Sustainable Seaweed Farming (Malaihollo 2015)

"From Ropes and Sticks to Shorts and Trips, researching the role that tourism can play in the lives of the seaweed farmers of Nusa Penida, Bali, Indonesia in a locally perceived sustainable way” is a 2015 university thesis by Shimona Malaihollo, Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam. Malaihollo looks at ways for sustainable seaweed farming in Nusa Penida and the role it plays in changing climatic circumstances and renewed tourism. Malaihollo's thesis has been adpated to enhance readability.


Nusa Penida is an island only a 30-minute boat ride away from touristic Bali. The dominant income is gained through seaweed farming, which over the last few years has been an industry with difficulties. Not only higher sea temperatures, but also fluctuating market prices, are of big concern for the seaweed farmers and are making it hard for them to make ends meet. At the same time tourism is on the rise in Nusa Penida and some seaweed farmers are already exploring possibilities in tourism. This research aims to explore what role tourism can play in the lives of the seaweed farmers of Nusa Penida in a locally perceived sustainable way.

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The changes in tourism are perceived as a positive development. The seaweed farmers see potential jobs for their kids; development in infrastructure; and overall they hope the island will become richer. Although this might be a good solution for underdeveloped areas in need of an economic stimulus, not all locals agree that tourism is only good for the inhabitants of Nusa Penida. Some individuals are of opinion that tourism is only economically profitable if the locals are involved with tourism themselves. The possibility of involvement depends on how able the seaweed farmers are to be involved. The seaweed farmers almost all have a history in farming and therefore going into seaweed farming was a logical step for them. Most of them would go back into farming if seaweed farming would not be profitable enough anymore. This shows that the seaweed farmers would rather do something they already know, rather than going into an industry with need for different skills. Their amount of education and experience also known as their human capital is in the farming industry. The seaweed farmers are not that mobile in labour, since most of them do not want to change their human capital. Religion is the most important aspect of life to the seaweed farmers and that is the main thing they would like to see protected. One major consequence of tourism in general is that tourism work is usually going on 24/7, which might clash with the Balinese-Hindu ceremonies and calendar. If more tourism comes the cultural aspects belonging to the foreigners/travellers might dominate the local cultural aspects. This can bring change into the daily lives of the local people.


Tourism can play a different role for different kinds of seaweed farmers. Tourism might not play a role for the 'older' seaweed farmers, who think they are too old to learn new skills and get a job in tourism. This group of seaweed farmers might have a chance benefiting from tourism through their children who still have opportunities to learn new things and to find a job in tourism. Another group of seaweed farmers do not think they are too old to get involved in tourism. They would work in the tourism industry and expand their already exciting human capital. With welcoming tourism all seaweed farmers would like to protect their religion.

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Photo 6: What is important.


After having reviewed my findings I came to two conclusions that might be of use for decision makers regarding tourism and development in Nusa Penida.

First the idea of some seaweed farmers to collaborate tourism with seaweed farming made me think of a potential in farm tourism. Gladstone and Morris define this as "tourist activity closely intertwined with farm activities and often with the viability of the household economy" (2000:93). This might be a way for the seaweed farmers to keep doing what they do and to not only be dependent on the fluctuating harvest and seaweed prices. As Pak Komang Karyaman said to me in an interview: tourism can only be positive if the locals participate in it. Farm tourism might be an option if the seaweed farmers get a fair income out of it.

Secondly, during my research I found that most locals are oblivious to the negative effects of tourism. Most of the seaweed farmers from Nusa Penida still like the idea of having foreigners on the island, but cannot yet see how it can affect them negatively. This might be because they have not been off the island yet and have not seen Bali, or they are blind to the negative effects and can only see the positive ones. That is why I would suggest an awareness campaign to raise awareness about these negative effects of tourism so that the seaweed farmers can anticipate on the development in Nusa Penida.

I want to stress that these recommendations are just ideas that I had while doing my research that I would like to share, with the hope that someone who reads this may be inspired.

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Photo 4: alternative jobs

Preface & Acknowledgements

As a child I have visited Indonesia several times for family visits. Staying inside the house with my family or visiting malls I did not really like Indonesia that much. The last trip opened my eyes to the beauty of the country and especially the beauty of Bali. On this trip my whole family and I went to Bali and Lombok and I even got the chance to see the island of my familial root, The Moluccas. Being older and having more awareness of my surroundings, I saw not only the beauty of the places, but also all the tourists who saw this beauty with me.

A particular event stayed with me for a long time, in which my family and I were visiting a weaving centre in Lombok. The locals that helped us had a big smile on their face and my father and aunts were bargaining for textiles. As this is not my kind of way to spend my holiday I wandered around the street of this centre and saw a lot of broken houses, women with sad faces preparing food for their children that barely had any clothes on. This made me think of how tourism plays a role in the daily lives of the local people. Do they really benefit from it and are they happy with all these foreigners on their island?

These thoughts came back when I had to decide on my research topic. Although tourism in Belize was first on my list, I am happy my supervisor Mr. Roessingh persuaded me into doing research in Indonesia. Looking back I would have never known Nusa Penida if it were not for doing research in Bali. I would have never met the amazing people of Nusa Penida and would probably never known about seaweed farmers at all.

First I want to thank my family for being there for me and for supporting me in every way possible. Without them I would not be able to even stay in Indonesia and do the research I planned to do. I also want to thank Mike, who was like a father to me on the island. He was always there to listen to my problems and help me in solving them. If it was not for him I probably would not even know about the situation of the seaweed farmers. The Gallery was my home away from home and words cannot describe how grateful I am for Mike and Kadek's (Mike's wife) help. Thirdly, I want to thank my interpreter and friend on the island Adipta Putu (Dipta). To me he was the smartest young guy on the island and the only one able to translate what I truly meant to ask. I cherish our conversations and I am very grateful for all the interviews he helped me with. I want to thank Carel Roessingh for being the most supportive, funny and wise supervisor I could imagine; and Altaire Cambata for helping with my thesis and being an inspiration to me. Lastly I want to thank everyone I have met on Nusa Penida: the locals, the volunteers and the travellers who unknowingly helped me reflect on my research. This whole research has not only produced a masters thesis, but also helped me grow personally.


Imagine living in a small country with only three companies to work for of which only one is really successful. You are one of the lucky ones working for this company and you have been doing this for over 25 years. After 25 years of successful business the company you are working for has trouble making ends meet and is slowly cutting down on employees. At the same time a new company is starting to grow in the country, but they are specialized in something you do not know anything about. So, as someone who has been doing the same thing for a long time, what should you do? Are you going to stay doing your current job with the risk of being fired, or are you going to try to apply for a job at this new company?

This question is similar to the question that the seaweed farmers of Nusa Penida are facing. Seaweed farmers in Nusa Penida are suffering from changing sea conditions as a result of climate change (Jakarta Post 2009). According to Kalimajari, a community development group that assists seaweed farmers in Nusa Penida, the sea temperature has increased by between 2 and 3 degrees Celsius between 2007 and 2009. The rise of the sea temperature causes a disease that is locally known as ‘es-es’ (literally translates to ice-ice). This is 'stressed' seaweed that turns white, loses strength and eventually decays. The farmers have noticed the higher sea temperatures and started complaining, because the ice-ice outbreaks are recurring every planting cycle. The changes in sea conditions have mainly affected Eucheuma seaweed, which was previously the most profitable kind for the farmers. The stock decreased from 500 tons in 2007 to 200 tons in 2008 (Jakarta Post, 2009). Not only higher sea temperatures, but also fluctuating market prices, are of big concern for the seaweed farmers and are making it hard for them to make ends meet.

At the same time tourism is on the rise in Nusa Penida. In the Bali Discovery (2015) I Made Gunaja, the head of the Bali Provincial Seaways and Fisheries Department, states that a lot of seaweed cultivators on Nusa Penida have changed professions and have entered the tourism sector. He thinks that this switch into tourism offers a better prospect due to the increasing number of foreign and domestic tourists coming to the island. Nusa Penida is mostly known to water sports' enthusiasts like snorkelers and divers, because of its extraordinary coral reef and fish life, of which the most famous mola-mola (sunfish) and manta rays. I Made Gunaja says that tourism should not only benefit investors, but also seaweed farmers that are now turning into tourism. He also thinks that decline in harvest of as much as 42 percent in between 2013 and 2014 is due to less interest and intensity of seaweed farming in the past. The local authorities keep on encouraging seaweed cultivation in order to preserve the traditional sector of the economy. All these developments made me wonder what the local seaweed farmers think about this themselves. Do they fear for their jobs and how do they feel about tourism? All these questions led me to my main investigation:

  • What role can tourism play in the lives of the seaweed farmers of Nusa Penida in a locally perceived sustainable way?

I want to answer this question from a bottom-up point of view. This means that the opinions of the seaweed farmers of Nusa Penida are very important for this research.

To answer my main question I need to know how the seaweed farmers perceive the changes in tourism. It is also important how the seaweed farmers perceive the changes in seaweed farming. Lastly I will look at how the seaweed farmers will deal with the changes. Tourism is a two-sided coin, which is why I want to know what they want to see protected if more tourists are coming to the island. This leads me to the following sub-questions:

  • What are the perceptions of the seaweed farmers on developments in tourism?
  • What are the perceptions of the seaweed farmers on developments in seaweed farming?
  • How would the seaweed farmers deal with these changes?
  • What is important in the daily lives of the seaweed farmers?

The aim of this research is to inform the current situation on tourism and seaweed farming on Nusa Penida. At the moment Nusa Penida is at a crucial time of transition, which is usually seen from a top-down perspective. With this research I want to give a bottom-up perspective and give voice to the local seaweed farming of Nusa Penida. Naturally the whole island will experience some kind of transition, but as seaweed farmers working on the beach and on the shore, they will probably be affected the most. I hope this research is able to provide information to find a way in which tourism may be positive for both tourists and locals. The stories of the local seaweed farmers will be central to finding an answer to my question. My hope is that this research can be of practical relevance to the inhabitants of Nusa Penida. In addition, I hope that my research can contribute to the small amount of literature that exists about Nusa Penida. 

This thesis will start with a contextual chapter in which I will elabourate on the history and situation about tourism in Indonesia, Bali and Nusa Penida. It will give a background to the rest of the data given in my thesis. I will continue with a theoretical framework in which I will touch upon theories about tourism, sustainability and labour mobility. The theoretical framework will be a frame for my empirical chapters and will eventually help me to answer my research question. In chapters three, four and five I will present the data I have gathered during my research. Chapter three will deal with the changes and developments in tourism. The fourth chapter will elabourate on the changes and developments in seaweed farming and the opinions about these changes according to the seaweed farmers. The last empirical chapter will look into how the seaweed farmers deal with the changes, their ideal future and what they would like to see protected. In chapter six the empirical chapters will be combined with the theoretical framework to come to a conclusion and to answer the question. Lastly, I will explain my research methods and reflect on them in chapter seven.

Chapter 1: Context

To get an overview of the context in which I conducted this research in, I will elabourate on Indonesia's history in tourism; tourism developments in Bali; and on different aspects of life in Nusa Penida. This will give a better perspective on the context from which I retrieved my data.

1.1 Indonesia: Indonesia is the largest archipelago in the world, stretching 5,110 km along the equator from east to west and 1,888 km from north to south. It consists of five major islands: Java, Sumatra, Kalimantan, Sulawesi, and Irian Jaya, today known as West Papua. It has about 30 smaller groups, with more than 17,000 islands in total. The chain of islands divides the Indian and Pacific Oceans and is enriched with natural resources and diverse cultures, offering a vast range of tourism activities. Indonesia has long been a popular destination for tourists (Sugiyarto et al. 2003).

1.1.1 Tourism history: Tourism in Indonesia dates back to the colonial period. In 1908 the colonial government opened a tourist bureau in the capital city Batavia (now Jakarta) in order to promote the Netherlands East Indies as a tourist destination. It primarily focused on Java, but extended its scope to Bali in 1914, as soon as control of the island by the army allowed it to be visited in safety (Picard 1997). In the early days of independence, tourism was related to political activities like meetings between the Indonesian and Dutch governments or among Indonesian leaders. It was considered a very prestigious leisure activity affordable only for the very privileged. In 1958 President Sukarno coined the Indonesian word for tourism, pariwisata. Since then, tourism has been included in the national development plan (Dahles 2001).

National pride and identity in the late 1950s and early 1960s was incorporated into the monument of Sukarno in Jakarta - and this included the development of grand multi-storied international standard hotels and beach resorts, such as Hotel Indonesia in Jakarta (est. 1962). The political and economic instability of the mid-1960s saw tourism decline radically again. Bali, and in particular the small village of Kuta, was however, in the 1960s, an important stopover on the overland hippy trail between Australia and Europe, and a 'secret' untouched surf spot (Elliot, 2003).

Now, foreign tourism is an important part of the economy of Indonesia. In the decade prior to the 1997 crisis, the industry experienced strong growth, with large increases in foreign arrivals, tourist spending, and investment. Figure 3 shows that the foreign arrivals grew more than 15 percent per year, contributing to an increase in foreign currency receipts as both foreign tourists' expenditure and their length of stay increased (Sugiyarto et al. 2003).

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Figure 3. Tourist Arrivals (in Millions) to Indonesia (Sugiyarto, 2003: 686)

Globally tourism contributed 16 percent of total job creation in 1995, and in 2007 it is estimated that one of every 11 new jobs will originate from tourism. Tourism in Indonesia is expected to play a more important role in the longer-term future (Kompas 1999 in Sugiyarto et al 2003).

