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Building Sustainable Communities

Case Study: The Making of Eco-Pesantren Daarut Tauhiid, Bandung, Indonesia

by Budi Faisal, Ph.D. Putrikinasih, S.T. ** Husen Gani, S.P. ***

presented at Global Conference on Enhancing The Role of Philantrophy in Challenging Times, 22-23 July 2009, Hotel Nikko Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

Head of Eco-Pesantren Daarut Tauhiid Foundation Architect PT. Tsana Mulia, Associate of Eco-Pesantren Daarut Tauhiid *** Coordinator of Eco-Pesantren Daarut Tauhiids Agriculture Division
**

I. OUR UNEQUAL WORLD Global Issues: Un-sustainable Development Today, the world has filled with such insufficiencies in many aspects. The raise of energy consumption has come to main issue of the century. On May 31, 2009, the United States Census Bureau estimated Earth's population is 6,763,557,000.i World births have levelled off at about 137 million/yr, since their peak at 163-million in the late 1990s, and expected to remain constant. However, deaths are only around 56 million/ yr, and are expected to increase to 90 million in 2050. Since births outnumber deaths, the world's population estimated to reach about 9 billion by the year 2040.ii Still, there will be no escalation in the number of habitable area. We are practically running out of living space in the world because of the erratic population growth. To make it worse, we were introduced to other two prominent topics today i.e. the climate change and global economic crisis.

As we all know, there are numerous natural disaster happened for the last 10 years. A part of those happens spontaneously and the other part caused by excessive exploitation on non-renewable energy resources. Global climate change is one of the results. The warmer temperature creates imbalance ecosystem, endangers the human life. The Earth is the only planet in this solar system that can be inhabited by human being. There is no replacement when the quality is running toward devastation.

Increases in global average air and sea temperature, ice melting and rising global sea levels all help us understand and prepare for the coming challenges. In addition to these observed changes, climate-sensitive impacts on human health are occurring today. Human beings already exposed to the effects of climate-sensitive diseases and these diseases today kill millions. They include malnutrition, which causes over 3.5 million

deaths per year, diarrheal diseases, which kill over 1.8 million, and malaria, which kills almost 1 million.iii The irony is the domination of human being generates ecological disasters. Therefore, human being must learn to live in harmony with the nature.

The Gap: Developed vs. Developing Countries There are major disparities between the developed and the developing countries in their energy consumption issues. In Sustainable Architecture (1997) James Steele stated that typical American uses 11.5 kilowatts of energy per day. That is to say that if you take all of the energy that is used in United States by industry and commerce, residential, transportation, and all other purposes, divide by the population equals to 11.5 kilowatts. In Japan, it is 5 kilowatts and in the third world is less than one. A similar case is made for the production of carbon dioxide as shown in table below. All this in a country which represents only 5 percent of the worlds population and in a group of nations, once the industrialized north that now share post-industrial status that comprises 24 percent of it.iv
Country Uni Soviet & Eastern Europe USA Western Europe & Japan China India Latin America Africa Middle East Korea & Taiwan CO2 Production Level 25.8% 23.8% 23% 11.4% 4.9% 4.4% 2.7% 2.5% 1.5%

Table 1 Production of Carbon Dioxide

World Trend: Toward Sustainable Communities Global awareness of sustainable development has grew from numerous environmental movements and become a global trend ensue the scarcity issues. Sustainable development implies a broad view of human welfare, a long-term perspective about the consequences of today's activities, and the full involvement of civil society to reach viable solutions.v In brief, sustainable development forces us to fulfil our own basic needs and develop a self-sufficient manner among ourselves. Furthermore, human being is not only responsible for the environmental sustainability, neither natural nor built environments. To develop a sustainable manner, we have to make it as our way of life. As a sustainable community has reached, it will be much easier to develop a sustainable environment.

Indonesia as Part of the World The total tropical equatorial zone is 27% of total worlds land-mass, 11% of it lies in Indonesia. This makes Indonesia responsible to 40.7% of total tropical equatorial zone. Abundant sunlight and rainfall make most of the land in Indonesia cultivatable for a whole year. In the contrary, as an agrarian country, Indonesian development is still focusing on nonrenewable resources exploitation.

