Subak Landscape

SE37 (Monday) - Promoting the Values of the Subak System for Sustainable Water and Heritage Management

Start date
End date
Ruang Rapat Senat, Gedung Agrokompleks Lt. 4 Kampus Unud, Jln. PB. Sudirman, Denpasar

Official 10th World Water Forum Side Event

Venue: Udayana University, Sudirnam campus, Denpasar

Date: Monday 20th May 2024 (WWF 18-25th May)

Register for the Morning Program 9:00-11:00 (WITA)

Register for the Afternoon Program 11:00-17:00 (WITA)

Session SE37 builds upon a full-day event on “Promoting the Values of the Subak System for Sustainable Water and Heritage Management”  on 20th May 2024, by the UNESCO Chair Water, Ports and Historic Cities in collaboration with colleagues from Udayana University, University of Indonesia, and NGOs Reservoair and Bale Bengong. The off-site event brings together a diverse group of international and local stakeholders, academics and professionals, water managers, heritage specialists, and designers of different ages and disciplines to explore both the theoretical, realistic and methodological frameworks of the socio-cultural and hydrological landscape of Subak.

The event includes presentations and reflections on the elements, challenges and prospects of the Subak landscape, and workshops aimed at implementing the “value case methodology” developed by the UNESCO Chair. The day focuses on the study of the sites Subak Sembung Peguyangan (OK) and Subak Delod Sema Sading (TBC) near Denpasar. During the day participants will identify challenges and opportunities for future sustainable development and build on commitments made at the UN 2023 Water Conference. 

This side event is a full day of interactive presentations, discussions and workshops on how water, culture and heritage can dialogue in proposing value-based solutions for the Balinese Subak landscape. Interested?

Proposed full-day program

9:00-9:15 Welcome by host and organizers

Chair: Prof I Ketut Suamba (Faculty of Agriculture, Udayana University) and Ms Carlien Donkor (Delft University of Technology/UNESCO Chair Water Ports and Historic Cities)

Opening remarks

  1. Dr Ismail Widadi, ST, MSc (Director of Irrigation and Lowlands, Directorate General of Water Resources, Ministry of Public Works and Housing, Indonesia)
  2. I Wayan Budiyasa, ST, MEng and Nur Aini Iswati Hasanah (Bali-Penida River Basin Organization, Directorate General of Water Resources, Ministry of Public Works and Housing, Indonesia)
  3. Mr Abi Kusno (Head of Balai Pelestarian Kebudayaan Wilayah Bali, on behalf of Director General of Culture, Ministry of Education and Culture, Indonesia)

9:15-9:40 Setting the Stage: Water, Culture, Heritage and Sustainable Development 

  1. Activating Water Heritage for the Future of the Subak System, Prof Dr Ing Carola Hein (Delft University of Technology/UNESCO Chair Water Ports and Historic Cities)
  2. Capacity building for Water, Culture, Heritage, Ms Carlien Donkor
  3. Value-based approaches, Mr Matteo D’Agostino 
  4. Water Values in Indonesia, Ms Julia Sumarthinningrum Dahlan

9:40-10:10 The Concept of Water Heritage and its Relevance for Water Management and Heritage Protection (5 mins each)

Chair: Dr Evi Anggraheni (Department of Civil Engineering, University of Indonesia)

  1. Ancestral Hydro-Technologies turned to the Future, Mr Eriberto Eulisse (Global Network of Water Museums)
  2. Aboriginal Fish Traps at Brewarrina on the Barwon River, Mr Jason Wilson (Yuwaalaraay Euahlayi Nation/The Australian National University)
  3. Activating the Past for Future Water Management, Prof Eddy Moors (IHE Delft Institute for Water Education )
  4. Subak Philosophy and its Organisation: Living in Harmony with Nature, Dr. Laretna Adishakti (Bali Kuna Santi Foundation/Indonesian Heritage Trust) 

Panel discussion

Reflections, Q&A with audience

10:10-10:20 Coffee break

10:20-11:00 The Subak System: Past, Present and Future (5 mins each)

Chair: Dr Miktha Farid Alkadri, SArs, MArs (Department of Architecture, University of Indonesia)

  1. Mandala Matika Subak Museum: How to Recreate Water Awareness, Mr Abi Kusno (Head of Balai Pelestarian Kebudayaan Wilayah Bali, on behalf of Director General of Culture, Ministry of Education and Culture, Indonesia)
  2. The Subak System: Local Perspectives on Challenges and Opportunities, Dr I Made Sarjana, SP, MSc (Faculty of Agriculture, Udayana University) 
  3. The Impacts of Spatial Transformation on the Subak System, I Nyoman Gede Maha Putra, ST, MSc, PhD (Warmadewa University/Warmadewa Research Centre)
  4. Urban/Spatial Planning for Water Systems: Is there a place for traditional techniques? Dr Ir Widiatsu, MT (IARKI/Udayana University)

Panel discussion

Reflections, Q&A with audience

11:00-12:30 Announcements, Lunch and Trip to different Subak sites (two groups)

12:30-14:30 Hands-on with the Subak system

Facilitators: Bale Bengong (led by Dr Sarjana and Ms Juniantari)

