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Integrating conservation practice into religious teachings in Indonesia


Final Report

Integrating conservation practice into religious teachings in Indonesia

June 2007 – August 2008

1.1. Project Partner Meeting

For the community outreach pilot project, the first partner meeting was held on 21 August 2007 in Padang, West Sumatra. The meeting was attended by various stakeholders that included: a local NGO (QBar, our main project partner), Department of Forestry (provincial agency for West Sumatra), University of Andalas (Faculty of Law and Faculty of Agriculture), State Islamic Institute of Imam Bonjol Padang and provincial journalists. The meeting aimed to introduce the project partners and set up a social network and also garner supports from the various stakeholders in order to then implement the project. All invited stakeholders supported the project and look forward to collaborating with it in the future. From this initial meeting, a small advisory group was established to subsequently run the project.

2.1. Document Islamic Teachings on Nature Conservation
The activities included:
(1) A meeting with Conservation International held in August, 2007. In this meeting, reading materials regarding to islam and biodiversity conservation accessed. CI also shared its experiences in developing Fiqh Al Bi’ah with pesantrens in Indonesia. Collaboration to support the implementation of project was agreed.
Some important points from the series of discussion:
• The concept of Islamic principles in nature conservation is the use of Ihya Al-Mawat system which is reviving the neglected field by using reclamation way and or functioning the area to be productive. There is also Harim system, which is the protected area especially for water sources, and Hima system, which is the area that is protected for public interest and natural habitat conservation.

(2) Series of focus group discussion held in 3 nagari (sub districts ) during Septermber 2007. The meeting involved local ulama (religious leaders) and community members to gather local values and perceptions with regards to islam and conservation. The series of FGDs was also held to obtain inputs and support from local communities on the outreach activities that integates islamic values in promoting biodiversity conservation.
Some important points from the series of FGDs:
• In Minangkabau society (West Sumatra), the concept of customary law and system is higly based on islamic values under the term ’Adat Basandi Sara, Sara Basandi Kitabullah’ means that customary system is based on syari’ah law and syariah law is based on the Qoran. Therefore, custamary system and islamic values is an interconnected concept. In additon, it is also advised by indigenous leaders that Minangkabau communities should learn from their natural environment.
• There are three important elements in the Minangkabau customary institutions that responsible for natural resources management called as ’tigo tungku sajarangan’ include: ulama to promote sustainable natural resources management; ninik mamak (customary council) to monitor and manage the utilization of natural resources; and cadiak pandai (knowledgable people) to teach local communities about good natural resources management. These three elements should work hand in hand to ensure sustainable natural resources management.
• Concept of protected areas or Hima (in arabic term) is also found in the Minangkabau society, that is called as hutan larangan (sacred forest). Some communities also have devised and maintained customary rules regarding to natural resources use and management. If the community members want to utilize the natural resources in the area, they have to obtain a permit from ninik mamak (indigenous leaders appointed by community members)

3.1. Develop Curriculum and Reference Material
This activity was started in June to September 2007. Curriculum for training of indigenous and conservation leaders was developed. Reference materials also gathered that include several topics, for instance:
– Islamic perspective on biodiversity conservation
– Islamic law and natural resources management
– Ecological aspect in Syariah
– The importance of planting trees in Islamic perspective
– The Qoran: creation and biodiversity conservation
– Fiqh Al Biah (Environmental Fiqh)
– Raising awareness on islam and conservation.
The reference material used for the training for conservation and religious leaders

3.2. Establish Small Working Group & Evaluate Curriculum
This working group was established after the initial partner meeting. Members of this working group include: Syafrial (State Islamic Institute of Imam Bonjol, Padang), Kurnia Warman and Bachtiar Afna (Faculty of Law of Unand), Fachruddin (CI), Abidah (Greenlaw Indonesia), Jomi Suhendri. S dan Naldi Gantika) (Qbar). The working grou[p has worked together to develop a curriculum of training for religious and conservation leaders. With regard to the curriculum evaluation, a workshop will be organized to evaluate the curriculum to be held sometimes in April 2008.

3.3. Training Religious and Conservation Leaders
Two trainings for Religious and Conservation Leaders was organized in Padang, West Sumatra inviting local ulama, teachers of Islamic junior high school (Madrasah Tsanawiyah) and community members from two Nagari (Ampiang Parak and Kambang) in the Pesisir Selatan District, West Sumatra. The trainings aimed to:
– Integrate conservation values in Islamic teachings;
– Enhance capacity of participants to facilitate community meetings and to promote the integration of conservation values in Islamic teachings in the local level
Topic of the training includes:
– Identify and explore verses in Al Qur’an related to conservation and environmental management;
– The concept of Hima and Harim;
– Fiqh Al Bi’ah (environmental Fiqh);
– Discuss Indonesian biodiversity resources and the urgent need to promote and take action regarding to biodiversity conservation
– Explore environmental problems at the local levels and develop action plans to solve these problems using knowledge gathered during the training;
– Participatory mapping to identify potential local site of Hima/Harim
The training deployed participatory approach using several methods: group discussions, participatory mapping, lecturing that was followed by intensive discussions, and so forth. In the end of the training, participants were able to develop action plans to follow up the training. Some example of their action plan activities include:
• to hold khutbah (speech during friday prayer) on islam and environmental conservation) in several local mosques;
• To disseminate these ideas in some adat (customary councils) meetings;
• To support the development of a local library based in Nagari as well as provide materials to schools and pesantren library, particularly on environmental related materials.