1.1.2 Tourism policy: As mentioned before Indonesia is an archipelago with more than 17.000 islands, this naturally leads to over three hundred ethnic groups and a multitude of religions. Therefore it is a big challenge for Indonesia to build a national consciousness. One way for the Indonesian government to do this is by championing tourism. From 1969 Indonesian leaders envisioned the political program behind tourism development that would contribute to nation building. This was defined in terms of 'a source of foreign revenue, a way of enhancing Indonesia on the international stage and a strategy for fostering domestic brotherhood.' (Adams 1997:157). By 1988, tourism's role in nation building was officially encoded into the mission statement of the Ministry of Tourism, Posts, and Telecommunications. It stated that the development of domestic tourism would be aimed at strengthening love for country, improving the quality of the nation's cultural life and promoting historical sites. Since this statement, the message that domestic tourism to ethnic scenes makes a citizen a better Indonesian has been visible in domestic travel advertisements, journals and guidebooks (Adams, 1997).

Another development that had an impact on tourism was the declining oil revenues in the early 1980s. The Indonesian economic policy was directed towards the expansion of non-oil sectors. Tourism was embraced as a means to contribute to economic development in terms of measurable growth. The high priority given to tourism in national development policy generated a fast growth in tourist arrivals and in earnings from tourism. International and domestic tourism has grown considerably since the 1980s (Dahles, 2001).

1.2 Bali: Bali is arguably the most famous island in the Indonesian archipelago and one of the world's most renowned tourism destinations. Located east of Java, Bali supports a population of more than 4.1 million people in 2014 ( in an area about 143 kilometres long and 87 kilometres wide.

1.2.1 Development tourism in Bali: Tourism was introduced with the expansion of the Dutch East Indies in the early twentieth century. The colonization of Bali by the Dutch was completed in 1906-1908. However there was resistance of the court of Badung (now Denpasar) who choose to fight to the end. One of the main events was the Badung Puputan, a mass suicide by the royal Balinese family. This protest against colonialism was embarrassing for the Dutch who attempted to 'make it right' by preserving the Balinese culture and the development of the island as a tourist destination (Hitchcock, 2002). Another motivation to do this was because of the lack of suitable plantation land on the island. In 1924 a regular steam-packet service was introduced which constituted a mini tourism boom into the 1930s. Tourism declined during the Japanese invasion of 1942. In the early days of the Indonesian republic visitors started to rediscover Bali, but were discouraged by the xenophobia of the Sukarno years. Oblivious to the problems, President Sukarno tried to turn Bali into a showpiece for visitors by building a luxury beachside hotel and a new international airport. Tourists only started returning to Bali after installation of Suharto and what became known as the New Order regime.

The New Order Regime is the period in which Suharto was president of Indonesia from 1966 to 1998. It can be described as a combination between Javanese patrimonialism; obedience and social stratification; capitalistic gain and expansion; and a lot of military power (Thorburn, 2002). It was a time of centralization and undermining of the existing local social orders. During the New Order exports were seen as the key to support the New order's modernization projects.

Tourism was seen as a means to contribute to economic development in terms of growth (Dahles, 2001).

In 1965 the Ngurah Rai International Airport was opened which is linked with the launch of mass tourism on the island (Hitchcock, 2002). Subsequently, Bali tourism experienced a sustained increase, reaching 1.5 million visitors in 2001. International tourist arrivals decreased 20 per cent from 2002 to 2003 after the first Bali terrorist bombing in October 2002, but bounced back in 2004 with more than 1.2 million visitors (from January to October). The second Bali bombing in October 2005 also reduced international tourist visitation and local income. However, tourism is still the prime source of Gross Domestic Product (GDP) for Bali, contributing around 29 percent of the GDP in 2006-2008 (Mustika 2011).

1.2.2 Sustainable tourism in Bali: Although Bali was traditionally an agricultural society; its main attraction to outsiders is its unique culture (Picard 1996). However, Bali's culture is inherently connected with nature, as expressed in the indigenous sustainability philosophy of Tri Hita Karana and infused in the traditional Balinese way of life (Mustika 2011). Tri Hita Karana is a concept consisting of three elements that are aimed to achieve a sense of well-being. These three elements are harmony among people; harmony with nature and the environment; and harmony with God (Fox 2011). Thus, one would expect cultural tourism in Bali to be conducted with respect for the island's carrying capacity and other environmental considerations (Mustika 2011). A way of practicing tourism responsibly is now popularly referred to as sustainable tourism.

"Sustainable tourism is responsible tourism i.e. tourism supporting the Agenda 21, include tourism that supports conservation of nature and heritage, designing tourism as more of a sustainable industry, and tourism that is supporting improvement on public awareness as well as developing peoples' capacity/ability; according to UNEP (2002)." (Sutawa, 2012:414)

There are different views on how sustainable tourism is practiced in Bali. Some authors mention that the opening of Bali's Ngurah Rai International Airport in 1969 marked the beginning of mass tourism, which eventually eroded, or at least altered, the genuine culture of Bali (Picard 1995, Barker et al. 2006). Changing land use from agriculture to tourism infrastructure (hotels and restaurants) and other services (e.g., office building and malls), freshwater supplies, grey water and solid waste management, agricultural run-off, deforestation and destructive fishing are only a few of the environmental concerns (Mustika 2011).

According to the Jakarta Post (2013) the Balinese government has in more recent times begun to realize the dangers that unchecked development might bring and is now putting greater emphasis on the environment and sustainability. Building rules and regulations have gradually been tightened and the development criteria expanded. In terms of local sustainability and economic growth, parts of Bali have proved that the two can go hand in hand. In the Tabanan region of Bali, the local regency government has taken a tough line on tourism development. 

Businesses wanting to develop hotels in the region need to meet strict environmental and sustainable principles to gain a license. This includes training and hiring local labour and conserving the environment, where two-thirds of any development plots must be left as forests or rice paddies. Current government policy is based on four noble principles. Tourism must be pro-poor, pro-growth, pro-job, and pro-environment (Jakarta Post 2013).

Nusa Penida

Nusa Penida is a dry island of 202,6 square kilometres lying off the southeastern coast of Bali with 45.340 inhabitants according to government's census in 2014. The inhabitants of Nusa Penida regard themselves as Balinese. Nusa Penida is part of the Klungkung regency of Bali since the 16th century. Although only 35 percent of the inhabitants of the Klungkung regency live in Nusa Penida, these inhabitants consists of 70 percent of the population that live beneath the poverty line (Jakarta Post, 2011). The island is divided into small village units of between 100 to 2,000 inhabitants. Although there are some larger centres, like Toyapakeh or Sampalan, these rarely have a population exceeding 2,000 (Giambelli 1995).

The Balinese are the only sub-group in Indonesia with a non-Christian or Muslim belief system. It is a hybrid of Buddhism, Hinduism and animism and conceptualizes the universe in terms of balance. It respects both good and evil as equally necessary and both present. Nusa Penida has particular temples "whose energy provides negative balance to the positive side of divinity" (Cambata, 2012). The island is known for housing the most feared evil spirit in the Balinese mythology: I Macaling who spread sickness and disease. During a metaphysical battle of light and dark Balinese priests cleansed the island and banished I Macaling. Despite this, I Macaling was not completely subdued and mainland Balinese still blames Nusa Penida for disasters like floods or diseases (Cambata 2012).

Nusa Penida has a past as a penal colony used by a number of Balinese kingdoms. There are different stories about what kind of people were banished to Nusa Penida. These range from people committing murder to improper political involvement or black magic (Giambelli 1995). In some Dutch maps of the late 19th century and early 20th century Bali, Nusa Penida is explicitly referred to as 'Bandit Island' (Giambelli 1995).

Next to having a history as a penal colony, people from Nusa Penida were also transmigrating a lot. Transmigration from Nusa Penida dates back to the Dutch colonial era. Reports show that in 1935 there was an acute food shortage on the island. The Dutch were of the opinion that it was best to relocate some families to other places in Bali to release the pressure on Nusa Penida (Bundschu 1990). In 1953 the Indonesian government continued large-scale transmigration programs in which people from Java, Bali and Lombok were relocated to the sparsely populated island of Sumatra, Kalimantan and Sulawesi (Bundschu 1990).

The majority of Nusa Penida's inhabitants are farmers dependent for their livelihood on corn growing. While in most of Bali the main crop is rice grown on irrigated terraces, in Nusa Penida this is not the case. Rice is cultivated only in a few dry areas, and the main crop is corn. Agriculture tends to be less abundant than in central Bali, and in the past the island has been subject to food shortages. The island has been famous for recurring periods of drought and famine since the Dutch conquest of Bali. The extreme shortage of drinkable water is due to the dry environment and limestone subsoil that has influenced and still influences the economy and life of this island (Giambelli 1995).

Tourism in Nusa Penida

The tourist industry in Nusa Penida is of growing importance. Small hotels (two in total during my research in from March 2015 to May 2015) and homestays are located mostly on the northern side of the island. During my stay in Nusa Penida new homestays were built and foreign investors were buying masses of land for hotels. The island is mostly known among diving tourists, because of the beautiful diving sites Crystal Bay, Manta Point and Suana Bay.

In general, the economic infrastructures and services of the area are still basic. More than 200,000 tourists visit the island each year. To bring these 200,000 tourists to the island, a ferry (this ferry also travels cars and motors) and a few speedboats sail from Bali to Nusa Penida (Ruchimat 2013). In 2011 the provincial administration has promised to improve access to the island by enlarging a mainland fishing port at Gunaksa Klungkung, Bali. The construction project would enable the port to receive larger and faster passenger ships. For the people this means easier, faster and cheaper access to the Klungkung regency in mainland Bali. Now there is only a ferry going from Nusa Penida to Padangbai, which is in the Karangasem regency, from there it is a long way to the Klungkung regency. According to former Klungkung governor, Wayan Candra, the ferry will be sailing three to four times a day when the port is completed (Jakarta Post 2011). During my stay on the island, there was only one ferry sailing, one time a day to Padangbai. This means the port in Gunaksa is still not ready, although it was planned to be finished in 2013. During some onversations people mentioned that they started coming to Nusa Penida since the speedboats and ferry started sailing a few years ago. This shows that infrastructure plays a big role in facilitating tourism.

Next to foreign and domestic tourism there is also another type of tourism, which is spiritual tourism. As I stayed across from the Pura Dalem Ped I have witnessed this kind of tourism up close. Pura Dalem Ped is a temple every Balinese Hindu needs to visit once in their life. Therefore, on special ceremonies people from Bali come in packed boats to Nusa Penida to pray and do offerings. Some people spend the night on the island and will search for a cheap penginapan (homestay). People that are making spiritual journeys are locally called pemedek (those making spiritual journeys). Because Nusa Penida is a locally popular destination for pilgrimages, local business people started organizing Tirtayatra (a pilgrimage to several major Hindu temples of Bali) packages (Suryani 2002). With this package pilgrims are taken to several holy places in Nusa Penida. There is Goa Giri Putri, which is a cave temple; Pura Puncak Mundi, a temple on top of the highest hill on the island; and Pura Dalem Ped, which consists of four temples. Not only are the people coming to Nusa Penida considered to be religious, the people living there are considered most religious. When talking to people in Bali they all mentioned how religious and conservative people from Nusa Penida are and that they are still traditional. This is also noticeable in everyday life; women who spent most of their days making offerings, warungs and stores are closed unannounced because of ceremonies; streets are filled with offerings. Most of the ceremonies locals go to are held in their village temple and sometimes even their family temple. Therefore locals consider it important to live close to their family so they can attend the ceremonies.

Nusa Penida and sustainability

Nusa Penida has 308 hectares of seaweed farming and about 850 local fishermen that depend on the fishing ground in the waters of Nusa Penida. It is estimated that 46,000 residents depend on the marine biodiversity of the archipelago for their livelihood (Ruchimat 2013:193). Destructive fishing and over-fishing can be serious threats to the reef ecosystem in Nusa Penida. That is why in November 2010 the Minister of Marine Affairs and Fisheries together with the Bali Governor and Head of Klungkung District declared Nusa Penida Marine Protected Area (MPA). This MPA is 'imperative to regulate the sustainable use of marine resources.' (Ruchimat 2013: 193).

Nusa Penida also knows one sustainable tourism organization company called 'Penida Tours'. This is a locally owned and operated tour company that was founded in 2013. Their mission is to strengthen the economy of Nusa Penida by empowering community members. They do this through various ways, one of which is sharing 15 percent of their profits with the local village development funds. They also rotate their guides and bike rentals to assure that the benefits of tourism are spread around the community. To ensure the local communities will not be over-commercialized they have a maximum amount of visitors they can accept each month (

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Figure 4. Nusa Penida MPA zoning system (

Seaweed farming in Nusa Penida

The mostly northern and eastern coastal side of Nusa Penida has achieved substantial success by introducing seaweed farming. Seaweed farming was first introduced in the area of Nusa Penida in the late 1970's and 1980's but the practice was not fully adopted until 1985. The seaweed end product according to the 1989 statistical data amounted to 74,452 tons. The types of seaweed grown in the area are the brown Spinosum (Eucheuma denticulatum) and the dark green Cottonii (Kappaphycus alverezii). Seaweed farming has greatly contributed to differentiating the local economy, providing a high revenue cash crop for export. Seaweed farming has had a positive effect on the whole island, because it facilitated more labour for the locals living inland of the island where labour was overflowing. A significant number of people have migrated to the coast attracted by the cash provided by seaweed farming (Giambelli 1995).

Although both men and women are used to working hard there is a division in roles. During observations and interviews it became clear that the men are the ones that put the seaweed saplings in the water and get them out again. They put the poles in the water and are doing most of the hard work in the water. The women do all the preparation work, tying the saplings to the ropes, removing the harvest from the ropes and laying the seaweed out to dry. When driving around the island you can see the women doing this with help from their children. This is the overall division, but there are also exceptions in which the women also do the men's work and vice versa.

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Photo 1: Roles in Seaweed Fanning. From left to right: seaweed drying, man taking out seaweed from sea and woman tying plastic to the rope, woman putting poles in the seabed.

