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Vol. 3 No. 1 (2023)

The Implementation of Awiq-Awiq for the Protection of a Forest in Highland Kakong, Lombok Indonesia

  • J.N. Koopman

December 17, 2022


This article focuses on local legislature stemming from customary practices installed by the local government of the dusun (hamlet) Kakong in the highlands of the kecematan (district) Gangga on the island of Lombok in Indonesia to protect a lush forest surrounding a water spring. This water source is responsible for the distribution of drinking, washing, and farming water in three desa (municipalities), indirectly providing water for thousands of people. The legislature, or in other words, awiq-awiq, entails that if someone cuts down a tree in the protected forest, they have to replant 100 trees as punishment. I argue that the installation of this local type of legislature has transformed the perception of the inhabitants of Kakong concerning sustainability, biodiversity, climate change, and weather variability. Examples of adaptation processes and lively discussions about anthropogenic change are manifold in Kakong, as the effect of such change is highly present, materializing in a higher rate of precipitation, the entry of new pests such as the white fly, failed yields, and shifting temperatures. Effective leadership at the dusun level, in combination with the initiation of a new political role in the village (pekasih [canal manager]) for the empowerment of the awiq-awiq and adat, supports the adaptation and conservation effort area in Kakong. Based on qualitative data collected in 2022, I argue that local leadership and customary legislature and practices positively support adaptation and conservation processes in the highlands of Kakong, Lombok.