  1. Outdoor activity at two locations

     Site A: Subak Sembung Peguyangan Site B: Subak Delod Sema Sading

  1. Gathering in community center of Subak Sembung Peguyangan

14:30-16:15 Workshops on Value-based approaches for Subak sites

Chairs: Mr Matteo D’Agostino, Ms Carlien Donkor and Prof Dr Ing Carola Hein (Delft University of Technology/UNESCO Chair Water Ports and Historic Cities)

Facilitators: Ms Julia Sumarthinningrum Dahlan (Delft University of Technology), Ms Sabrina Farah Salsabilla (Reservoair), Mr Bardha Gemilang (Capybara Unit Visual), Ms Juniantari and Ms Luh De (Bale Bengong)

  1. Short pitch and workshops 
  2. Reporting out from field trip experience and workshops (each group presents their findings and outcome)

-  Urgent needs and Shared commitments

Discussant: Prof Erik de Maaker (Leiden University)

16:15-16:25 Conclusion 

Closing statements, Prof Dr Ing Carola Hein (Delft University of Technology/UNESCO Chair Water Ports and Historic Cities)

16:25-17:00 Trip back to main venue (Udayana University, Sudirnam campus, Denpasar)

Proposed Workshop program 14:30 - 16:15

14:00-14:30 Gathering in community center of Subak Sembung Peguyangan 

Division into four groups (two per site) - groups will work individually with at least one facilitator each

14:30-14:38 Introduction to the Value Case Approach and Workshop Instructions, Mr Matteo D’Agostino (8 mins)

14:38-15:38 Hands-on Activity

Step 1: Historical development of the Subak (8 mins)

Current situations are the aftermath of past decisions and developments.

  • Create a timeline with 3 to 5 dates that marked the evolution of the water system, its infrastructure, accessibility, governance. 
  • Write a few words that summarize the change that occurred at each date.

Step 2: Spatial analysis (12 mins)

Water systems are made by - and connect - multiple spaces at different scales and with different functions.

  • Use aerial maps or sketch diagrams, sections and/or maps to annotate the different spaces and places that constitute the Subak (weirs and canals that make the irrigation systems, water flows, temples, different rice fields, community centers, etc.) as it is nowadays. 
  • Try to highlight the connection of the Subak with its larger territory (i.e. water sources, forests, upstream and downstream villages, rivers and water bodies, etc.).

Step 3: Network analysis (10 mins)

Water systems are embedded - and create - networks of actors and flows. 

  • On a blank sheet place the Subak (or an element of it) in the middle and indicate the existing actors, stakeholders and flows (material, economic, administrative, knowledge, social, spiritual, or other) that are relevant for your ecosystem. These can be connected to your object and also to each other.  
  • Draw the ones that are physically closer to the Subak (or the element you choose) next to the center and vice versa (e.g. a Subak head will be closer to the Subak than the municipal government). 
  • Trace the connections of your element with the different stakeholders (local groups, governance systems, RBOs, NGOs, museums, schools, non-human actors, etc.) and flows
  • Draw the connections between stakeholders and actors too. 

Step 4: Values and challenges identification (15 mins)

Water systems have multiple values and challenges that change over time. These values also depend on spatial functions and features as well as stakeholders’ needs and expectations. Taking inspiration from the water icons and the SDGs look back to the previous steps.

  • For Step 1, identify the change in functions and goals that characterized the evolution of the Subak using the water icons and SDGs (e.g. from subsistence - SDG 2, 11 and 12 - to trade and later tourism - SDG 8 and 9). What was the factor that triggered that change and what was the outcome? What changes do we need for the future?
  • For Step 2, identify what functions - or practices - and values are related to the different spaces and components of the Subak system (e.g. temples and community centers are spaces of gathering but with different practices and values attached to them; canals serve for irrigation while wells are for drinking). Are there any challenges (both linked to water and not) related to (some of) these spaces? Are there potential spaces - or practices - in the larger territory that can complement your local context?
  • For Step 3, identify what type of connections link the Subak to the different actors (administrative, cultural, religious, economic, etc.). Give these connections a different color according to the flow. Are there actors that are missing? Connections that got lost? Or new ones that could help solve the identified challenges? Indicate this in broken lines.

Step 5: The Value Case (15 mins)

Now that you have identified the values, functions and networks of the Subak system, it is time to devise strategies and actions to address (some of) the challenge(s) you highlighted.

Think outside the box and try to develop a plan that helps the territory and actors surrounding the Subak in multiple ways.

  • draft your vision: What type of Subak system are you aiming at? What would you like to achieve in the long run? Why is this change needed? 
  • draft your mission: How do you plan to achieve it? Which stakeholders will you involve and collaborate with?
  • draft your value proposition: How and where will the project create - direct or indirect - positive effects for the territory and local actors? Which SDGs will you target?
  • draft your action plan: Which actions will you take and where in the Subak? What will be the - positive and negative - effects on the short and long term?

15:38-15:50 Report back (3 mins each)

Each group has 3 minutes to pitch their value case to the other participants

15:50-16:15 Discussion

Chair: Prof Erik de Maaker (Leiden University)

Q&A and feedback session aimed at shaping pleas and policy recommendations for the two Subak sites