Some of the ritual practices that were traditionally linked to land agriculture have been adjusted to incorporate seaweed farming, because the locals see both activities as similar in nature. A downside to seaweed farming is that the market prices are always fluctuating which does not give the seaweed farmers stability (Giambelli 1995).

The seaweed is grown for their carrageenan, which is used for cosmetics, dyes, lubricants, thickener, gelling agent and stabilizer in food. The dried seaweed is sold to traders who will resell it to Surabaya, East Java and other big cities to be processed before being exported (Jakarta Post, 2011). One of the challenges the seaweed farmers face in Nusa Penida is the seaweed disease called "ice-ice", locally known as es-es. This disease is caused by unfavourable environmental conditions in the planting site. The disease usually appears during seasonal changes, for examples between summer and autumn, and during the rainy period. This led scientists to believe that environmental stress, probably due to unfavourable conditions of temperature, light intensity and salinity, can cause es-es. The disease causes the percentage of carrageenan, to decrease (Largo et al. 1995).

1.4 Considerations: Indonesia is a big country with a lot of diversity both in culture as in nature. The difference between Bali and Nusa Penida, which are only a 30-minute boat ride apart, is already visible. Therefore it might be hard to implement certain policies, especially regarding sustainability. In Bali sustainability is already incorporated into the law and touristic attractions, although one can think these were only implemented after the harm was already done. Nusa Penida is in a very different stage regarding tourism; it is still considered 'unspoiled' which gives the island a unique position of developing tourism. Exploring this more deeply, the next chapter will deal with the theoretical challenges regarding tourism, sustainability and labour mobility.

Chapter 2: Theoretical framework

In order to understand the data of this research fully and see what is happening on the island more clearly, I will use this chapter to elabourate on theories about tourism, sustainability and labour mobility. When dealing with tourism I will use Smith (1989) and MacCannell (1992) for a general overview and focus on globalization to get a more in-depth perspective of tourism. Then I will shortly explain the concept of sustainable development and link it to tourism, after which I will question the concept of sustainability using mostly the work of Cater (2006). I will use Cater (2006), because he is one of the few that questions sustainability in a different way. Lastly I will elabourate on labour mobility focusing on human capital, accessibility and attractiveness.

2.1 Tourism: Tourism is a term that is hard to define, because tourism can be practiced together with other activities. The motivation for going on a holiday also varies and can be very personal. "In general a tourist is a temporary leisured person who voluntarily visits a place away from home for the purpose of experiencing change (...) " (Smith 1989:1). Smith (1989) reduces this to a formula: Tourism = leisure time + discretionary income + positive local sanctions.

Tourism is often a mixed blessing: on the one hand the tourists bring in cash flow and the industry can create jobs, on the other hand, the more tourists come the more of a physical and social burden they are to the host society. Consequently economics are the biggest stimulus for the development of tourism. Because the tourism industry is labour intensive and does not need highly skilled labour, it ranks high as a development tool, especially for underdeveloped areas (Smith 1989). Nevertheless there are some economic constraints to tourism. The major one is that tourism is seasonal, which can leave hotels and restaurants empty in low season. Another constraint is that "tourism is sensitive to external variables or events over which the local industry has very little control (...) " (Smith 1989:8). For instance the Bali bombings in 2002 and 2005 had an effect on tourists rates and may have caused local people to lose their jobs in tourism.

Tourism is more than only commercial activities. According to MacCannell it can also be an ideological framing of history, nature and tradition. This framing has the power to reshape culture and nature to its own needs (1992). Take for example the development that locals move to the places where there are more tourists, to look for jobs. In Nusa Penida and Bali this is already visible in a way that almost all youngsters from Nusa Penida move to Bali to look for a job, because all the tourists go there. Therefore they have more chance of succeeding in finding a job on mainland Bali. Consequently the youngsters do not live close to their parents and their family temple, which is an important part of Balinese culture. This results in a change in the way of practicing religion and therefore a slight change in culture and tradition. Although this is often the case, tourism does not have to be culturally damaging. Many tourists do not want to stay in touristic areas, but rather seek opportunities to meet the local people and get familiar with them. 'Tourism can be a bridge to appreciation of cultural relativity and international understanding' (Smith 1989:9). At the root of all these impacts and what makes tourism possible is globalization.

2.1.1 Globalization and tourism: Globalization is often explained as the world becoming smaller. Robertson (1992) gives a two-part explanation of the concept, which are the global compression of time and space and the increase of reflexive global consciousness. These processes are at the core of the expansion of international tourism (Robertson 1992). 

One of the characteristics of globalization is that nation-states have ambiguous boundaries (Eriksen 2007). In his book, Anderson defines the nation-states as being imagined as "inherently limited and sovereign " (Anderson 1991:6). Another term for this can be deterritorialization, which means that boundaries of a nation-state are far from absolute (Eriksen 2007). An example that shows that boundaries are not only external is the 'war on terror'. After the terrorist attack on the Twin Towers on September the 11th, US President George W. Bush declared his 'war on terror', which might have been the first time war was proclaimed on a non-territorial entity (Eriksen 2007). In short, it means that cultural aspects are not stuck to a certain location, but can travel anywhere. Social relations become partially deterritorialized and less constrained by meanings of locality. "This can bring new types of change and response " (Wood 2000:346). For example, travellers bring along their own cultural values to places with other cultural values. Whenever travellers are in contact with locals there is a possibility that these values can influence each other.

According to Meethan (2004) globalization suggests we are moving toward a radically new way of organizing economic and social relations. There are several factors that are seen to be the main driver of global change. For the tourism industry this seems to be the multinational corporations in the travel and hospitality services whose characteristics and structure are formed by globalization. For instance big chain hotels that have certain global standards that are unknown to the local culture. Next to this it is clear that these larger organizations can take advantage of global economies in order to expand their operations into new markets (Meethan 2004). In line with Meethan's thoughts on global change Jafari states "almost every community and nation, large and small, developed or developing, is influenced in varying degree by tourism" (1982 in Crick 1989:310).

What makes tourism a unique form of activity is the fact that, on the one had it can be seen as the most globalized of social activities, while on the other hand it is bound to the local place (Meethan 2004). People travel half the world to see places, which makes it a globalized activity, while spending time in a foreign place and getting to know it requires local conditions by virtue of the definition of practicing tourism.

Sustainable development and tourism

Globalization makes it easy for people to go to different places. According to Hoopwood et al (2005) "the concept of sustainable development is the result of a growing awareness of globalization, between the links of environmental problems and socio-economic issues concerning poverty and inequality. " (2005:4). The concept of sustainable development was first used in 1980 in the World Conservation Strategy, but was more famously expressed in the Burndtland Reports. The Brundtland Reports defines sustainable development as "meeting the need of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their needs." (WCED, 1987:43).

This growing need for sustainability was not only seen in general, but specifically within tourism. It was a result of the increased knowledge and concern about tourism impacts and environmental issues. Many of these issues date back to the 60s and 70s, showing concerns over the impact of economic and population development and the limits of growth (Saarinen 2006). The ideas and principles of sustainable development have been applied to tourism, which led to the new term of sustainable tourism. The United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) and the United Nations World Tourism Organizations (UNWTO) define sustainable tourism as follows:

"Tourism that takes full account of its current and future economic, social and environmental impacts, addressing the needs of visitors, the industry, the environment and host communities. " (UNEP and UNWTO, 2005:11).

In their report they state that sustainable tourism is applicable to all forms of tourism. It has to take into account three developments: environmental, economic and socio-cultural developments. I will use this definition as an example or 'general' definition, because a lot of organizations concerned with sustainability base their principles on this definition. Blue Ventures, the Travel Foundation and the Meso American Reef Initiative are all NGO's that have a version of this definition of sustainable tourism as their mission.

The notion of sustainable tourism has sometimes been understood as an ideology rather than an exact operational definition (Saarinen 2006). Therefore some researchers prefer to use the term 'sustainable development in tourism', which involves the ethical aspects of sustainability and does not have a tourism-centric approach (Saarinen 2006).

Hunter (1997) goes even further by saying that the concept of sustainability fails to provide a conceptual means for policy making which connects the concerns of tourism sustainability with those of sustainable development. This means that the concept of sustainable tourism is too disconnected from the concept of sustainable development and therefore causes the principles of sustainable tourism to not necessarily contribute to those of sustainable development. Hunter (1997) alternatively proposes "not to see sustainable tourism as a rigid framework, but rather as an adaptive paradigm, which legitimizes a variety of approaches according to specific circumstances. " (1997:851). What is important according to him is that tourism development decision-making should be both informed and transparent. Hunter's approach seems more practical and applicable to real-life situations. Just as cultures are ever changing, touristic destinations are not rigid and might change as well. Therefore, I would agree with Hunter's way of approaching sustainable tourism for decision-making. This thesis does not focuses on decision-making, but it might be of value to decision-makers who want to take into account local perceptions. To really look into local perceptions it is important to remember where the concept of sustainability comes from and how the locals perceive it.

Sustainability, a Western concept?

The concept of sustainable tourism has had a lot of criticism, mostly about the applicability and how to make it workable (Saarinen 2006). Although these are important topics, the main question is, who decides what sustainability is and who has the right to decide what is best for the locals dealing with tourism? In his article Cater (2006) explains this through three 'problems' or examples of how sustainability is approached and how it is not a concept always known by local, non-Western people.

Firstly, the problem can be found in the interaction of the concepts of power and globalization. As I have mentioned before, globalization can be explained through time-space compression, which causes the intensification of distinct events over a given distance. This means not only Western power and knowledge have a global reach, but also that this has become intensified and accelerated (Jessop 2003 in Cater 2006).

An example given by Lowe (2006) shows that in 1994 the Jakarta offices of Conservation International (CI), World Wildlife Fund (WWF) and The Nature Conservancy (TNC) had Euro-American administrators. This changed by 1997 in a way that Indonesian directors oversee domestic programs; still, the power of Western ideology may be present. Cater (2006) also shows that just under 40 percent of North American member institutions of The International Ecotourism Society (TIES) have interests elsewhere in the world, which makes it inevitable that Western-centric views are likely to prevail. Some scholars are concerned that these power relations reinforce the Western ideology concerning ecotourism to be the dominant and all-powerful discourse. Cohen (2002) is specifically concerned with the concept of sustainability in tourism development in general. According to him it is open to misuse, "not only in the obvious sense of misleading or fraudulent promotion, but in a more insidious sense of its use as an instrument of power in the struggle over rare and valuable environmental or cultural resources." (Cohen 2002:274).

Another way of looking at sustainability as a Western concept is by looking at the concept of conservation. This concept originates from a Western world in which the ways of thinking about the environment are different from village life and are therefore foreign to non-Western communities (Wearing & McDonald 2002 in Cater 2006). The word 'conservation' suggests that the environment should be seen as something that is scarce or is threatened to be scarce. Foreign communities usually do not look at their environment that way because they have traditionally lived in an ecologically sustainable manner (Wearing & McDonald 2002 in Cater 2006). Therefore they do not know the word conservation and may not respond to this Western concept.

A third 'problem' that is associated with a Western way of looking at sustainable tourism is that of the commercializing of nature and culture 'whereby a financial value is attached to natural and cultural resources.' (Cater 2006:34). Indigenous people are closer to their land than non-indigenous people; therefore they do not necessarily treat their land as a possession or a commodity. The consequence of putting financial value on a land is that the expectations that are thus raised may push locals into other, less sustainable, livelihood options (Cater 2006).

All these things show that sustainability is a concept that originates from a Western perspective. I do not want to stress that the concept of sustainability is not important and can be dismissed altogether. The purpose is to make clear that it is important to approach the concept in a way that the, usually indigenous society, can be the main voice in deciding what they need and what is important to them. In that way the concept of sustainability is adjusted in a way the locals can understand as well.

2.3 Labour mobility: Tourism is an important generator of jobs. Globally the tourism industry directly provides around three percent of global employment. These are 192 million jobs or one in every 12 formal sector jobs. According to the International Labour organization this will rise to 251.6 million jobs or one in every 11 formal jobs by 2012 (Ferguson 2007 in Ladkin 2011). Although tourism provides a lot of jobs, the movement of people coming in and going out of jobs in tourism is also high. This movement of people from one job to another and their motives is called labour mobility. As this involves change, the study of labour mobility involves the understanding of this transition and its causes and effects. Movement, motives and effects are the basic components of most mobility studies. Within the literature of labour mobility there are different frameworks ranging from the macro level to the micro level. The macro level involves transnational migration and the micro level focuses on individual job change (Riley 2004).

To understand labour mobility within the tourism sector, one has to acknowledge three major features of the industry: that consumer demand is variable in the short term; that the industry structure is fragmented into smaller units; and that the skills of the industry can be acquired relatively easy. The first feature causes employers to push and pull people in and out of the organization and market, which create the fundamental dynamic on which labour mobility is built (Riley 2004). The third feature means that the tourism industry contains skilled jobs, but most of the jobs require skills and knowledge that can be easily acquired either by short periods of training or by experience. This places tourism employment in secondary markets, which are not as stable as primary markets that are filled with secure jobs built on developed and educated human capital. Secondary labour markets are characterized by "diversity of opportunity and accessibility, irrespective of level of pay, which acts to encourage mobility." (Riley 2004:137).

For this research I will be focusing on the micro level of tourism labour mobility. I will do this because Nusa Penida is a crucial transition phase in which seaweed farmer might consider changing their labour. Tourism on the island is on the rise while at the same time seaweed harvest is declining. Therefore I will focus on the individual motives of job change.

2.3.1 Labour mobility and human capital: Labour mobility operates at different levels and is a consequence of many factors. There has been extensive attention in previous research about labour mobility into tourism due to economic transition (Ladkin 2011). Nusa Penida is now in a transitional period in which tourism has been introduced. The island did not know tourism five years ago, but slowly more tourists come and more foreign investors settle on the island. This may cause the economy to change as well.

