MUHAMMADIYAH.OR.ID, TABANAN – The United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) praised Universitas Muhammadiyah Malang (UMM) for its dedication to Bali’s Subak irrigation system. This initiative aligns with UMM’s commitment to support the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
On October 14, a UNESCO delegation, Julia Baribeau and Prof. Adv. Giuseppe Musumeci, assessed the development of Bali’s Subak system, focusing on water management, environmental sustainability, and agriculture.
They appreciated UMM’s efforts in preserving Subak’s unique irrigation system. They also ventured into the upstream areas of the river, explored water sources in the rice fields, visited demonstration sites, and traced the water flow path.
“We wish UMM to extend its efforts in other areas across Bali to benefit wider people,” said Musumeci in a press release on October 18.
Meanwhile, the leader of UMM’s Subak development team, Prof. Indah Prihartini, expressed her delight at receiving international recognition for the demonstration site within the Subak system. This achievement is the outcome of UMM’s application to UNESCO for international acknowledgment.
“Our team presented and submitted this application during a UNESCO workshop held in China. We explained that UMM aims to implement smart organic farming to enhance Subak Bengkel as a center for food, the environment, and culture. Subsequently, the UNESCO Ecohydrology team visited, appreciated our proposal, and approved it,” said Prof. Indah Prihartini.
The introduction of technology into agriculture has yielded positive results, with an estimated 9-12 tons per hectare produced at nine locations. Indah and her team were closely involved in the entire process.
The official certificate and acknowledgment will be handed over in December. Indah mentioned that the designation of Subak as a demonstration site motivates her team to undertake significant responsibilities, such as ensuring the Subak system and local agriculture from transforming into residential areas and maintaining a pristine environment.
The Subak system is a community-based irrigation system characterized by customary laws and a harmonious fusion of social, agricultural, and religious elements. It reflects the spirit of mutual cooperation in securing water for cultivating staple crops, especially rice and other essential crops.