Tropenbos Indonesia (TI) in collaboration with The Center for People and Forests (RECOFTC) Indonesia organized a Participatory Action Research and Village Development Workshop in Ketapang held at Aston Hotel Ketapang on Monday, 18 October 2018. The event was attended by 49 participants from Bappeda, Balitbang, PMPD Agency, Distanakbun Ketapang District, Sub-district Heads of Matan Hilir Utara and Matan Hilir Selatan, Village Heads of Sungai Putri and Laman Satong, Gunung Palung National Park Office, private sector (PT KAL and PT BGA), and NGOs (PMP, Yiari, Asri, AidEnvironment and Yayasan Palung). The workshop aims to share the result of Participatory Action Research (PAR) implementation method carried out in Laman Satong and Sungai Putri villages.
The Director of RECOFTC, Gamma Galudra explained, as a research method PAR puts forward the principles of participation and action which emphasize on the process, where the results have implications and impacts on the community.
"Different from other methods that rely more on researchers who are already experts, PAR relies on the community itself as the researcher. PAR builds awareness from the community itself to get to know their territory, its potential, challenges, and threats of the region, and find solutions to surmount. Therefore, this method really comes from the community itself," he said.
The study conducted in Sungai Putri and Laman Satong villages were to test whether this PAR method could be successful and successfully adopted by the community and village government in formulating and reviewing existing policies at village level, such as the Village Mid-term Development Plan (RPJMDes) of Sungai Putri Village and the development of Village Business Unit (BUMDes) of Laman Satong.
According to Edi Purwanto, Director of TI, PAR conducted in the two villages was very satisfying. "In Sungai Putri Village, for example, the result of the PAR process has been used as material to review the RPJMDes by incorporating proposed activities, including the construction of canals to improve rice field irrigation and to prevent sea water intrusion, replant mangroves and clear land without burning.” In Laman Satong Village, PAR has been used to identify village business potentials, such as Riam Berasap Waterfall Ecotourism and traditional crafts which start to be developed. We hope that these activities can drive changes toward a better life," he said.
Meanwhile, Division Head of Economic and Natural Resources Bappeda Ketapang, Hendri Sibuea said, the district government strongly supports PAR activities because it is very important in the framework of how to arrange a plan involving the community, so that the activities will truly come from the community. "We hope that PAR activities will be followed up by activities that can really improve the economy of the community by utilizing the existing resources," he added. (IRP, IRN)