First training:
The first training was held on October 23-25 attended by 8 participants form Nagari Ampyang Parak that included ulama, ninik mamak (member of adat council), teachers of a modern pesantren and a junior high school as well as Qbar member. Participants from Nagari Ampyang Parak were really enthusiastic with the training and hoped that this initiative could be continued. Participants of Nagari Ampyang Parak were really interested to apply concept of Hima in their areas but in a small scale basis. They informed that Kampung Tanjung Pinang could be a potential area to apply this concept. Local people have started to plant various trees along the watershed area (customary forest area) since they experienced drought last year.
The participants:
1. Salman MT from alim ulama element, Nagari Ampiang Parak, Pesisir Selatan District
2. Muas, S.Ag from teachers element, Nagari Ampiang Parak, Pesisir Selatan District
3. A.R. DT. Batuah from ninik mamak element, Nagari Ampiang Parak, Pessel District
4. Narus Bidin from ninik mamak element, Nagari Ampiang Parak, Pesisir Selatan District
5. Amir Syarifuddin from ninik mamak element , Nagari Ampiang Parak, Pesisir Selatan District
6. Bachtiar Afna, Academician from Andalas University in Padang
7. Syafrial, Academician from IAIN Imam Bonjol

Second training:
The second training was held on 27 – 29 November 2007 attended by 8 community members from Nagari Kambang that included: local ulama, ninik mamak (member of adat council), youth, a teacher of junior high school. Action plans were also developed by each participants based on their knowledge, experience and expertise.
The participants:
1. Idris Sutan Ibrahim from alim ulama element, Nagari Kambang, Pessel District
2. Haris Musrinda from teachers, Nagari Kambang, Pessel District
3. Muslim DT. Pando Basi from ninik mamak element, Nagari Kambang, Pessel District
4. R.A.Rj. Bagindo Sati from ninik mamak element, Nagari Kambang, Pessel District
5. Asrul from young generation, Nagari Kambang, Pessel District
6. H. Amiruddin from alim ulama element, Nagari Kambang, Pessel District
7. Martias NR Batuah from ninik mamak element, Nagari Kambang, Pessel District
8. Kamaruddin Kadra from alim ulama element, Nagari Kambang, Pessel District
9. Qbar (Lili, Naldi, Inas, Tri Astuti and Nurul)

Picture 1. An ulama present communities’ action plan

Picture 2. A participant drawing map of his village to design the implementation of Hima

Picture 3. Group photo of first training

3.4. Monitoring and Evaluation
Monitoring activities have been held on 12 – 14 February, 2008 in Nagari Kambang and Nagari Ampyang Parak, Pesisir Selatan District. The methods used were semi structure interviews and participant observant.
Some result of the monitoring activities:
– Some previous participants have promoted the integration of conservation values in Islamic teaching during several informal discussions with community members
– Some previous training participants also delivered ‘islam and conservation’ during Friday prayer speech (khotbah)
– It was noted that most community members have minimal understanding on Islamic teaching with regard to good environmental management and biodiversity conservation, therefore, further efforts to promote this values were recommended.
– It was also suggested that the distribution of reading materials on the related subject to Islamic schools (elementary school, junior and senior high school) and outdoor activities (so called ‘tadabur alam’) was also consider important to raise awareness among students on islam and conservation.
– Previous training participants also noted the importance to involve Islamic institutions such as MUI (Indonesian Ulama Council) and Muhammadiyah to be leverage the impact of integrating conservation values in religious teachings in Indonesia.

3.5. Workshop on “Evaluating and Monitoring”
The activities have been held on 25 – 26 August 2008 in Asrama Haji (Pilgrimage Hostel) in Padang. The participants invited in the workshop were the community from Nagari Kambang, Ampiang Parak and Lakitan. The workshop aimed to sharpen the result of monitoring and evaluating that has been done in field after the training and to formulate the follow-up plan in the implementation of Islam and Conservation next. In this workshop, the activity plan that will be implemented in nagari after the implementation of Islam and natural resources conservation that has been done for six months in three nagari in West Sumatra will be formulated.

3.6. The Seminar of Islam and Natural Resources Conservation Activities Result
The activities have been held in 27 August 2008 in Asrama Haji in Padang. These activities aimed to inform the stakeholders about Islam and Nature Conservation and to receive inputs from stakeholders about the implementation of Islam and nature conservation activities. The activities was participated by the community of Nagari Ampiang Parak, Lakitan and Kambang, students, NGO and community organization in West Sumatra. The first speaker of this seminar was Jomi Suhendri. S (Qbar) who conveyed his paper about “The Implementation of Islam and Natural Resources Conservation Program in Three Nagari (Nagari Kambang, Ampiang Parak and Lakitan) in Pesisir Selatan District”. The second speaker was Bachtiar Afna, SH (LKAAM of West Sumatra) who conveyed his paper about “The Implementation of Traditional Values in Nature Conservation in West Sumatra”. The third speaker was Drs. Syafrial (lecturer of IAIN Imam Bonjol in Padang) who conveyed his paper about “Islamic Teaching in Nature Conservation in West Sumatra”. The inputs of these activities were to keep on the activities of Islam and natural resources conservation in West Sumatra by expanding the area.

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