Local Knowledge Conference: Findings and Challenges of Implementing Sea Sasi in Maluku

Local Knowledge Conference
Sasi is a local wisdom mechanism used by indigenous peoples to manage and utilize the potential of natural resources, whether found on land, in rivers or rivers, or on the coast or sea for generations to meet food needs and increase community food needs. This theme was raised by PATTIRO Researcher Agus Salim in his presentation at the Local Knowledge Conference: “Local Knowledge to Policy: Whose Evidence Matters?”

On this occasion, Agus revealed several important findings from research regarding the application of Sasi Laut on Haruku Island, Central Maluku Regency, Maluku which PATTIRO carried out together with the Tifa Damai Maluku Foundation with the support of the Knowledge Sector Initiative (KSI). “The local government does not yet have regulations or policies to encourage the sustainability of natural resources, especially those related to the sea and fisheries. “Policies that can support cross-sectoral coordination and cooperation in supervising the implementation of marine sasi also do not yet exist,” said Agus.

Agus further added that the limited capacity of indigenous communities in protecting sasi areas as well as weak coordination between Kewang (traditional supervisors for sasi), between state (village) governments and district governments, as well as between district governments and provincial governments are examples of challenges in implementing sasi which are also findings in research. “Supervision of the implementation of marine sasi is also increasingly difficult because until now there are no supporting facilities and infrastructure,” he said.

In the presentation which was attended by dozens of participants from various civil society organizations throughout Indonesia who are KSI partners as well as a number of government representatives, Agus also presented several policy recommendations related to preserving natural resources that he and the research team had prepared.

“So that natural resources, especially marine and fisheries on Haruku Island, Central Maluku Regency, which have been protected through the implementation of marine sasi, can continue to be maintained, the social culture and customary laws that develop there must always be preserved. To support this, local governments need to immediately formulate natural resource management policies related to the development and maintenance of existing ecological intelligence values. “This must be done so that sasi as a customary regulation governing the use of natural resources is not crushed by developments over time and the challenges of people’s lives,” explained Agus.

In his recommendations, Agus also said that community participation in the management and utilization of marine and fisheries resources needs to be strengthened. According to him, strengthening and enforcing fair laws also needs to be done to maintain the environmental ecosystem and the sustainability of natural resources in the region.

The Local Knowledge Conference: “Local Knowledge to Policy: Whose Evidence Matters?” was held on 12-13 April 2016 in Jakarta in collaboration with KSI and the Indonesian Institute of Sciences (LIPI) with the aim of providing opportunities to Indonesian researchers and policy makers to jointly discuss and study the challenges and opportunities in incorporating local knowledge and wisdom into formal policies and regulations.




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