Local wisdoms in the environment that belong to customary society, which comes in the form of forbiddance, rituals, folklore, and other traditions, actually reveal cultural message to the process of environment conservation. In each region of Indonesia, forms and implementation of traditional rules vary greatly.
According to Dendy Sofyandy, S. Hut., M.Sc, diversity of such traditional wisdoms was a social- cultural property for human resource improvement and development, environment management, and command of scientific technology. Referring to Law No 32 Year 2009, community has equal opportunity to play an active role in the protection and management of the environment, developing and sustaining local wisdom to conserve the function of the environment.
"The traditional wisdom owned by Indonesian communities is a cultural property, in the form of art, technology, traditional knowledge or value that has become the tradition or culture of the community,” said Dendy Sofyandy at UGM Graduate School on Tuesday (23/5) when doing doctoral promotion in Environmental Sciences.
He maintained his dissertation titled Traditional Wisdom of Malind Anim Customary Community in the Conservation of Forest in Merauke Regency, Papua Province. Accompanied by promoter, Prof. Dr. Su Rito Hardoyo, M.A and co-promoter, Prof. Dr. Sunarto, M.S, he said that the Malind Anim customary community knows the myth which is totemistic, and believes the close relations between the existence of current community and the lives of flora and fauna in the past.
"Literally, 'sar' is an activity done through a ritual by a certain community or a combination of some communities. The purpose is to cover or ban natural resources in customary area are taken of in a certain period of time,” he said.
Amidst the development of agricultural region programme through the formation of Merauke Integrated Fond Energi Estate (MIFEE), Dendy Sofyandy said, the presence of "sar" system has significance, bearing in mind that its assigning private sector as food supplier has proved government’s pro-private sector stance rather than farmers.
"This will obviously cause high ecological and social conflicts due to the fight over natural resources, forest degradation, environmental sanitation degradation, job opportunity for local people and newcomers, social envy, gap in regional wages between community and customary people,” he said.
So, according to Dendy, in managing the environment based on the “sar” local wisdom, nature has provided all necesities. What is required there is capacity enhancement and empowerment towards modern society that can live harmoniously amidst advancements of the era and binding customary rules.
"The pattern of division of ownership of customary rights traditionally can be adopted for the management of the environment, which will be beneficial to the protection of ecosystem and biodiversities, including forest areas that become the source of livelihoods and customs of the society,” he said.