Indonesias estimated population in 2009 was 240,271,522, giving it an average population density of 132 persons per sq km. In 2009 the population was growing by 1.1 percent a year. With an estimated population of 101,742,120 in 2000, Java contains somewhat less than half of Indonesias people.vi The fact is, although 60% of its population lives in rural area as a farmer and food production focused in the village, Indonesia is still importing its basic food commodities from abroad, especially rice and sugars. Farmers are socio-economically marginalized and fall into

poverty. Moreover, most of the malnutrition and deficiency cases happen in the villages. The over-use of agriculture fields has degrades soil nutrition in Indonesia and extensive usage of chemical component, such as pesticides, resulting negative environmental impacts, i.e. cancer and birth deformity.

Urbanization has become so notorious amongst the Indonesian villagers since many years ago. It is considered as the side effect of centralization policy that adopted in Indonesia for more than 30 years under the New-Era regime. This movement distinguishes villages from the cities, pushing it away from modernization issues. Many villagers believe that the cities have more modern and dynamic life, with more job opportunities, complete facilities, and more qualified educational institutions. Lack of farming fields and job opportunity multiply their determination to leave villages for cities. This seems to be rational regarding the fact that 58-62% of money distribution is sprawling in Jakarta, capital city of Indonesia, while 29-31% of it disperses in other big cities and only 7-13% of it left for the villages. Agricultural tools and products also still depend on the city supply. To worsen, the agricultural industries do not generate enough benefits to the farmers. As a result, we can see the city becomes slum and the villages are left behind.

On the other hand, village has more forgotten valuable things to see. Its abundant land fields are longing to be ploughed and its people are still as generous as they were before. In Indonesia -presumably- village is the only place you can see a sincere generosity. Its people are welcome to help each other freely. Now, the village, more the city does, needs a lot of rejuvenation. Indonesians, especially the villagers, are lacking such morale to struggle and survive in todays difficult conditions. There are also not

enough pioneers and leaders to act as a motor in efforts of improving villagers quality of life.

II. OUR CONTRIBUTION THROUGH ISLAMIC PHILANTROPHY Followers of Islam make up more than 80% of the population, making Indonesia the largest Islamic country in the world.vii Islam entered Indonesia through the matters of trading (not through battle). Moslem merchants from Gujarat and Persia began visiting Indonesia in the 13th Century and established trade links between this country and India and Persia. Along with trade, they propagated Islam among the Indonesian people, particularly along the coastal areas of Java, like Demak.viii Since there are more than 300 ethnics in Indonesia, Islam in Indonesia deals with various custom and traditions, acculturated with them.

Basically, Islam is deliberated to be a blessing for the universe (rahmatan lil aalamiin) and human being, especially Moslems, carries a duty as the Earths guardians (khalifah fil ardh) by maintaining and enhancing its quality. Al Quran, as the primary source of Moslems value system, has a central role in guiding our behaviour toward nature. Allah the Merciful has granted human being with such intelligence that must be used to maintain natural resources as good as they are capable of. Human being must not make any damages in the world because each and every single deed is going to be counted on the judgement day.

Like many other customs in the world, Islam also taught certain generosity mechanism. It is believed that we have to maintain a good relationship with other people and nature as well as spiritual faith to Allah the Almighty. Moslems also believe that if we do waqf, we will earn a continuous

personal reward from Almighty Allah. Waqf is an inalienable religious endowment in Islam, typically denoting a building or plot of land for Muslim religious purposes. It is conceptually similar to the common law trust.ix This is one of the most common Islamic philanthropic values applied in current setting.

III. SUSTAINABLE COMMUNITIES IN THE MAKING Traditional Method of Teaching Islam through Pesantren For many years, Islamic and Quranic teaching was taught in a traditional Islamic Institution called Pesantren. It has been existed almost in every rural area in Indonesia. Conventional pesantren is focusing its education in religious study only. Pesantren has three important elements, i.e. Islamic education system, Islamic values, and santri (pesantrens students). It is usually located in a remote rural area, isolated from local community, and associated with the students in peci and sarong carrying antiquated yellowed book.