If there is economic transition, the labour demand will change as well. The basis of the adaptation in labour is that change in human capital is implied. Riley & Szivas (2003) define human capital as "the amount of education and experience required by a job or possessed by an individual." (Riley & Szivas 2003:448). Thus what kind of human capital someone has required matters for what job someone is doing. A consequence of any change is that the human capital of certain people in a community become displaced or separated. People find themselves with skills and knowledge that are not relevant to the new economic opportunities (Szivas et al 2003). It is probable that a person who has been separated from their human capital is disoriented and seeking to get into the labour market as soon as possible.  Industries with low skill requirements offer these kinds of persons a means to get back into the labour market (Szivas & Riley 1999).

This can cause people to look at the tourism labour market as what Vaugeois & Rollins (2007) call a 'port in a storm'. They compare unemployed people who experience economic change with refugees that find shelter in the tourism sector. This industry has grown in potential and requires relatively easy skills in times when a workforce finds its human capital is devalued (Riley 1999 in Vaugeois & Rollins 2007). Therefore it is the best industry to find shelter for most people. The refugee hypothesis is in contrast with the idea that people are attracted by the more positive characteristics of the industry.

2.3.2 Accessibility and attractiveness of tourism labour: A major part of labour mobility is the motive to move to another job. To understand the motives, accessibility and attraction are important concepts to elaborate on. These two concepts are connected and have been considered part of the job's economic value (Szivas et al 2003). However, in tourism employment these concepts work conversely. Accessibility offers opportunity but at the same time devalues the job by lowering its social and economic status.

Attractiveness must be seen both in terms of attraction to the industry as to particular characteristics of a job within the industry (Szivas et al 2003). Because accessibility into tourism is usually easy it is not as exclusive as other labour. If exclusivity is a point of attractiveness, the ease of accessibility may work in opposition to attractiveness. According to Ladkin (2011) accessibility of jobs is a major element that motivates people into seeking a job into tourism. Tourism industry accommodates a wide range of skills and job diversity (Szivas et al 2003). As mentioned before the skills that are required for most jobs are little, which makes entrance into tourism labour relatively easy. Another thing that makes the tourism industry easily accessible is the fluctuating consumer demand that causes labour to be flexible. In labour market terms, it makes the industry unstable, which means that there are always opportunities even in difficult economic times (Ball 1989 in Szivas et al 2003). Accessibility and attractiveness can work together or against each other in motivating people for entering the tourism industry.

Whether labour in the tourism industry is attractive or not, a more important question is if it is economically beneficial. According to Latimer (1985) mobility into tourism employment is only economically beneficial if it is the excess labour that is moving or when the labour is more productive in the tourism sector than elsewhere. Consequently it is not economically beneficial if labour moves from more productive industries into tourism or if employed labourers who are needed in other sectors of the economy abandon their jobs for tourism occupations. Agriculture is generally thought of to be most at risk, but 'the actual impact of labour mobility into tourism on agriculture is highly debated in the literature.' (Szivas & Riley 1999:751). This research focuses on the potential of labour mobility from agriculture into tourism. It will not look at the impact of this potential, but solely at the perspectives of the seaweed farmers on labour mobility.

2.4 Considerations: Tourism is a two-sided coin, it can bring new opportunities, but it can also be a burden for the host society. In Nusa Penida tourism is not yet developed: the island is in a transitional phase in which tourism is slowly taking ground. Tourism can be approached economically, however it can also be approached through a framing of history, nature and tradition, which has the power to reshape culture and nature to its own needs (McCannell 1992). In this research I want to approach tourism and its developments more socio-culturally than economically. For this research the opinions and ideas of the seaweed farmers are central and that is why I want to look at the social relations rather than the economic ones.

Globalization makes traveling easier and can be a cause of increasing tourism. One of the main drivers of global change for the tourism industry is the multinational corporations whose characteristics and structure are formed by globalization (Meethan 2004). Nusa Penida does not know these kinds of corporations yet and overall the effect of globalization as seen in Bali are not present yet. If the seaweed farmers are aware of this and what they think that might happen when more tourists arrive will be discussed in the next few chapters.

While traveling people can make certain choices about where to go and how their acts have an impact on the area they are visiting. People that are very conscious about their (socio-cultural) environment tend to be labelled as sustainable tourists. Although the term sustainability has had a lot of criticism, it is not a concept I disagree with. There is only a friction between what the Western world think is sustainable and what non-Western locals think is sustainable. This research is focused on how the locals see sustainability and what is important to them, rather than showing them what important is.

Movement and motives are important when looking at labour mobility. Since the seaweed farmers are experiencing harder times, because of changing weather and diseases in the water, they might look into working in tourism. I will look at the micro level of labour mobility by asking the seaweed farmers individually how they think about alternative jobs in tourism. How mobile and willing are they to adapt to the current circumstances? The tourism industry can be an outcome during economical changes. It can be attractive because of its easy accessibility, but it can also be seen as a 'port in the storm'. How the seaweed farmers approach this will be elaborated on in the next few chapters.

Chapter 3: Developments and perspectives of tourism in Nusa Penida

Nusa Penida is an island that is in a transformational phase in which tourism is developing slowly. The island is not as busy and touristic as Bali and is therefore very attractive to people that see potential for tourism. To me these developments were very obvious and present, but I was wondering if this was also the case for the locals and how they perceive this change on the island. This thesis is focused on seaweed farmers, but because tourism involves the whole island it is important to also incorporate the opinions and ideas of non-seaweed farmers. Therefore, I will first give a short overview of my informants. Then I deal with the opinions of non-seaweed farmers and move to those of the seaweed farmers.


While staying in Nusa Penida I have met a lot of people, some of which became my informants. In my first month I was focused on tourism, so naturally I met a lot of people working in tourism. Some of these individuals also knew a lot about seaweed farming and therefore stayed my informants during the rest of my research. In the second part of my research I focused more on seaweed farmers. During this time I have met a lot of seaweed farmers whom I interviewed and got to know more about. That is why I have divided my informants into non-seaweed farmers and seaweed farmers.

Informants - Non-seaweed farmers

The non-seaweed farmers are people varying from government officials to locals working in tourism. I spoke to three government officials of which two were working together with the Coral Triangle Centre (CTC). The coral triangle is an area roughly in the shape of a triangle stretching from Indonesia to the Philippines to the Solomon Islands and back. The CTC supports people living in the area of the coral triangle. They are committed to enhance the capacity of marine conservation managers and practitioners to improve the quality of the overall ecosystem. One of these government officials was working in Nusa Penida within the conservation department and linked me to his colleague who was working at the Unit Pelaksana Teknis (UPT). This is the technical implementation department of the fishery, livestock and marine affairs of Nusa Penida. My key informant in Nusa Penida was Michael Appleton also known as Pak Mike. Mike, now considered a local, is originally from Cheshire, England and has been living in Nusa Penida for four years. Before moving to Nusa Penida he lived on Bali for six years. In Nusa Penida he is the owner of a cafe known as The Gallery, a small restaurant, gallery and shop where he sells local art and textiles. He also serves Western food, because he does not want to compete with the locals. Next to this he is also a resident and member of the banjar Bodong of the village Ped. A banjar is a local authority group over a part of a village; it is the smallest unit of local society. A banjar is not part of the government, but composed of and operated by the locals. In practice the banjar has more authority than the government and has a strong social power over the people of these villages. Because Mike is part of the banjar and is married to a local woman, he knows a lot about the island and the culture on the island.

Informants - Seaweed farmers

The seaweed farmers I talked to are from all over Nusa Penida where seaweed is cultivated. These are villages stretching from the Northwestern Toyapakeh to the Northeastern Semaya. Because I started focusing on seaweed farmers during the last month of my stay I did not have the chance to get to know a lot of seaweed farmers personally. In total I talked to 13 seaweed farmers of which two already made a switch to labour in the tourism industry. Most of the seaweed farmers I talked to were between the ages of 30-60 years old. Their kids were either in high school in Nusa Penida or have already moved to Bali. Most of their kids move to Bali either to look for a job or to continue their education. Some seaweed farmers were also fishermen and some still tried to do some agriculture or pig farming. More than half of the seaweed farmers were not just seaweed farmers, which is why they would rather call themselves farmers.

3.2 Changes in tourism according to non-seaweed farmers

When I was spending my first month in Bali I tried to get a feeling of how people on the 'big island' think about Nusa Penida and what they know about it. All the locals I talked to, except for one, knew Nusa Penida, but were not really excited about the island. They told me it is mostly poor and undeveloped and that there is nothing to do there. I spoke to two taxi drivers who both went to Nusa Penida to pray in one of the important temples (This is expected from every Balinese Hindu). They went there for one day and told me they would not want to spend more time there or would go back for anything else than praying in the temple. The tourists I talked to in Bali did not know Nusa Penida. Even when I tried to explain the island is located close to Nusa Lembongan, which is more famous, only one recognized the name of this island. Most of the tourists only knew the islands Lombok or the Gili's, which are both promoted a lot.

During an interview with Pak Ngurah Wijaya, chairman of the Bali Tourism Board, he told me more and more tourists visit the island and that there is a lot of traffic from Bali to Nusa Penida. The many boat companies that offer trips between Bali and Nusa Penida show that this is true. During the three months I stayed on the island there was a new company settling and offering trips. According to Pak Wijaya this development can only be a positive development if the locals take part in it. Accessibility, electricity and water supply are the main problems at the moment. Accessibility, in the sense of infrastructure, is already being developed. At one of my visits to Crystal Bay several cars stopped with officers coming out and looking at the beach. Later that day I was having dinner at a warung and four of the officers that were at Crystal Bay earlier were sitting there as well. They told me they were at Crystal Bay because they are developing new roads on the island. The main road will be renewed and widened and a new road will be built between Crystal Bay and Broken Bay. These are two sites that are visited frequently by tourists and therefore may better facilitate the tourist experience and eventually lead to more tourism.

Electricity and water supply are still difficult things to deal with on the island. During my stay the electricity had been out numerous times and fixing the electricity could take up to one day. Nusa Penida is a very dry island and from what I have heard it can barely provide the locals with enough water. This was especially clear when I visited Tembeling Forest. This is a very green part of the island, which used to have waterfalls and a river. Now it is all dry and there are only two small pools left at the bottom of the forest. One of the locals I walked down with told me fifteen years ago the villagers of Batu Meling, a village close to Tembeling, could get water from here, but now they need to get water from other places.

Most locals I have talked to notice that more and more tourists are visiting the island. When I ask them when this all started the answer varies from between three and five years ago. Danny, a local I met at a water sport company in Toyapakeh has been working at that place for six months. It was since then that he started to teach himself English, by reading books and listening to English songs. He told me he started doing this because he noticed more tourists coming and he wanted to communicate with them. Working in tourism is a lot of fun for him, because he can meet people from all over the world. According to him more tourists started coming around four years ago. This is in line with what Pak Komang Karyaman, the government officer for conservation, told me. According to him there were no hotels or tourist activities five years ago. There was no ATM and only 50.000 tourists visit the island per year. Today more than 200.000 tourists visit the island, mostly traveling from Nusa Lembongan or Bali. Since the opening of Ring Sameton Inn (the first hotel on the island) he noticed that almost immediately more foreign tourists were visiting. The developments have been going slow compared to Bali, according to both Danny and a French entrepreneur I have met. He told me that he has been living in Bali for 35 years and has seen the developments going really fast. In Nusa Penida however, the developments are not going that fast. He has been visiting the island for seven years and within these seven years not as much has changed, as it would have in Bali. Cisco, owner of Namaste Bungalows, thinks the strong religious culture is the cause of this. In Nusa Penida there are two important temples that must be visited by Balinese Hindu's. That is why Nusa Penida is a very important place for them. There is also a legislation that prohibits foreign investors to build within an area of one kilometre of a temple. This all makes it hard for foreign investors to start a business in the tourism industry.

3.3 Changes in tourism according to seaweed farmers

"Yes, I see more foreigners. I think they are coming for the view and for taking pictures. Some also take picture of the seaweed, but I'm not bothered by it." - Pak Nyoman Mega

Just like Pak Nyoman, most seaweed farmers see more tourists visiting the island. Ibu Adryana has seen these changes for the last few years, but thinks that this year is the 'worst', which means this year the number of tourists visiting were the highest so far. She lives in Semaya, which is the eastern part of the island, and she predicts that this part of the island will be a touristic area, because she knows that an investor already bought land and some seaweed land to build a hotel.

One of the seaweed farmers I talked to, Ibu Mihati, has a daughter working in Jungutbatu in Nusa Lembongan. According to her, tourism is not as big as before in that area. Her daughter is working in a hotel and she noticed that there are a lot more vacancies now. For Nusa Penida she thinks it will develop the same, because now people are discovering the island, the experience is new, which makes it more attractive. Therefore more and more tourists will come to see the island, but eventually because of the growth and the amount of foreigners people get bored with the place. So according to her this will cause tourism to go down again, just like in Jungutbatu. Next to foreign tourism Ibu Mihati also sees a change in spiritual tourism. Because seaweed farming has been hard work for someone her age (55 years old) she has also started making offerings for ceremonies. She sells these offerings to warungs, who sell them to people that go to the temple, or to locals who need offerings for family ceremonies. Spiritual tourism is becoming more and more, she notices this by the increasing orders she gets for offerings. According to her it is because of the ferry, but now also because of the speedboats as well.

"It is so convenient to come here now. Before if you wanted to go to Nusa Penida, there would be a trip scheduled at 08:00, but it would leave at 07:00 because the boat was already full. But now there are more scheduled hours, which is so much better." - Ibu Mihati

Another seaweed farmer I talked to, Pak Nyoman from Sental, told me he thinks tourism stays on the water, like divers and snorkelers. There are more tourists coming, but they do not come ashore, because the facilities are not proper. Even though the facilities are not proper yet, he predicts tourism will grow, because of foreign investors. He knows that in Sental, the village he lives in, there have been foreign investors interested in the land to build a hotel. The biggest issues for the investors are getting enough water and electricity.

