Community Participation in River Conservation in the Babon River, Central Java

Tommy Kurniawan, Mohammad Bisri, Pitojo Tri Juwono, Ery Suhartanto, Tiara Sarastika


River has an important role in the sustainability of the ecosystem. The river provides many benefits to humans, both directly and indirectly. Several rivers in Indonesia are categorized as critical rivers, one of which is the Babon River. As the development subject, the community has a role in river management, planning, utilization, and conservation. Community perception and participation are some of the keys to river conservation. This study aims to examine the community perception of the Babon River starting from the upstream, middle, and downstream, which will be studied further on the river performance index; examine the form of community participation; examine the level of community participation in the conservation of the Babon River. The method used is descriptive, both qualitative and quantitative. The population used is the community that lives on the border of the Babon River, where the samples were selected using the Quota Sampling technique amounting to 1,200 people. Data collection techniques used were observation, interviews, and documentation, and the data were then analyzed descriptively. Perceptions and forms of community participation are examined based on interview data presented in a descriptive tabulation. The level of community participation was assessed using a Likert scale. The community perception of the condition of the Babon River is that the Babon River is classified in moderate level and damaged condition. The community understands the benefits of rivers but still pollutes rivers in the upstream, middle, and downstream areas, which will be studied further on the river performance index. Forms of community participation in river conservation include a high attitude of approval to carry out a river restoration, as long as the community is given compensation for residents' land. More than 60% of the community around the Babon River has not been involved in river conservation, and more than 90% have not joined the river community forum. The level of community participation is in the medium category, the level of knowledge and perception is in the medium-high category, but the community's attitude is classified as low-to-medium. Therefore, integrated river conservation involving the surrounding community needs to be improved.


Keywords: river, community participation, river conservation.

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