However, those days have passed. Nowadays, we have been introduced to a new level of Islamic teaching through pesantren. As an example, there is a well-known pesantren in Bandung, West Java, Indonesia named Daarut Tauhid Pesantren. Not like any other previous pesantren, it is located in urban area, with distinctive integration between Islamic way of life, urban lifestyle, and West Javas culture. Its basic concept is advancing Moslems economy through modern-day practices of business with spiritual values, and developing Islamic education and religious subjects as well as economy and management substances. Established in 1990s, it has once become one of the most visited places in Bandung, even though not spotted in any of the tourism destination maps. In Daarut Tauhid Pesantren, santris

not only learn the religious studies, but also theory and practice of a good business, entrepreneurship, and leadership agility. In addition, it has no physical segregation with the local community.

Pic 1: Public gathering at Pesantren Daarut Tauhiid, Gerlong Girang, Bandung

The setting, allows the santris and the neighbours to involve in almost every day-life activities. Majority of visitors stay in a rented homestay owned by local communities. This condition is really goes along Daarut Tauhids philosophies: independency, generosity in helping others, connections strength between neighbours that lead to one big family, and the ability to have a spiritual way of life without neglecting the worldly life.

However, after 14 years of contribution in various activities, since 2005 Pesantren Daarut Tauhiid tried to create a village pesantren located in rural area. The design of this new pesantren is planned based on sustainable development principles, that is why it is called Eco-Pesantren DT (DT stands for daarut tauhiid).

Pic 2: Location Comparison: Daarut Tauhiid Urban Pesantren and Eco-Pesantren DT

Eco-Pesantren DT: The rural based pesantren As mentioned before, Indonesia is facing a serious mental problem, especially in the rural areas. The villagers are lack in self esteem; make them hard to adjust themselves in the difficult economy situations nowadays. Moreover, as the major result of urbanization, village is running out of youth to develop the region.

Eco-Pesantren DT is one of our solution offering, make the most of Indonesias potentials described above. Because rural area is considered to be closer to a conservation of natural resource compare to the urban, EcoPesantren DT is planned to be an ecological friendly built environment located in one of Northern Bandungs rural area. It is brought to become a model of self-sufficient built environment, which is based mainly on

renewable resources and conduct sustainable way of life. With its several basic concepts self-sufficient community, organic food farming, sustainable buildings, water and waste recycling it is also expected to participate in an effort to empower and enhance the quality of life of villagers through agriculture technology and renewable energy resources to produce agents of change who have respected manner with strong sense of leadership and entrepreneurship.

Unlike the existing urban model of Daarut Tauhiid Pesantren which focus in short term spiritual training (maximun 6 month), a rural model of EcoPesantren Daarut Tauhiid is planned to have more long term formal education from Junior High school up to Academy level. The curriculum of this formal education is designed to put nature as the main inspiration. In this regard, Richard Louv once said in his book Last Child in the Woods: Saving Our Children from Nature-Deficit Disorder (2008) that children needs to contact with nature as they need to eat nutritious foods and enough of sleep. It explained the children who often play in natural area tend to have a better motoric ability. Researches in England and Sweden also proof that such contact with natural elements reduce anxiousness, anger, and depression. Another research held by

Environmental Psychologist from Cornell University (2003) revealed that children, who often play in the natural environment, tend to act with lower behavioural level of chaos, anxiety, and depression compared to those who seldom or never play in the natural environment.x

Environmental Concern Eco-Pesantren DT is located on a high plateau of Bandung region (1200 m above sea level) which consider as a water catchment area for the city of Bandung. In response to that, in June 10th 2006 Eco-Pesantren in

cooperation with the Ministry of Environment, the Sedaun Foundation and Trans TV planted 700 Eucalyptus trees in the land reforestation program. Some trees have also been given to the surrounding communities to be planted in their own land. In addition to that, the Department of Forestry, West Java Province planted as many as 2500 Robusta coffee trees seedlings in the Eco Pesantren area. Together with farmers and surrounding communities, Eco-Pesantren DT also manages the agricultural waste program. This waste that comes from decomposed plants during the harvesting period used as an organic fertilizer for vegetables planting. Programs and Facilities in Eco-Pesantren DT There are three main field of concerns i.e. training and educational field, agricultural field, and environment preservation activities. Eco-Pesantren DT plan to have training and educational activities that include Islamic formal education through junior and senior boarding high school and agricultural applied science and technology institute. While the agricultural activities take account of agriculture production and supply, agricultural cooperation for farmers, and agricultural visit program; the environment preservation activities concerns are more to the land-reforestation program, renewable energy source usage, waste recycling, and water treatment programs.