Overall, the seaweed farmers are aware of the changes on the island. Only two out of 13 seaweed farmers mentioned they did not have a clue of more tourists coming and have never been in touch with tourists. This is mostly because they do not speak English and they are too shy. Adipta, my interpreter, told me they think they are too uneducated to be in touch with foreign people and that they have low self-esteem.

3.4 Feelings about tourism

Seaweed farmers in Nusa Penida are generally very positive about tourists and tourism. I think this has two reasons. Firstly, the tourists that are coming to the island now are usually nature lovers that are aware of their impact while traveling and are trying to be respectful to the island and its people. Secondly, some of the seaweed farmers have seen Bali develop through tourism and want the same for their island. They see tourism as a means of progress and a better life.

"The tourists are really nice, I am looking forward to that kind of people that want to teach English. Like Mike, he is teaching English in Sental and he is doing it for free! I really appreciate it if people want to put an effort into the places they visit." - Ibu Winarti

Ibu Winarti is talking about Mike, my key-informant. He inspires travellers to be conscious and since there are always volunteers from FNPF on the island I think the locals notice the good intentions from the foreigners they see.

Ibu Wayan from Karang Sari was keen on doing an interview with me, because she thought that I am doing a research that could really help the people of Nusa Penida. She mentions a group of students from Singapore coming to their village and helping them with seaweed farming. She compares them to me and says she would like to have more people like 'us' on the island. Other seaweed farmers are not that aware of the type of tourists that visit the island. Ibu Adryana mentions she feels okay about the tourists, because they are only looking at the view and taking pictures. She is not that bothered with them and thinks tourists in general are good people. 

Only one woman did not agree with the other seaweed farmers. Ibu Mihati is specifically not happy with the diving tourists. According to her there has been a few times that divers destroyed the bamboo fish traps she set out at sea. Also the petrol that is used for the boats is polluting the water, and in her opinion, ruining their seaweed harvest. If this is an actual cause and effect, I am not sure. Either way that is how she sees the situation and how her image of tourists is built. Ibu Mihati also thinks divers do not contribute to the island. They usually just come in boats close to the shore, go diving, and leave again. That is why two years ago the locals came together to set up an equivalent to a tax collecting system to charge diving boats if they are coming close to shore.

The second reason why most seaweed farmers are positive about tourism is because they see opportunities for development on the island and jobs for the local people.

"Yes I like foreign investors coming, because it brings good development to Nusa Penida and in the long term more people on the island can become wealthy, because of the jobs they are going to get when more tourists come. Tourism will support the local people." - Pak Nyoman

As Pak Nyoman sees it, tourism equals more wealth and more jobs. Ibu Adryana also thinks this way, and she is hoping on cruise ships coming to Nusa Penida. One of the investors she talked to said he had plans on bringing ships in and she was really excited about it. According to her, if more tourists come, the tourists will see the seaweed and want to do something with the seaweed so she think it will make the seaweed business will grow.

Others also think more tourists coming to Nusa Penida could benefit the liveliness on the island, not only with foreign people but also with locals. Nowadays a lot of kids that have finished high school move to Bali to either search for a job or go to college. The job options are very low on the island and there is no university, which is why most of the local youth are forced to move. This is really inconvenient since the Balinese Hindu culture require attendance of various ceremonies at the family or village temple. Therefore it is important to stay close to the family and their village. According to Ibu Muliatawan there will be more jobs for their kids if the tourism industry develops. Things like a quicksilver pontoon (a pontoon close to the northern shore with water activities) she really likes, because it generates proper jobs, which the local people need.

In contrast to most seaweed farmers Pak Komang Karyaman, government officer for conservation, also sees downsides to tourism.

"Of course we need tourism, because of economical reasons, but if there is good there is also bad." - Pak Komang Karyaman

According to him, the education on the island is too low to generate really good involvement in the tourism industry. If hotels would open now most people will be employed for lower jobs like cleaning or gardening. Other jobs are not suitable for them, because they do not speak English or are not educated to do other things. Another problem is the mind-set of the local people; according to Pak Komang a lot of people on the island do not want to work hard for their money. If someone offers them a lot of money for their land they take it and do nothing with it but spend it. They do not invest it or get their kids to university, because their kids also do not want to work for their money but want to live off their parents' money.

"The locals see rich people and want that too, but they do not think about the process of how rich people become rich, they do not want to get into that process. So if they get the 'rich people' money they don't use it like rich people who know how to manage it, but they just spend it. They don't realize that after a while the money is finished and they don't have any education or any job to earn money again.” - Pak Komang Karyaman

3.5 Tourism as threat for seaweed farmers

The opinions about tourism being a threat to the seaweed farmers were divided. One half of the seaweed farmers I talked to did not feel threatened at all. The people that did not feel threatened usually also had positive feelings about tourism and the opportunities tourism can bring. I think these seaweed farmers only see the positive side and therefore do not feel threatened by it. Although almost all seaweed farmers felt positive about tourism, some seaweed farmers also felt a bit threatened by it.

"There is an investor that bought 20 hectares of land, and that land will also go into the sea. I am worried what he will do with that land. I am afraid that he will buy up the seaweed farms on the shore. What should I do without my seaweed land, I don't have anything else to do." - Ibu Adryana

Not all seaweed farmers are afraid of having to sell their farm, others are more afraid of the rest of the land. Pak Nyoman Mega told me he has already seen it in Jungutbatu, Nusa Lembongan. Seaweed farmers usually dry the seaweed anywhere they can, but if investors want to buy land, there is less land to dry seaweed. There used to be a lot of seaweed farmers from Nusa Penida working in Jungutbatu, but since tourism developed on the island more seaweed farmers moved back to Nusa Penida, because there is not enough work in seaweed farming anymore.

"Now the investors are like: It's okay for you to grow seaweed, but I am going to buy this land to built a hotel. That will be an issue for us. Maybe we should already save up for a car so we can drive the seaweed up the hill to dry it there!" - Pak Nyoman Mega

Another seaweed farmer, Pak Nyoman from Sental, does not see a problem with the foreigners or the seaweed farming, but with the locals. According to him if locals earn a lot of money they do not know what to do with it and spend it on alcohol and prostitutes. His own observations have already demonstrated this when a bar with karaoke and prostitutes was still open on the island. Usually more rich people would go there to spend their money on alcohol and prostitutes. Now the bar is closed, but Pak Nyoman is afraid that if tourists come and generate income for the locals it will happen again. The culture on the island, and Indonesia in general, does not approve of bars like these. Woman should be with their family or their husbands and should not drink or smoke. Any form of excessive living is not seen as positive. As the Balinese Hindu religion also promotes: it is all about balance.

When I ask Pak Suwarbawa, government consultant for seaweed, about the potential affect or threats of tourism for seaweed farming he answers that the jobs in tourism might be a threat to seaweed farming. According to him people on Nusa Lembongan still transition from tourism and leave seaweed farming. On the other hand he also believes that tourism and seaweed farming can go hand in hand.

"If tourists show interest in seaweed farming there could be something set up to inform the tourists about seaweed farming. Also the seaweed farmers might learn how to process the seaweed to sell products to the tourists like scubs and dodol (a local candy made from seaweed and sugar)." - Pak Suwarbawa

3.6 Considerations

The non-seaweed farmers have noticed a change in tourism development since three to five years ago. Some of them, like Danny, are also anticipating this by teaching themselves English to be able to communicate with foreigners. This shows that people are anticipating new ways of social relations with people they could not communicate with before. According to Meethan (2004) this is one of the processes that comes with globalization.

Overall the seaweed farmers are aware of the changes on the island and feel mostly positive about it. This is primarily because they feel development in tourism will bring more jobs for the local people. The question is, how will the exact consequences look like and to what extent do the local people actually profit from the developments? According to the UNEP sustainable development has to take into account economic, social and environmental impact. It looks like the locals are focusing only on the economical impact and ignoring what the developments means to them socially and environmentally. Only one seaweed farmer mentions that more tourists equals more money which can lead to spending that money in a way that is not socially approved.

In the next chapter I will elaborate on environmental changes regarding seaweed farming. I will elaborate on thoughts about changes in seaweed farming of both seaweed farmers and non-seaweed farmers and how the seaweed farmers see their future. 

Chapter 4: Development and perspectives of seaweed farming in Nusa Penida

In Chapter 3 changes in tourism were discussed. Not only tourism is changing on the island there is also a change in seaweed harvest. Seaweed is a dominant source of income on the island and more and more farmers have to deal with failed harvests and the es-es disease (Cambata, 2013). I talked to different people about seaweed farming, both seaweed farmers as non-seaweed farmers. Both groups are represented in this chapter, because this gives the bigger picture on changes of seaweed farming in Nusa Penida.

4.1 Changes in seaweed farming according to non-seaweed farmers

The people I talked to who were not seaweed farmers were mostly government officials working together with the Coral Triangle Centre (CTC). These people were the only people on the island with knowledge about seaweed farming without practicing it. According to them there are two changes within the seaweed farming industry. Firstly there are environmental changes in the sea. Secondly, there is a change in the quality of the seaweed. 

Pak Suwarbawa is working for the government in Nusa Lembongan in corporation with CTC. He has been working with seaweed farmers since 2010. According to him the es-es disease is getting worse and worse every year since 2010. In 2010 the rainy season started one month later than usual. The year after, it started two months later, and the year after that, one month later again.

"At one point I thought I found a pattern, so I bought 10 million rupiah (€600) worth of seaweed whenever I thought the weather would be good. Because the changes are not in a pattern all the seaweed went rotten again. Seaweed is becoming like gambling." - Pak Suwarbawa

Pak Suwarbawa is trying to outsmart the changes by trying a different kind of Cottonii. The first few years the new seaweed was doing really well, but after a while also this seaweed got es-es. Another problem for the seaweed farmers according to Pak Suwarbawa is the sea level on both Nusa Lembongan and Nusa Penida. For the seaweed to grow well the sea level needs to be one meter above the seaweed in the water on the lowest tide. Now, a lot of farms are dry when the tide is at its lowest point. This causes the quality of the seaweed to degrade. This kind of seaweed is not suitable to be used for cosmetics, but are usually used for noodles or cow food.

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Photo 2: High Tide versus Low Tide

Not everyone sees a problem in changes in nature. Pak Komang Karyaman acknowledges that the disease es-es is caused by temperature change, but according to him temperature change is a constant. There has always been temperature change and there will always be change in temperature. Just like Pak Komang Karyaman, Pak Komang Sangging sees a more severe problem in the quality change of the seaweed. He says the quality of seaweed is hard to maintain, because of how the seaweed farmers are treating the seaweed. The liquidity of the seaweed needs to be 40 percent, which will be this high if the seaweed stays in the water for 45 days. Instead, most seaweed farmers are afraid the wind will pull away the seaweed and therefore leave the seaweed in for only 30 days. This causes the liquidity in the seaweed to be 35 percent, which does not meet the quality standard of the buyer, and consequently causes the prices of seaweed to fluctuate. Pak Komang Sangging is trying to help the seaweed farmers by raising understanding about the quality standard. He is giving workshops to two groups of ten seaweed farmers in two villages on the island. He starts out with showing them how to put the seaweed in the water properly, and then follows with a drying technique that is done above the ground instead of on the ground. This technique is called the ‘para-para’ technique and causes the seaweed to contain more carrageenan, which is the substance that is being used for different products.

"It is such a shame the seaweed farmers do not care about the quality. A few years ago there was a Malaysian investor that had a particular standard of seaweed. He would buy the seaweed for 90.000 rupiah per kilo, which is ten times more than what the farmers get now. But because the quality of the seaweed in Nusa Penida was not up to his standard he decided not to invest here." - Pak Komang Sangging

When I asked how the program is going and what goals he has reached so far. He tells me that the seaweed farmers understand what he is trying to do, but when the program is finished they fall back into old habits.

4.2 Changes in seaweed farming according to seaweed farmers

When talking to seaweed farmers I noticed that three topics that were mentioned regularly about what has changed either the past few years or since they started seaweed farming. The biggest changes have been the technique used to plant seaweed, the size of the seaweed and the price of seaweed. Not every seaweed farmer named all of these, but these topics were recurring in most of the interviews.

"When we first started seaweed farming in 1987, we did not care about using ropes to tie the saplings onto. The seaweed was growing in the seabed and it was kept intact there. All we needed to do is pick it from the plant, put it in the baskets and bring it home." - Ibu Agus

Ibu Agus is explaining that the sea weeding was done differently before and has changed over time. Now the seaweed does not stay in the seabed but needs to be tied to a long rope. The ends of this long rope then needs to be tied to two separate poles in the water, so that the seaweed can grow in the water. According to Ibu Agus, if they try to do seaweed farming without ropes, the harvest will get es-es. This change has been practiced by her for four years now and makes working as a seaweed farmer a lot harder than before. Pak Nyoman Mega also started as a kid just picking seaweed from the seabed. Although in Karang Sari, the village he is from they started using the ropes longer than four year ago.

One of the other changes with seaweed farming is the quantity and quality of the seaweed. Some farmers mention that the quality has gone bad, and that the seaweed is a lot smaller than it used to be. Others mention they produce fewer kilos than before. Nusa Penida is a small island compared to Bali, but still has a lot of different types of coasts. This was noticeable during my interviews, which I conducted on different parts of the island. I noticed that some changes were talked about more in certain areas than other. In the Northern part of the island like

Sental, Ped or Toyapakeh I noticed people talking more about the quantity difference in seaweed farming. Whereas the Eastern part of the island, like Karang Sari and Semaya people noticed more change in the quality of the seaweed. This does not have to mean that both are not occurring in either the Northern part or the Eastern part of the island. It shows that people on the northern part focus more on quantity and people on the eastern part more on quality. These also go hand in hand, since smaller seaweed is naturally less heavy than bigger seaweed.

