SEAMEO BIOTROP Hosts FGD on Enhancing Collaboration and Seaweed Cultivation Networks for Biodiversity Conservation Education Wednesday, 15 May 2024 on 2:19pm

SEAMEO BIOTROP Hosts FGD on Enhancing Collaboration and Seaweed Cultivation Networks for Biodiversity Conservation Education

SEAMEO BIOTROP conducted a Focus Group Discussion (FGD) of collaboration and seaweed cultivation networks to support biodiversity conservation education. Held in the Jati Room, on 25 April 2024, the event gathered 35 experts, researchers, and stakeholders from various institutions to address the challenges and future directions of seaweed cultivation in Indonesia.

The FGD's primary objectives were to collect information on best practices and the latest technologies, enhance collaboration among stakeholders, develop a joint action plan, and disseminate knowledge about seaweed tissue culture. This platform facilitated interaction and collaboration among academics, researchers, practitioners, and business actors, aiming to initiate new partnerships between educational institutions, industry, and government.

The event was hosted by Dr. Rhomi Ardiansyah and moderated by Slamet Widodo, M.Sc. The discussion featured two main speakers, namely Mr Mohamad Rahmat Mulianda, S.Pi, M. Mar (Director of Marine Affairs and Fisheries, Ministry of National Development Planning of the Republic of Indonesia - Bappenas) who discussed the significant potential of Indonesia's seaweed industry. He outlined a strategic plan for the development of seaweed, emphasizing its importance for the country's economy. Despite technological advancements, productivity remains low due to inadequate technology adoption by local farmers. Mohamad stressed the need for systematic, holistic planning to enhance productivity and announced the upcoming launch of the Tropical Seaweed Centre in Lombok on May 22, aiming to establish Indonesia as the global hub for tropical seaweed.

The second speaker, Ms Marwa, S.Pi, M.Si from Balai Perikanan Budidaya Laut (Government research center for marine aquaculture – BPBL) Ambon, highlighted the history and development of seaweed cultivation at BPBL Ambon. She focused on the use of tissue culture techniques to produce superior seaweed seedlings, a practice that has been ongoing since 2016. Marwa detailed the collection and development of seaweed parent stocks at BPBL Ambon and their successful distribution.

Following the presentations, the participants shared valuable insights during the discussion. M. Brilliant from Bappenas RI highlighted seaweed's inclusion in national development plans and its crucial role in food security. Prof. Nurjanah from IPB University discussed the potential of seaweed in various products such as cosmetics and bioenergy. Dr. Lideman from BRIN focused on research and development priorities, including genetic factors and growth optimization.

The discussion concluded with a consensus on the need for a circular ecosystem to support seaweed cultivation, improved methods for tissue culture to enhance productivity, and better integration of research findings into practical applications for farmers. The event underscored the importance of regulatory clarity, traceability, and standardization to ensure both the quantity and quality of seaweed production, ultimately supporting national and international markets.

The expected outcomes of this FGD include initiating collaborations for the development of seaweed cultivation, sharing resources such as seaweed parent stock collections, and developing educational modules that cover both theoretical and practical aspects of seaweed tissue culture. By achieving these outcomes, the collaboration in seaweed tissue culture development for educational purposes is expected to significantly enhance the understanding and utilization of seaweed's potential, contributing to future educational advancements and environmental sustainability.

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