The future formal education in Eco-Pesantren will strongly emphasizes in building character (entrepreneurship and leadership), enhancing the understanding of applied technology especially those related to agriculture, and encouraging sustainable way of life to the students since their school age.

The facility within Eco-Pesantren will consist of agricultural, educational and religious facilities. Educational and religious facilities in Eco-Pesantren consist of a Mosque and Multifunction hall which is currently become the centre of all educational and social activities although the progress of construction is still in the finishing stage and junior and senior boarding high school that is planned to be built in any near period. To support the continuous activity in Eco-Pesantren, it will also be equipped with other supporting facilities such as santris boarding house and dormitory, as well as waste recycling and water treatment facility.

Each and every building inside Eco-Pesantren complex will be designed to be environmental friendly and sustainable building. Stage-platform building construction concept is used in most of the buildings to reserve the water reservoir area and maximize open green spaces for santri and agricultural matters; besides its tropical architecture principle. The buildings are also designed to be able to generate and manage both its energy and waste using the renewable energy sources. It is apply the use of solar-cells as the electricity source, rain and grey water treatment and recycle process to be re-used, also waste separation and recycle process. Eco-Pesantren is also maintain land reforestation and water preservation concepts by filling the land with productive hardwood plants that strengthen the soil structure and enhance the rain water soil infiltration.

The mosque has become the main activity centre in every pesantren in Indonesia. In Eco-Pesantren, the mosque is also dedicated as a model of sustainable public building. The use of stage-platform building construction concept and other tropical architecture principles pitched roof, natural air and light handling are applied in this building. As a model of sustainable public building, it is also designed to use solar-cells as the main electricity

source. The grey-water treatment facility also attached to the building to make it possible to be used for toilet flushing and plant watering.

What Eco-Pesantren DT Has Achieved So Far As stated earlier, in the first two years of its Establishment, Eco-Pesantren was focused on agriculture, especially in vegetables production. During that period we find that farmers have many limitations in terms of land ownership, lack of capital, as well as accessibility to the market. These conditions created dependency on the middleman called

Bandar/Tengkulak. Meanwhile, there were only few financial institutions that can provide capital loans to farmers because of bankability issue. Since 2006, Eco-Pesantren created partnership program with farmers community around the pesantren area. This program is ranging from providing pesantrens land, capital loan for seeds and fertilizers, field assistance in the use of appropriate technology, and marketing program. Technical assistance has been given to farmers in order to manage the planting pattern so that the production will be in accordance with the markets need. This includes quality, quantity, and sustainability of vegetable products.

Pic 3: Vegetables Planting in EcoPesantren, Cigugur Girang, West Bandung

Currently the numbers of farmers who are joining the program are 105 people who are spread in 3 districts in West Bandung regency. Vegetables produced by farmers consist of 10 types: broccoli, lettuce, cauliflowers, lettuce head, string-bean, kyuri, zucchini, snow-peas, kailand and redpepper, its ranging from 300 - 600 kg/day. Eco-Pesantren is responsible to sell these vegetables to supermarkets as well as traditional markets. Besides having partnership with vegetable farmers, Eco-Pesantren DT also develops partnership with flower plant farmers. This partnership is to accommodate the local potential of the community around eco-Pesantren which is well-known as one of the biggest flower plant production centre in West Java.

Pic 3: Flower & Ornamental Plants Partnership with Local Farmer

Since the end of 2007 Eco-Pesantren is supported by the Ministry of Agriculture of the Republic of Indonesia, through a LM3 program. The objective of this program is to empower farmers focusing on marketing

skill enhancement with the supervision of the established Pesantren in Indonesia. One of the innovative programs of this is the creation of the Farmer Market - famously called the Agrospot Festival.

Pic 4: farmers directly selling their product in the Farmer Market -Agrospot festival

Farmers Market is intended to increase the added value of the farmers products by reducing the chain distribution of the product. Instead of selling product to the Big Supermarket, farmers can directly sell their product to the customer, so that the margin received by farmers become larger and at the same time, the customer can get a lower price compare to the supermarkets price. Farmer market provides flexibility and freedom to farmers to be able to communicate directly with consumers, so that farmers can see the lack of their products. Products displayed in this market are fresh products and processed products such as vegetables, fish, processed foods, traditional medicine (spice), flowers, and merchandise.