"In the 1980s 200 kilos of seaweed would be considered less, when now 150 kilograms is considered good. Before seaweed was fat, and now it is skinny." - Ibu Mihati

Ibu Mihati noticed both changes, that the seaweed in kilos is becoming less and that the standard of what is considered "good" or "bad" is changing as well. She also notices that the seaweed is becoming skinnier. Although she does not necessarily connect these two changes, she notices them both.

Ibu Adryana is doing seaweed farming on the Northeastern part of Nusa Penida where the shallow seabed stretches a bit further into the sea than the rest of the island. She has noticed that the seaweed that she harvests closer to the coast are becoming smaller, whereas the seaweed that she harvests further into the sea are staying the same size and quality. Others notice that the seaweed is not of good quality when the weather is hotter than usual; this is usually seen as a seasonal cause that comes and goes.

Price is one of the changes that everyone experiences, only three seaweed farmers mention this change. One says the prices have risen a lot since 30 years ago. Someone else says it has risen only these past six months.

"Six months ago, before the Galungan ceremony the price was like RP2.500 (€o,15), since then it raised every month to RP9.000 (€0,55) a kilo at the moment. I do not know why, it is probably the demand that is changing, but I do not know the exact demand. We are just the seaweed farmers that produce seaweed, we have no idea about the market." - Ibu Agus

This shows that the seaweed farmers are not informed about what is expected from them. In my interview with Pak Komang Sangging he mentions that the buyers want good quality seaweed, and that this is the reason for the fluctuating prices. The seaweed farmers apparently do not know about this and therefore just undergo the changes in prices without being able to do anything about it, like trying to produce better quality seaweed.

4.3 Thoughts on causes of changes

During my interviews with the seaweed farmers of Nusa Penida I asked them what they think is the cause of the above-mentioned changes. The answers ranged from changes in weather to 'exhausted' sea soil to shorter low tides. Some did not necessarily link the changes to something and told me it was part of the different seasons. The rule of thumb is that the seaweed grows well in the wet season, and it does not grow well in the dry/hot season. As one of the seaweed farmers explained to me, if it is hot season the month has no letter 'r' in it. So May to August comprises the hot season and the rest of the year is wet season.

"Last year the hot season was longer and the rainy season was late. Usually the rainy season starts in September, but last year it started in December, which means it was three months late." - Pak Nyoman

Pak Nyoman Mega from Karang Sari confirms this by saying that not only is the rainy season late, but also the wind season. According to him these changes affect the seaweed, whenever you put the new saplings in the water, the strong wind is causes it to rot and not to grow.

Most of the seaweed farmers are afraid of the eastern wind. According to Ibu Adryana there have been changes in the weather and last year was the worst of all years. At the moment of my research it was hot/bad season, but because of the eastern wind the bad season was even worse than usual. Ibu Agus from Toyapakeh says that whenever the wind is carrying clouds from the east, the seaweed will be rotten. In the same village Ibu Muliatawan also mentions the eastern wind.

"Whenever there is an eastern wind, we should harvest within 15 days instead of 40 days. If we don't do it the seaweed will start to bleach (referring to es-es) and it will break off easily so the wind will take it into the sea." - Ibu Muliatawan

Two seaweed farmers I talked to mention the tides changing in a way that the low tide is shorter than usual. This makes it difficult for them to plant or harvest the seaweed as they have less time to do this. Before, the low tide started in the afternoon until the evening, but now the low tide lasts only three hours. According to Pak Nyoman this all started a long time ago when there was something the locals call a little tsunami. Since then the tides have changed and he does not know why or how exactly. He only knows it has changed from then on.

Most of the seaweed farmers I talked to blame the changes on the nutrition in the sea. Almost all of the seaweed farmers told me they feel like a farmer and that they identify with being a farmer. This is because most of them were farming before they got into seaweed farming. Corn and cassava are the crops that were cultivated most and some also kept animals like pigs and cows. Because of this background, a lot of seaweed farmers make the comparison to land farming for giving the cause of the changes in seaweed farming.

"30 years ago the sea was still fertile so the seaweed could grow into really good size. It is the same with cassava, when we started cultivating the land was still fertile and the cassava could grow really big. After a while the land got exhausted and did not have that much nutrition anymore. It is the same with seaweed, before the sea had enough nutrition, now there is less and less nutrition. You could say the sea is exhausted" - Ibu Winarti

Also Ibu Desak, Muliatawan and Adryana mention the same. They connect the small growth or the amount of kilos they harvest with the nutrition in the sea. Ibu Adryana, who has a farm that goes further into the sea, even mentions that the seaweed close to the shore does not grow as well as the seaweed further into the sea, which she blames on the 'sea essence'.

4.4 Thoughts about the future of seaweed farming

After discussing the changes and the causes of the changes in seaweed farming I was wondering how the seaweed farmers see their future and the future of seaweed farming. I want to know this to see if they are aware of the severity of the changes and if they have any plan of coping with these changes, which I will elaborate on in Chapter 5. 

Most of the seaweed farmers I talked to mention that the seaweed is not going that well because it is a bad season. As soon as the rainy season starts again the seaweed will grow just as before. In that sense the seaweed farmers consider the changes as something seasonal, something that is recurring and that will keep on recurring every year. However some seaweed farmers also mention that the hot season is longer than before and others say that the changes in season are becoming worse and worse. This is in line with what Cambata (2013) found during her research in Nusa Penida. Overall, some seaweed farmers do not see the severe change while others acknowledge that the changes are becoming worse. When I ask them how they see the future, some say they do not know and they will keep on trying. Others say that it will be better because of the new season, which is a forecast on the short-term. Most of all, the main future prospect is to keep on trying to make the seaweed harvest a success: keep on planting and hoping for the best.

"The seaweed will never grow as before, I believe the harvest will decrease more and more." - Ibu Muliatawan

4.5 Considerations

Seaweed farmers in Nusa Penida have to deal with a lot of changes, both in the environment as well as economical changes like fluctuating prices. They also have no influence on the weather or the changes in the sea, which can cause fluctuating amount of harvests. All these factors make the seaweed farming industry unstable and cause the seaweed farmers not to have a secure income. This is not much different than the tourism industry, which is sensitive to external variables or events over which the local industry has very little control (Smith 1989:8). The seaweed farmers do not seem to be bothered too much with this fact, because most of them are used to farming. Before they started seaweed farming they were farming cassava or corn. That is why most of the seaweed farmers compare the changes in the sea with the changes in soil when they used to farm. This shows that they have acquired a certain human capital while they were still farming and are using this now while seaweed farming. Riley & Szivas (2003) define human capital as the education and experience possessed by an individual. In the case of the seaweed farmers, they have acquired experience in farming crops and are using that for farming seaweed.

In the next chapter I will continue along the line of changes and how to deal with them. How the seaweed farmers think they can or cannot use their human capital in finding a way to deal with these changes and adapt to them. I will also discuss how they would ideally see their future and what they would like to see protected if more tourists come. 

Chapter 5: Dealing with changes and adapting to them

After having discussed what changes the seaweed farmers have experienced both in tourism as in seaweed farming it is important to look at how the seaweed farmers deal with these changes. Because the seaweed farmers perceive the changes in different ways, they also have different ways to deal with the changes. After elaborating on this I will continue with analyzing what alternative job options the seaweed farmers think they have. This chapter will finish with thoughts on what to protect the island if more tourists come.

5.1 Dealing with the changes

As mentioned before, most of the seaweed farmers do not think the changes are very threatening or severe. Therefore their way of coping with the changes is to plant the seaweed again and again until there will be a good harvest. They do not see what else there is to do and they just keep with what they know.

"If the weeds do not grow, we keep it and try again later. It is like gambling, it is either dead or it will grow." - Ibu Wayan

Others, like Ibu Muliatawan, are aware of the changes in seaweed farming. She says it will never grow like before and that she believes the harvest will keep on decreasing. When I ask her how she is planning on dealing with this development she answers with that she is going back to cultivating pigs. Ibu Muliatawan hopes that the changes in seaweed will decrease slowly so that when the time has come that there is no seaweed farming anymore she will have reached the age to retire. In chapter 3,1 mentioned Ibu Adryana, who is living in Semaya where developments in tourism are on going. She told me some seaweed farmers in the area have already sold their land. Most of them also have other seaweed land, so they can continue seaweed farming on other land.

"Some of the people do not have any more land for seaweed farming, so they are just going to get back to their own village to start farming again, because that is what they used to do before seaweed farming." - Ibu Adryana

As mentioned in Chapter 4, most of the seaweed farmers would call themselves farmers, because they either used to farm land or are still doing that next to seaweed farming. That is why for most of the seaweed farmers it is a simple and logical step to go back to what they used to do. This step might be small and the profit of doing this is probably small too. Nusa Penida is a very dry island, which makes it difficult to cultivate crops. That is the reason why most of the seaweed farmers started seaweed farming in the first place, because farming crops was not profitable enough. When I ask if they will get by with only farming if they quit seaweed farming, most of the people do not seem bothered and do not really think that far ahead. For most of the seaweed farmers it is the first time they have thought about having to deal with this issue.

Two of the seaweed farmers I talked to, showed me something that might be a solution for all seaweed farmers. After talking about es-es, they showed me a red kind of seaweed, which they told me, was called grasilia. This seaweed was not as 'fat' as Spinosum or Cottonii and was a lot less heavy.

"So this is the new deal, it can be harvested every 15 days and you do not need to dry it. It can be sold straight away when it is still wet; they even weigh it on the ropes, so the ropes are counted as well. It sells for 500 rupiah (€0,03) per kilo. This new breed has no parasite, no es-es, and the fish do not like to eat it." - Pak Nyoman

Not only Pak Nyoman showed me this new breed of seaweed, but Pak Sudarma as well. He told me he got it from the dealer on the island to try out. Just as Pak Nyoman he tried it last month and he got 100 kilo of harvest. The only problem with this new breed is the price. It is almost ten times cheaper than what they get now for seaweed per kilo. When I ask if they want to switch to the new kind of seaweed, they answer that they will follow the dealers. If it is profitable for the long-term they will consider the switch, because this new breed is easier to maintain and to deal with. At the moment this new kind of seaweed is not profitable enough, because of the low price. If Pak Nyoman would get RP3.000 (€0,18) per 22 per kilo he would consider switching to the new breed. Pak Nyoman is more positive about the success of grasilia than Pak Sudarma. Pak Nyoman told me he knows that the dealers already invested a lot in this new kind of breed and are really eager to make it work. Therefore he is also more eager to try it and giving it more time to make it work.

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Photo 3: New breed seaweed locally called grasilia

Another response I got and that was only mentioned once, was to transmigrate. Nusa Penida is not foreign to the concept of transmigration. During my stay I have met a lot of locals that still have families living in Sumatra or Sulawesi. One of my informants, Pak Putu, even sent his son to his family in Sulawesi, because he could not give him enough care in Nusa Penida. I think that Pak Nyoman's reason to consider transmigration is because the people of Nusa Penida are familiar with having family living in different places.

"If the seaweed it totally dead, I think 95 percent of the people here will transmigrate to other areas in Indonesia. I have lived through starvation earlier in my life and I don't want to experience that again, that is why it is better to move to work somewhere else. I will either move to Sumatra, Sulawesi or Kalimantan to work in palm oil or with the rubber trees." - Pak Nyoman, Sental

5.2 Alternative job options

When I asked the seaweed farmers what other alternative job would be suitable for them if seaweed farming was not profitable enough for them anymore, most of them answered hard labour or easy work that does not need education. Ibu Adryana explains she is probably too old to apply for a new job, but she is willing to still do some hard work. Just like Ibu Wayan Kusmiati who sees herself working in construction.

After asking for alternative job options I get either the above-mentioned answers or an "I do not know". Because of this I introduced a 'picture game' (see pictures in Appendix A), which gave them more options in pictures. They had to explain to me why or why not one of the jobs would be suitable for them. I did this with jobs in general and with jobs within the touristic sector. I started with the first picture game, which contained the following jobs: farming, starting a warung, working in a supermarket, and working in a hotel.

The most popular choice was farming. As mentioned before, most of the people already have a history in farming, which makes it an easy switch to go back into. When compared to the other options most of the seaweed farmers said farming is the most doable of all the options. The next best option was starting a warung.

"I am too old for all those jobs! I do like making cookies, so opening a warung is a good option to sell my cookies." - Ibu Muliatawan

What some other seaweed farmers do mention when talking about starting a warung is that it is expensive to start. You need to have a budget to start it up, which most of the seaweed farmers do not have. The options of working in a supermarket or in a hotel are never picked, because the seaweed farmers think they are not qualified enough and are too old to learn.

"The hotel is good for my son who is just graduated from college, but not for me." - Ibu Wayan

After asking the seaweed farmers about job options in general I switch to job options in tourism. I asked this first without showing picture to see if they have ever thought about a job in tourism and in what job they would see themselves.

"I would prefer doing seaweed farming, because then I don't need to learn anything. If I want to work in tourism I need to learn new skills." - Ibu Wayan Kusmiati

Ibu Adryana mentions that if more tourists come, she does not have any skills to work in tourism. She is referring to making things for tourists like textiles or food. In the south Eastern part of the island there are villages that are specialized in weaving. Ibu Adryana says she cannot do anything like that. 

Although most of the seaweed farmers do not see a future in tourism Ibu Mihati can think of something. She sees a chance in expanding her farm for tourism. Ibu Mihati has a history in farming pigs and she thinks that if more tourists come, more hotels and restaurants will open. These restaurants might sell pigs and therefore she thinks it would be great not to change her job, but to expand it by selling pigs.

