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Reviving Local Wisdom in Indonesia: Hukôm Adat Laôt

20-Jan-2007

These initiatives were led by the traditional fishers’ institution (adat) Panglima Laôt (Commander of the Sea). The event was conducted simultaneously in all 17 coastal districts/cities o...

These initiatives were led by the traditional fishers’ institution (adat) Panglima Laôt (Commander of the Sea). The event was conducted simultaneously in all 17 coastal districts/cities of Nanggroe Aceh Darussalam (NAD) which covered 190 Panglima Laôt and coastal communities. Approximately 100 ha of devastated coastal area was restored by replanting mangrove (Rhizophora sp.), ketapang (terminalia catappa), cemara laut (casuarinas), pandan laut (Pandanus sp), sawo kecik, batang paris (benon) and other coastal vegetation species.

Local wisdom
Given the critical role of Panglima Laôt as regional fishers’ leader in preserving the environment, WWF-Indonesia and Wetlands International Indonesia Programme, through Green Coast, fully support replanting activities in line with Hukôm Adat Laôt. Hukôm Adat Laôt is the traditional law of the sea - a
part of the local wisdom which has been passed on over centuries and is still implemented amongst the coastal community, especially fishermen.

Tradition laws
Coastal management efforts have been conducted since centuries under the traditional laws of
Lembaga Hukôm Adat Laôt and Panglima Laôt in.NAD. These institutions and regulations aim to maintain healthy fish stocks as well as harmony within the coastal community. Their regulations are regarded as Law by the fishermen. Sultan Iskandar Muda (1607-1636) officially inaugurated the Hukôm Adat Laôt / Panglima Laôt in order to empower coastal livelihoods and serve as a security and defense system.

Governor support
The symbolic celebration was concentrated in the coastlines of Banda Aceh city and Aceh Besar districts. The event was attended by representatives of related government institutions, local communities, national and international organizations involved in coastal rehabilitation and the media. 
In his opening speech the representative of the NAD governor stated his support for the efforts to revive the local wisdom. 


Concern
Head of NAD Provincial Panglima Laôt, H. T. Bustamam, uttered his concern regarding the extended devastation of the coastal area and expressed his hope for the future. ‘Aceh coastal forests needs to be rehabilitated. Coastal forests are important to protect us from future storms and erosion and they provide the livelihoods for future generations of fisher and coastal communities’, he said.

Follow this initiative
In closing the ceremony
executive director of WWF-Indonesia Mubariq Ahmad Ph.D., on behalf of Green Coast, specifically called upon other organisations in relevant Aceh areas to follow and support Panglima Laôt’s initiative to restore coastal forests.

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