|Approach to Extension in Strengthening Community Ecology Adaptation in the Conflict Areas in the Border
|Prof Dr. Ir. Sumardjo, MS
Abstract: The border areas tend to be faced with conflict problems. This study aims to analyze the role of extension agents in community empowerment resettlement and design appropriate policy alternatives to enhance the community's ecological adaptation in border areas through extension workers in community empowerment. The methods used in this study are participatory action research and cybernetic triangulation techniques. In the study approach, the key informants involved were local leaders, local officials, priests, and teenagers. NTT was chosen because it has a border area between countries, and several resettlement points of former East Timor joined the Republic of Indonesia. The study results showed that the resettlement successfully adapted to the fluctuation of ecological changes through the role of extension workers. The lessons learned from this success resulted in that empowerment by implementing extension, effectively increasing the strengthening of the communities' ecological adaptation, when the principles and philosophy of extension were applied consistently. The key success factors are: (1) Growing awareness of the prospect of resettlement; (2) Increasing the capacity and attitude to dynamic ecology; and (3) The success of the community in participatory development of cooperative-based business institutions. Keywords: border areas, cooperation, ecological adaptation, private extension workers, social conflicts.