Another answer that returned was that working in tourism is something for their kids. Take Pak Nyoman, he says he cannot work in tourism, but his children have more opportunities in this sector. He is trying to put his kid in a 'diploma program' for tourism for one year. Local people that have work experience in Bali teach in this program. The program is meant to prepare the locals for the developments in tourism on the island. Pak Nyoman believes that his son has more of a chance of succeeding in the tourism industry than him.

After hearing the answers to my initial question I proceeded with the picture game. Within this category I showed the following options: working in construction; gardening; cleaning; working as a waiter; working as a tour guide; and making offerings (spiritual tourism). 

Most of the seaweed farmers point to the picture of either construction, gardening or cleaning. They tell me they are too stupid for the other options and that they feel more comfortable with doing hard labour.

"I am sure that if I was still young and had a productive age, I would work as like someone that sweeps the floor, like that kind of thing in the hotel." - Ibu Adryana

One of the seaweed farmers mentioned earlier in the interview that her husband also used to fish, but that the past few months there are almost no fish in the water. When I show her the pictures, she immediately grabs the one with a tour guide and a boat and enthusiastically starts talking about her boat. She hopes that her son can either do the tours or teach her and her husband English. Her husband would sail the boat and they would bring tourists to the beautiful places of Nusa Penida.

One of the seaweed farmers had already thought further into collaborating seaweed farming with tourism. Ibu Agus lives in Toyapakeh, a village where a lot of speedboats arrive and which has the best connection to Nusa Lembongan and Ceningan, both of which are more touristic than Nusa Penida. Her husband is working for the speedboat company Maruti and therefore deals with a lot of tourists. She told us she would never stop seaweed farming, because she knows seaweed farming and tourism can go hand in hand, because it is already happening in Jungutbatu. She heard that tourists are also interested in the daily lives of the local people and the seaweed they cultivate. With this in mind she thinks it is unnecessary to switch jobs, because there could be a future in it.

"If I can get Cottonii to grow here, I can process the jelly and cook with it to make something for the tourists. Now I can only grow Spinosum and I cannot process that into anything." - Ibu Agus

When I ask Ibu Adryana if she sees tourism and seaweed going together the only thing she can think of is tourists making pictures of the seaweed, which is already happening now.

There are two people that already made the switch into tourism. Adipta's aunt is working in spiritual tourism, as what you can call an independent entrepreneur. The other one is Mike's mother-in-law, Ibu Kadek, who is working in the Gallery.

Adipta's aunt made the switch when she felt her body could not handle the hard labour of seaweed farming anymore. She got more and more requests from villagers to make offerings for ceremonies so she decided to focus more on this kind of work with her sister. When Adipta asks about profit, he is surprised by the amount of profit she makes which is way above the average month salary on the island. They tell him this work is a lot easier and less demanding of her body.

malaihollo foto 3a

Photo 3a: Adipta's family making offerings for ceremonies.

Mikes mother-in-law used to be a seaweed farmer as well, more recently. During my stay in Nusa Penida she experienced a major decline in harvest and had trouble making ends meet. Her husband is working in Goa Giri Putri, one of the most important temples in Nusa Penida. Unfortunately this is not enough for the family to get by. When Mike heard about this he offered her a job in the Gallery. He said he would help them out financially in any case, but because this might damage her sense of honour he offered her a job. Because she cannot speak English she is mostly helping out preparing food and making offerings. These offerings are for personal use, since this is a big part of daily life, Mike's wife cannot always do this by herself. Although Mike's mother in-law does not work in direct contact with tourists she works 'behind the scenes' within a touristic organization.

"I would never go back to doing seaweed farming, because it is high cost now. If I would go back now I have to ask labourers to do the work, because I am also getting to old for this." - Ibu Kadek

5.3 Ideal future

After talking a lot about the developments in tourism and seaweed farming I was wondering how the seaweed farmers would like to see their future. For some seaweed farmers it was the first time ever thinking about the topics I discussed with them previously. There might be a chance that the answers to this question might be influenced by our conversation, but I feel that the answers I received were genuine.

As expected the overall answer to my question was having more development on the island and therefore more opportunities for them and their children. Most of the seaweed farmers connect more tourism with more jobs, therefore most of them are excited about tourism and really want it to develop.

"I hope there will be more hotels on the island that are so successful that people have to come from Denpasar to fill in the jobs. People from Nusa Penida that are working in Denpasar now will come back again. It would be really cool if the Balinese people would work here, because it used to be the other way around." - Ibu Adryana

Although Ibu Adryana would love to see more tourism coming, she would like to continue seaweed farming until she is too old for it. In that case she will rent her land to other seaweed farmers so that seaweed farming can continue.

Most of the seaweed farmers mention their kids in their ideal future and how they can stay and work in Nusa Penida. As mentioned before, it is important in the Balinese culture to live close to your family and village temple. At the moment this is very hard since there is not much work on Nusa Penida, which forces their children to move to Bali. Therefore most of the seaweed farmers wish that their kids were able to live and work in Nusa Penida.

"I want tourism to develop quicker, because my son is in junior high at the moment. If it develops well in like five years, my son doesn't have to go to Bali anymore and can be closer to me." - Pak Nyoman

Besides that their children can be close to their parents, it is also expensive to send their children to Denpasar. They have to pay for their own food, rent and transportation, which is not an issue when they stay at home. Pak Nyoman does not even know if he can send his child to Denpasar if his financial situation stays like this. He really wants his child to have proper education so he can get a good job after college. Pak Nyoman is not the only one that wants to see education being developed on the island. Ibu Winarti also says she wants 'basic' things being developed on the island, like proper jobs and good education for her children. Ibu Muliatawan wants to see the infrastructure, schools and the hospital being developed. She thinks if this develops it will automatically attract companies, which can offer jobs for their children.

One of the wishes of the seaweed farmers is already coming true, since there already is a specialized SMK program on the island. SMK (Sekolah Menengah Kejuruan) is a vocational and pre-professional senior high school of which students can choose different specialties. Since 2009 there is a specialty in AP (Akomodasi Parawisata), which is accommodating tourism. This became one of the biggest major students on the island were interested in. It is a one-year program, which elaborates on everything having to do with working in a hotel, from housekeeping to front office. It is a practical program with a mandatory 3-month internship, which they need to do in order to graduate. The father of my interpreter Adipta, is one of the initiators of this SMK and told me he is happy and sad with the achievements so far. He is happy, because he has got a lot of positive feedback from parents that are happy they do not have to send their kids to Bali. It is sad, because most of the graduated students cannot find a job (in Nusa Penida) straight away. In 2016 Nusa Penida is expecting to open a school/college with a higher level education, specialized in tourism.

It is clear that the seaweed farmers want more tourism and see all the developments it can bring. After hearing all these positives effects of tourism, I was wondering if the seaweed farmers could also think of negative consequences of tourism and if so, what they would like to see protected.

5.4 Protection

When I first started my research I was asking people about sustainability and I noticed none of the locals knew what sustainability is. It began during my language course while I prepared research questions in Indonesian. Even my teacher, who is educated, did not know the exact meaning of sustainability; let alone the translation of the word. Consequently I tried to operationalize the concept of sustainability in a way that I would ask the seaweed farmers what they would like to see protected if more tourists came. After trying this with three interviews I discovered that even this question is not suitable for the locals, because they have never had to think in terms of having to protect their resources from others. Most of the seaweed farmers did not understand my question and either answered with an "I don't know", "nothing", or started talking about something entirely different.

That is why I decided upon making a 'picture game' for this topic as well. I showed the seaweed farmers pictures of four things to be found on the island: a temple, the sea, a Balinese bird (Bali Starling), and the beach. Then I asked them if they could rank the photos in order of most important to least important and explain why. The thought behind it was that what is important to them they would rank well and therefore like to keep or have protected.

The photo of the temple was top priority for every single seaweed farmer I did the picture game with. I was aware that religion is a main part of their culture, so it was not a surprise that the temple was of most importance to them. Pak Nyoman explains his choice clearly.

"Our religion is the basis of all things. We are respecting all of these (referring to the other pictures) based on this (referring to the temple). Without religion we have nothing to hold on to and nothing to protect." - Pak Nyoman

This shows that religion is the foundation for almost all the people on the island. Ibu Mihati already linked the temple with protection from tourists. When I asked her what the negative side of tourism was she told me:

"There was this topless tourist near the Ped temple area, who was really rude. Ped may be a small village for foreign people, but here it is already big. It would be the same as walking topless in Sampalan (Biggest village on the island)'. The most respected temple is in this village, foreigners should have respect for that." - Ibu Mihati

The temple is part of their culture and therefore Ibu Mihati feels the tourists should be respectful to it and to the values of the locals.

During a conversation with Adipta, my interpreter, he told me that people in tourism have to compromise on attending ceremonies and going to temples. Since work in tourism is almost always a 24/7 job, employees sometimes have to work during a ceremony. This was also the case for Pak Nyoman from Sebunibus. He is working in Namaste, one of the hotels on the island. Pak Nyoman told me he misses the gamelan (traditional Balinese gong orchestra) practices in his village more often now he is working in a hotel. He says it is a pity, because he has been doing it since he was little and he likes it a lot.

On the island there are two non-profit organizations operating, one of which is FNPF. They are known for having a bird sanctuary in which they protect the Bali Starling, an endangered bird only to be found in Bali. When I showed the picture of the Bali Starling a few seaweed farmers recognized it from what they know about FNPF. Ibu Adryana shows a concern about this bird and about the developments in tourism:

"In the 20 hectares of land that the investor bought they have a lot of these bird families there. I am really proud, just like all the people of Semaya that we have these birds living here. I am really scared that when the hotel is there it will scare the birds away, if that happens it would be such a shame!" - Ibu Adryana

Although Ibu Adryana's worries, Nusa Penida is already under the 'protection radar'. Until now this is mostly in the marine area, which the island is known for mostly. Nusa Penida has Marine Protected Area's (MPA's), which divides the water into different zones and allocates different activities to each zone. The purpose is to protect certain areas from damage and to give space for certain activities without damaging other areas. Pak Komang Karyaman is in charge of maintaining the MPA's and tells me the government is busy with three new projects concerning conservation. The first project involves implementing rules for tourists for how to deal with fish, like manta rays and ocean sunfishes. This is important for the fish so their habitat does not get disturbed.

The second project involves the touristic pontoons that are lying in front of the shore. These pontoons have all sorts of water activities for tourists and are dangerous for the corals. The goal is to have one pontoon per island, instead of two or three that are now present, in Nusa Lembongan.

The third project is about starting control units on every important beach on the island. These units are meant to distribute information about conservation and charge the boats that come to these beaches for leisure activities. The charged money will be used for further conservation and to give back to the locals so that they can protect their area themselves as well.

5.5 Considerations

Most of the seaweed farmers do not see an immediate need to change what they are doing. Only when acknowledging that conditions could get worse so they start giving me examples of how they could deal with the changes. Most of them answer with going back to farming, because they already know how to do that. Szivas et al (2003) state that when the economy changes people will find themselves with skills and knowledge that are not relevant for new economic opportunities. It will be probable that they will want to go back into the labour market as soon as possible and will therefore search for it in the tourism labour market (Vaugeois & Rollins, 2007). This is not the case for all the seaweed farmers, since they think that even a job in tourism is too difficult for them and they would rather use their already acquired human capital in a job in farming. Some think they could get a job in cleaning or construction, which does not need many new skills. Others do see a chance in using their human capital for use in tourism, which is a way of adapting to the circumstances without having to change human capital.

Seaweed farmers already have an uncertain and unstable job, as shown in chapter four. In this chapter we see that the seaweed farmers do not necessarily want to go into tourism, but rather go back to farming. People have just as little influence on the external variables of farming as the external variables of tourism, thus making both industries just as unstable from this perspective. Therefore seaweed farmers would rather go into an industry in which their human capital is already suitable.

What makes working in tourism economically beneficial for the island is if the labour is more productive in tourism than elsewhere. With my research I cannot answer the question if farming is more productive, or tourism. This is also highly debatable in the already existing literature (Szivas & Riley 1999). I can only conclude that seaweed farmers would rather stay in the farming industry since they already have proper human capital for this job. Sustainability is a concept that is foreign to a lot of local people. The concept of conservation or protection is not as foreign to all locals since there are already MPA's and a government department in conservation in Nusa Penida. When asking about conservation or protection to the seaweed farmers they still have difficulties answering my question. This show that they do not know the concept and that they have never had to deal with such a concept.

According to Wearing & McDonald (2002) in Cater (2006) the concept originates from a Western world in which the ways of thinking about the environment should be seen as something that is scarce or threatened which is different from village life in most non-Western communities.

What is important to the seaweed farmers is their temple and in a broader sense their religion. If tourism comes and people will start working in tourism there is less time for religion and going to the temple. This might cause a radically new way of organizing social and cultural relations that are caused by tourism and globalization (Meethan, 2004).

Chapter 6: Conclusion

In this thesis I tried to answer the following question: "What role can tourism play in the lives of the seaweed farmers of Nusa Penida in a locally perceived sustainable way?" This thesis discussed the changes in tourism, seaweed farming and how the seaweed farmers are planning on dealing with these changes. To collect more insights in how they perceive sustainability I elaborated on what is important in the lives of the seaweed farmers.

The changes in tourism are perceived as a positive development. The seaweed farmers see potential jobs for their kids, development in infrastructure and overall they hope the island will become richer. This is in line with what Smith (1989) says about how tourism usually is perceived. According to him economics are the biggest stimulus for the development of tourism, because this industry is labour intensive and does not need highly skilled labour. This is why it ranks high as a development tool, especially in areas that are underdeveloped (Smith 1989). Although this might be a good solution for underdeveloped areas in need of an economic stimulus, not all locals agree that tourism is only good for the inhabitants of Nusa Penida. One of the non-seaweed farmers told me that tourism is only economically profitable if the locals are involved with tourism themselves. The possibility of involvement depends on how able the seaweed farmers are to be involved. Next to that, most seaweed farmers do not see it as a development tool in the sense that they will participate in the tourism industry, but hope to benefit from it.

