Global-Local Identity in Environmental Issues

This portal,, gives more highlights on the environmental issues that become people’s daily problems. The local identities is expressed in the big concern on the problems related with the surrounding environmental issues such as waste and garbage management, policy of forest management, the policy of green technology, policy of green public areas.

The environmental issue becomes a serious concern, especially when it is related with the policy of the government in rural development. Criticism on developmental issues is always related to the sustainability of the development that should consider the enviromental burden.

Some articles showing the concerns on these issues are, “Kebersihan Tempat Wisata Tanggung Jawab Siapa?” (07-06, Trigus), “Musuh Perayaan adalah Sampah” (27-08, Roin). These articles adress daily problems waste management, that seems trivial but somehow it will bring it into much more serious problem. There is a concern that discussing the environmental issues is not separated from the global issues. The article “Merenungkan Ide Pembangunan Bupati Trenggalek” (08-08, Wahyu) criticises the government’s plan to invite investor more than inviting people’s participation. The ideas of investment from foreign or global company is a big concern. The global company or foreign investment is commonly understood as the big capitalist with the biggest interest in their own profit and not caring local people’s wellbeing.

In an article by Suripto (13-09) under the title “Bagaimana Pengelolaan Hutan di Trenggalek” explores and criticizes the forest management applied by local government. It used to be “Berbasis Masyarakat” (community-based) in which the government was the supporting system, then it is changed into “Bersama Masyarakat” (along with community) in which community is the sub-system of the government. The change of the term (community-based changed into along with community) gives serious impact for the people. This “along with community” means that the community has no authorities to determine what to be planted and to be harvested. Everything is determined by Perhutani (state-owned company for forestry). Moreover, the writer has serious concern on the forest management when the forest management issue is just made as a means for ceremony for the authorities. The impact of unserious forest management is the ecological destruction such as flood and land-sliding that happen many times in Trenggalek.

This portal strengthens the ideas that new media internet gives more opportunities for the people to participate in the community’s life. In addressing the environmental issues, peoples, through the writings, question the policy of the government in its environmental management.. Many of the articles articulate the necessity for the local government (Pemerintah Kabupaten Trenggalek) to gives priorities on the local wisdom, people safety, and enviromental protection and conservation (against deforestation, illegal logging, and river pollution).

Negotiating Identity through Local History

Local history is a strategic field to build common understanding on self-identity. By exploring the local history of a kampong, local tradition, local place, people will have a good understanding and good knowledge on their place and people. People will understand of what they are doing, and what happens to them. To some extent this understanding will avoid the banalities of culture, because people understand completely on their culture and daily practice. Banality of culture happens when people do not really understand of what they are doing because of the illusion strongly provided by the life surrounding them.

Some of the articles providing the theme of local history are as following. An article written by Gilang (03-07) under the title “Surodakan, Makna Sebuah Kampung” (Surodakan, the meaning of Kampung). The second series of the essay on this kampung “Surodakan” (17-07) continues the exploration of the name kampung “Surodakan” from its etymology and the meaning of the kampung for the people inhabiting it. This is interesting when there is a continuing effort to do the same exploration on the local places. An article by Choirur Rokhim (25-07) entitled “Cerita Cengkih dan Ekonomi Rakyat,” discusses the rise and fall of clove plantation and clove business in the areas from the past up to now that can not be separated from the larger network of national clove business. The articles present the topics in popular writing assuming that it is easier to be understood by any readers.

Articles by Misbahus Surur “Trenggalek Kota Pertahanan” (24-08), and “Jejak Pesantren Kuno di Trenggalek” (02-08, Misbahus Surur), are doing historical explorations on the local villages in Trenggalek. The identity as “defense town” and identity of “pesantren” (Muslim traditional schooling system) are among the identities for the place that is important to be built. This seems to be related with the research that has been done by the writer previously, on the local history of Trenggalek. Under the title “Dukuh Kebon dan Tanaman Kopi” (22-06) an article by M. Choirur Rochim discusses the history of a place, Dukuh Kebon in Tasikmadu village, Watulimo district with the changes and continuities of the plants of coffee in that place.

An article by Choirur Rochim (27-06) under the title “Trenggalek Nama dan Stigma” discusses the popular imagination on the little town of Trenggalek as a silent tranquil small town that is far from “kejumudan hingar bingar perkotaan”. However, the stigma of this place as a “daerah tertinggal” (left behind), made Trenggalek was historically deleted from the map, constructed as a “ndesa” (term pejoratively associated with remote areas) and backward. Rokhim, through this article proposes an idea to explore the local potencies to fight against the stigma. Exploring the local products and tourist destination areas are among other things. Another article by Choirul Rokhim, “Ritual Larung Sembonyo” (31-08) shows how a cultural activity of Larung Sembonyo can be handled by the local people and this preservation of people’s tradition in Prigi coastal areas can not be done without people’s participation.

The theme of local history is, in many occasions, also connected to the theme of tourism. As a place with many tourism destination areas, the local government of Trenggalek has tourism program aiming at increasing local income by promoting the tourism in Trenggalek. So far, Prigi coastal area, for instance, is the most popular destination area. The government tries to build other places as tourism destination areas, however the program does not run well as written in some articles. An article written by Misbahus Surur (22-07) under the title “Dilem Wilis dari Dekat” addressing a place called “Dilem Wilis” as part of tourism village “Dompyong” that needs to be seriously built further to become a tourism destination area.  As a tourist destination village, popularly known with its coffee product, there are, ironically, only a few coffee trees left (only 10 trees). So that the question raised in this article is, what are the programs to support this village as a tourist destination village, does the government seriously design the village as tourist destination area?

Part 2: Presented in the “International Conference on Language, Literary, and Cultural Studies” (Icon Laterals). Universitas Brawijaya, 29 October 2016.

Previous: Part 1

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