It’s always hard to switch from one to other method and even we have to fight for our survival. Before struggling against climate change and other environment issues, we have to fix continued existence needs.”
It’s completely arguable that if one doesn’t mend his own problems, how he could suppose to work for environmental conservation.
This is absolutely true, but opting SRI method is far better than utilizing excessive chemicals, agricultural expansion and even selling land to be in the black.
But why settle for these? When using simple method of SRI can set right the entire problem.
SRI proved very useful for farmers in Madagascar, the birth place of this system. China and India, too going ahead for attaining benefit through it, even though the demand, cropping patterns and aggro-ecological circumstances vary a lot.
The application of System of rice intensification is not only limited to rice cultivation, the boarder application of SRI methods for varied crops is recognized as system of crop intensification, and these clearly show the success and capability of SRI. Wheat, millet, sugarcane are some of the major crops now being cultivated through SCI (SRI).
Wider spacing between plantations (SRI method) © www.thkbali.wordpress.com
The main concepts, ideas and principles of SRI,
- Enhancing plant intensification by transplanting young seedling (8-12days old) not more than 15 days old, to maintain development potentials.
- Providing plants wider spacing (30cm x 30cm) in square pattern. Wider space reduces competition among plants and increases their productivity. Very crucial in extreme climate conditions such as storm or drought. Lesser the competition for resources enhances more productivity.
- SRI strengthens roots and soil bio-ta by keeping soil moist but not flooded; soil should be mostly aerobic, not continuously saturated. This reduces water requirement and use of organic matter keeps water chemical free that allows farmers to preserve water and utilize it for other daily purpose. Proper drainage system is necessary to increase the growth potential of plant.
This method is very beneficial in water scare areas also as water conservation at farm level; mainly due to controlled irrigation and alternative wetting and drying.
The chief idea of SRI is, MORE OUTPUT FROM LESS INPUT.
SRI adaptation to climate change, increased soil fertility strengthens tolerance to abiotic (drought, heat waves, cold snaps, winds) and biotic (pest and diseases) stresses.
According to Independent SRI institutes report on System of rice intensification, increase in rice yield per hectare by 52%, Increased net income per hectare by 128%, reduction in cost of production by 24%, Reduction in water requirement by 44% , shorter time to maturity (1-3 weeks less), and protection against bio-tic stresses pests/disease by 70%.
CLIMATE CHANGE MITIGATION (SRI)
The methane emission from rice fields are determined mainly by flooded water regime and by excessive agrochemicals, flooding causes methane. Reduction and proper water management also reduces methane CH4. Mid season drainage management for alternatively wetting and drying rice paddies can reduce methane emissions by 40%.
Some studies argued that SRI reduces methane but keeping soil nearly saturated conditions may promote Nitrous oxide N2O, which is another green house gas. The nitrous oxide mainly release due to manure and fertilizers added to soil, but in SRI there is less or no use of fertilizers, but there will be less release of Nitrous oxide which can be controlled by nitrogen fertilizers if necessary, as the common perception is that, methane and nitrous oxide are harmful than carbon as they both have greater heat trapping capability and remains in the atmosphere for longer time, but it’s essential to mention that nitrous oxide accounts only 3-5% of green house gas even less than that whilst carbon and methane share approx 80% and 10-12% respectively.
Carbon is the biggest single driver of Green house gases but even carbon emissions reduces as soil organic carbon declines after a shift from flooded system to non-flooded system and powerful roots will increase carbon sink and provide sustainability to soil.
The more efficiently and resourcefully SRI will be adopted, the more environmental problems will be solved, the struggle for survival will be over, decline in deforestation, increase soil fertility and use of degraded land will enhance land conservation and definitely it will reduce green house gas emissions.
However, in the Intended Nationally determined contribution (INDC) Indonesia, the agriculture sector will be targeted for mitigation but success depends on individual participation.
After learning how successful SRI can be, in strengthens the soil fertility to climate change mitigation, so far very few farmers have involved in this method, it’s high time to choose respect existence and accomplish the single task to work sustainably and safeguard climate for upcoming generations. The best use of our existing resources will determine our better future.
“I’m often asked whether I believe in global warming. I now just reply with the question: do you believe in gravity?” – (tyson, 2015)i
The author is a researcher at the Symbiosis school of International Studies, Pune, India.
(Disclaimer: The article is based on the perception and understanding of the author. Data and statistics may vary depending on the source referred. The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the position of the Tri Hita Karana Bali )
i (tyson, 2015)
This November, THK’s project in Sayan is on it’s way to completion. This bamboo structure has a waterway around it for aquaculture which will be fed by a rainwater catchment system.
The usual raised and mulched vegetable beds are donut-shaped. With the addition of a terracotta container housing a worm colony, the nutrients will leach back into the soil everytime it rains. All weeds and organic material will go directly into this to be broken down by the worms! An efficient, practical solution!