At the moment the seaweed farmers are undergoing difficult times having to deal with es-es; the Eastern wind that is pulling out their seaweed; and fluctuating prices. This makes seaweed farming an unstable market to work in and causes the seaweed farmers to have a lot of insecurities. Although they are experiencing these problems they do not all think they need to change their jobs. When they compare their current status to that of 20 years ago, a lot has changed. Seaweed has grown smaller and they have fewer kilos per harvest; even the practice of seaweed farming itself has changed. These changes are changes over a long period of time, on the short-term, not all seaweed farmers see changes in seaweed farming that are so severe that they need to change their jobs.

The seaweed farmers almost all have a history in farming and therefore going into seaweed farming was a logical step for them. When I asked them what they would do if the seaweed harvest became less and less, most of them answered with either trying again or going back to farming. This shows that the seaweed farmers would rather do something they already know, rather than going into an industry with need for different skills. Their amount of education and experience also known as their human capital is in the farming industry. If seaweed harvests becomes less and less, it is probable that people will search for other means of living other than farming, because Nusa Penida does not have much fertile soil. Mike's mother-in-law and Ibu Mihati, for example have both made the switch into tourism. According to Szivas & Riley (1999) it is probable that a person who has been separated from their human capital is disoriented and seeking to get into the labour market as soon as possible. Because tourism has low skill requirements it might be an attractive solution. Mike's mother-in-law and Ibu Mihati are exceptions, because most of the seaweed farmers answered that a job in tourism is not suitable for them, because they do not speak English and are not schooled for it. It might be a better solution for their children who do not have that much human capital acquired.

Others see potential of using their human capital in collaborating with the tourism industry. One seaweed farmer thinks it would be a good idea to get the tourists involved in the process of farming seaweed. Another seaweed farmer sees potential in expanding her pig farming and selling more pigs to restaurants. All these ideas do not mean the seaweed farmers need to be mobile in their labour, but that they need to be flexible in how they use their labour. All in all, the seaweed farmers are not that mobile in labour, since most of them do not want to change their human capital.

Sustainability is a concept that is not known to most of the local people of Nusa Penida. In line with what Wearing & Mcdonald (2002) say about sustainability, this concept originates from a way of thinking about the environment that is different from village life and is usually foreign to non-Western communities (in Cater 2006). Therefore I tried to find out what is important to the seaweed farmers of Nusa Penida.

Without a doubt the most important thing to the seaweed farmers is their religion. Bali, and especially Nusa Penida has a strong Balinese-Hindu culture, which is interwoven in their daily lives. Respect for their religion is therefore important. One major consequence of tourism in general is that tourism work is usually going on 24/7, which might clash with the Balinese-Hindu ceremonies and calendar. As Wood (2000) also mentions cultural aspects are not restricted to a certain location and can travel anywhere, which can bring new types of changes and response. If more tourism comes the cultural aspects belonging to the foreigners/travellers might dominate the local cultural aspects. This can bring change into the daily lives of the local people.

All these findings can show what role tourism might play in the daily lives of the seaweed farmers. Tourism can play a different role for different kinds of seaweed farmers. They can be separated into two groups: the seaweed farmers who perceive themselves as old and the seaweed farmers who perceive themselves as not too old yet. Tourism might not play a role for the 'older' seaweed farmers, who think they are too old to learn new skills and get a job in tourism. This group of seaweed farmers might have a chance benefiting from tourism through their children who still have opportunities to learn new things and to find a job in tourism. There is another group of seaweed farmers that do not think they are too old to get involved in tourism. This does not mean they would work in the tourism industry and change their human capital, but that they would like to expand their already exciting human capital. With welcoming tourism all seaweed farmers would like to protect their religion. How I think these findings can be put in practice is discussed in the following section.

Chapter 7: Methodology

In this chapter I will elaborate on my research setting, duration and subject. I will also explain what methods I used to collect the data for this thesis and how I analysed all this data. Lastly I will reflect on my role as a researcher and on the methods I used for data collecting.

7.1 Research setting, duration and subjects

This research was conducted over a period of four months, from February 2015 until May 2015. The first month of my research I learned Indonesian {Bahasa Indonesia) in Sanur, Bali. During that month I tried to get a feel about what position Nusa Penida has within Bali and how local people feel about this island. I also conducted an interview at the Bali Tourism Board and had a lot of conversations with people working in tourism. The second month I moved to Nusa Penida. The first week I was staying in one of the two hotels on the island, which promotes socially conscious tourism on the island. I decided to stay here to observe tourism on the island from a tourists' point of view. The second week I moved to the Friends of National Park Foundation (FNPF), who are known for protecting the Bali Starling, an endangered bird species only found in Bali. The main reason for coming here is, because they also do community work and promote being close to the local people. When I arrived at the foundation I found out that this was not the case. There were no English classes for adults and I barely saw any villagers at the centre of the foundation. After a week I decided to move to a homestay near one of the most important temples in the village Ped. I stayed here for the rest of my time in Nusa Penida.

Because I started out researching sustainable tourism and staged authenticity, the first month on the island was mainly talking to people about tourism and observing what was happening on the island. I had conversations with both people working in tourism and outside of tourism. After this month I found out sustainable tourism is not really present on the island and therefore it was impossible to answer my research question. After some good conversations with my key informant, Mike Appleton, I decided to focus on the seaweed farmers of Nusa Penida to obtain information that can be useful to raise awareness or inform about the local people's opinion on tourism. By this time I befriended a lot of local people working in tourism, but none of them is a seaweed farmer.

Seaweed farmers in Nusa Penida are not well-educated and therefore most of them do not even talk Bahasa Indonesia, but only know the language they grew up with which is Bahasa Bali or Bahasa Nusa. Fortunately, I befriended a local, Putu Adipta, who was born in Nusa Penida, but was educated in Jakarta, Denpasar and China. His family are all former seaweed farmers in Nusa Penida and Putu Adipta could speak English, Bahasa Indonesia, Bahasa Bali and Bahasa Nusa. With him I conducted the rest of my research by traveling the north coast and talking to local seaweed farmers.

During this time my research my subject shifted from tourism workers to seaweed farmers. Although my focus shifted, the interviews and conversations I had before this switch are still relevant and can give me insights on tourism on the island. Therefore I also incorporated these conversations and interviews in my thesis.

7.2 Methods for data collection

In social sciences there is a distinction between quantitative and qualitative research. For my research I choose to use qualitative methods, because it suits my research purposes. In their Handbook of Qualitative research, Denzin and Lincoln (2000) give the following definition:

"Qualitative research is a situated activity that locates the observer in the world. It consists of a set of interpretive, material practices that makes the world visible. These practices ...  turn the world into a series of representations including field notes, interviews, conversations, photographs, recordings and memos to the self. At this level, qualitative research involves an interpretive, naturalistic approach to the world. This means that qualitative researchers study things in their natural settings, attempting to make sense of, or to interpret, phenomena in terms of the meanings people bring to them.” (Denzin and Lincoln 2000:3)

As Denzin and Lincoln (2000) state above, qualitative research is interpretive. With my research I want to know how the seaweed farmers interpret tourism on the island, how they feel about their natural surroundings and how they may change. As an anthropologist it is important to be amongst the people you study and built rapport with them. That is why my main methods are participant observation, conversations and semi-structured interviews.

7.2.1 Participant observation

Participant observation is a method in which a researcher takes part in the daily activities, rituals, interactions, and events of a group of people as one of the means of learning the explicit and tacit aspects of their life routines and their culture (DeWalt & DeWalt 2002: 1-2). This method gave a deeper understanding and meaning of the daily lives of the local people of Nusa Penida and reduced distance between my research population and me. By participating it is easier to give meaning to daily life and better observations can be made. This circle of participation and observation is important in getting to know the culture better and putting my data in a contextual framework.

While being in Nusa Penida I did not only participate in touristic activities, I also participated in religious ceremonies and daily activities of the people I have met. Religion is an important aspect in Nusa Penida and therefore I went to different temples and joined special ceremonies. As mentioned before two of the temples in Nusa Penida are very important for the Balinese. If someone prays at one of these temples they get a red-white-black bracelet that shows you did your praying at one of these temples. After I received my bracelet, a lot of locals noticed it and started to approach me with an easier and more open attitude. This made it possible to have better observation and participation.

7.2.2 Informal interviews

In the first month of my research I was conducting informal interviews that were usually more like a casual conversation. According to deWalt & deWalt (2002) the goal of this technique is for the researcher to participate in naturally unfolding events. The basic rule in carrying out informal interviewing during participant observation is that the researcher has to follow the lead of the informant, the goal is to get out of the way of the informant and to let them talk (deWalt & deWalt, 2002:120). During my research I was specifically interested in certain topics that lead me to talk about it with my informants. Although these topics were in the back of my head I gave space for the informants to let them talk themselves and I tried not to probe.

7.2.3 Semi-structured interviews

The last few months of my research I was conducting more structured kind of interviews than informal interviews, which I call semi-structured interviews. Semi-structured interviews can give more clearance about certain subjects. In semi-structured interviewing, the interviewer includes a list of questions and prompts in order to increase the likelihood that all topics will be covered in each interview in more or less the same way (deWalt & deWalt, 2002:122). Because I changed my focus in the second half of my research I had to know what different seaweed farmers thought about the same topics.

7.2.4 Notebook

Lastly, I have written everything I saw, heard and thought that might be important down in a notebook. I did this to be aware of my position as a researcher. Reflection is important in doing anthropological fieldwork and by writing things down I have been more aware of my position within my research population. I will write more on this later in my 'role as a researcher' and 'reflection' part.

7.3 Data analysis

Data analysis is an ongoing part of qualitative research that begins at the start of a research study and ends while writing up the results (Spencer et al. 2003). While in the field I weekly dedicated some time to reading my data and trying to recognize patterns so I could continue my research with more focus. The goal of this was to conduct better research, but after returning home I had to do the same to reach conclusions. I did this by transcribing all the interviews I recorded and digitalizing all the notes I made in my journal and notebook. After this I read all my data and while reading coded the data into different themes. Each theme is dedicated to a sub-question so it would be easier for me to see patterns and to see what my informants think about the topics of each sub-questions.

7.4 Roles as a researcher

As a student researching tourism I had different roles in my research field. When anthropologists travel to developing countries to conduct research they are likely to be perceived as tourists (Bruner 1995). Although I wanted to be perceived as a tourist in the first week of my research, the locals' image of me being a tourist continued throughout my research period. I did not experience this in a bad way since this role gave me easy access to both conversations and tourism activities on the island. Participant observation is one of the most important methods of anthropological research and being perceived as a tourist can have advantages researching tourism with participant observation (Van den Berghe in Roessingh & Duijnhoven, 2006).

Next to being perceived as a tourist, locals were also surprised of me being a woman traveling by myself. Most women on the island thought I was probably not that attached to my family and some people also called me brave. Being a woman gave me advantages on meeting especially local guys who wanted to show me the island. For the first part of my research this was helpful to get to know the island and its people, it gave me access to people and places I had otherwise not met or seen. For the second part of my research being a woman served me, because most seaweed farmers I interviewed were women. This made it less threatening for them to talk to me, although they might have found it weird that a foreign woman was asking about their opinion.

Indonesia is not foreign to be since my father is Indonesian and I spent childhood summers with my Indonesian family. Although I know the country and the culture, I am not raised 'fully' Indonesian. Being raised in The Netherlands I grew up with a lot of Western ideas that are foreign to Indonesians. According to Neuman (1999) in Bailey (2007:38) researching in unfamiliar setting might be easier to conduct research than in familiar one, because cultural and social events in unfamiliar settings are easier to see. This did not fully apply to me, because I was only partly familiar to the research setting. Being half Indonesian had its benefits, because some people found it easy to approach me and talk about my origin. On the other hand it had side effects, because it sometimes made me unaware of certain social events. I was also always seen as a foreigner since I do not look fully Indonesian. In some way I was always in a grey area of not fully belonging and not fully foreign.

7.5 Reflection

During my research my methods changed a lot. As mentioned before I shifted my focus in my research, which resulted in changing my methods. In the first part of my research I used a lot of conversations or informal interviews. This was useful to gain information about the island and about some opinions of the locals, but it did not give me deep insights in the issues I wanted to address. Although it did not work to answer my initial research question it was still useful to get an idea and a feeling of what is happening on the island.

In the second part of my research I mainly conducted semi-structured interviews. This served the purpose of answering my research question in a better way. During semi-structured interviews I came across some obstacles with asking questions. After our first few interviews Putu Adipta and I noticed that some questions were not formulated in a way the seaweed farmers understood them. This was due to using to many 'Western' concepts like 'sustainability' or 'preservation'. After redesigning the topic list we got more specific answers to our questions.

Another thing I missed in the second part of my research is doing participant observation. For me at that time it was too late to do participant observation with the seaweed farmers, because I could not talk Bahasa Bali/Nusa and my remaining time on the island was too short to gain rapport. Despite these obstacles I did try to get closer to the seaweed farmers during the interviews by helping out with tying seaweed to the ropes, an activity most of the woman were doing when we interviewed them.

malaihollo foto 5 jobs in tourism

Photo 5: Jobs in tourism


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Malaihollo, S. - "From Ropes and Sticks to Shorts and Trips", Researching the role that tourism can play in the lives of the seaweed farmers of Nusa Penida, Bali, Indonesia in a locally perceived sustainable way; VU University Amsterdam, Department of Organization Sciences, Supervisor: Carel Roessingh; Year: 2014-2015.

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