It is important to note, Farmer Market is not aiming to compete with traditional market (pasar tradisional) because the quality of the product is as good as supermarkets, while in the traditional market, the quality of the products is usually lower. Unfortunately, Farmer Market which was

previously planned to be on monthly basis could only be carried out 2 times in 2008. But some group of farmers get benefit from this activity for getting a direct order from the company from big cities like Jakarta and other areas.

In the last 9 months, instead of selling fresh vegetables, Eco-Pesantren is focused on marketing of processed agriculture products, i.e. fruits chips and vegetables chips. The packing process is done by neighbours and farmers wife that live around Eco-Pesantren area. This activity has tightened our social connection among communities as well as earning some little money for the farmers family.

Since the beginning of 2008, Eco-Pesantren is involved in joint collaboration project with the CIP (Centro Internacionale della Papa), IVEGRI (Indonesian Vegetable Research Institute), Swisscontact, DAFWA (Department of Agriculture and Food, Western Australia), University of Adelaide, and Department of Agriculture, Government of Indonesia. The main objective of this project is to connect farmers, especially potatoes farmers to the market. At the moment, Eco-Pesantren sells potato chips to Jakarta and Bandung. In Bandung, our product can be found in the snack food store, while in Jakarta, Eco-Pesantrens product being sold in a healthy store.

Dakwah Program and Informal Education for Local Community In Indonesia, 60% of poorest people live in rural area and majority of them are farmers. Nowadays, they are not only facing poverty problems, but also lack of education that lead to inferiority, less discipline as well as

consumptive attitude because of TVs advertisement. Above all that, the nature of togetherness (gotong royong) and social cohesiveness - which traditionally very strong among rural communities have been gradually changed into individualistic character. In response to this issue, since November 2008 Eco-Pesantren DT established a regular dakwah (islamic teaching) program and informal education through PAUD (Early Childhood Education), Playgroup, kindergarten, and regular classes for youngster with a very affordable cost (even free of charge for some classes). This non-formal education aims to increase their islamic knowledge as well as to form a good character towards family, community and environment.

Pic 5: Early Childhood Education

In addition to that, for adults, we also conduct a monthly program under Public Preaching. In this program, Preacher (ustadz) usually discusses Islamic principles on how to strengthen family connection, community relationship and environmental responsibility. With this program we hope in the future we will have more harmonious families that lead to strong

communities that can revive the traditional value of togetherness as well as a strong responsibility to care and to keep after our environment.

Pic 6: Public Preaching in Eco Pesantrens Mosque

Healthy Living Campaign As we know, nowadays we are facing so many new diseases that cannot be totally cured by the so called modern medical treatment, namely: HIV, Avian Flu and the newest pandemic virus of H1N1. Many research proved that this is happened one of them because of the way we consume chemical medicines and drugs in our daily life that not only has a negative effect but also essentially poisoned our body.

It is important to note, based on Tuan Haji research in Malaysia (1995), he found that Allah the Almighty sends diseases together along with its natural medicines. His research further found, these medicines are made of plants that grow naturally in our local environment, or even in our own backyard/front yard. He concluded, we need to drastically shift from chemical medicine towards natural medicine as Prophet Muhammad peace be upon him- give an example during his noble life.

In response to this issue, together with TNC (Tibbun Nabawi College), Eco-Pesantren DT regularly conducts a free of charge social event that offer a new way of consuming alternative medicine from herbal that naturally grows around us, as well as strengthening our antibody by consuming honey in a regular basis as our prophet Muhammad peace be upon him, teaches us.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/World_population from US Census Bureau World POP Clock Projection ii http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/World_population from World Population Clock Worldometers & International Data Base (IDB) - World Population iii How Climate Change Effects World Health http://www.sustdev.org/index.php?option=content&task=view&id=2495 iv Steele, James. 1997. Sustainable Architecture Principles, Paradigms, and Case Studies. New York: McGraw and Hill. v http://www.oecd.org/topic/ vi http://encarta.msn.com/encyclopedia_761573214_3/Republic_of_Indonesia.html #s61 vii http://encarta.msn.com/encyclopedia_761573214_3/Republic_of_Indonesia.html #s61 viii http://www.asianinfo.org/asianinfo/indonesia/pro-history.htm ix http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Waqf