by : Zakaria Solaiman Lynette K. Abbott Ajit Varma
ISO 9001:2008 Certified
ISO 17025:2005 Certified
On the fourth year of its Ninth Five-Year Development Plan (9th FYDP), SEAMEO BIOTROP strengthened its commitment to develop and empower the human resource in Southeast Asia. This was realized through the Centre’s research, capacity building, community development, information exchange and general administration activities and services along its two program thrusts, namely: Tropical Biology for Community Welfare and Tropical Biology for Environmental Integrity. The Centre’s accomplishments in FY 2015/2016 are summarized below according to the three SEAMEO key result areas:
During the first half of the fiscal year in review, SEAMEO BIOTROP completed 24 research projects on current and critical biological problems in the region, and 3 action research/community-based project through its Youth Environmental Outreach (YEO) Grants Program. Twenty of these completed research projects were conducted by the Centre’s researchers and partner agencies and four by PhD Thesis Support Program grantees. For the second half of the fiscal year in review, the Centre started implementing 23 more research projects, consisting of 19 by the Centre’s researchers, four by PhD Thesis Support Program grantees, and one YEO Program grantee.
The Centre also continued to be in the forefront of landscape restoration research in Southeast Asia by securing a twoyear collaborative research project funded by the Global Innovation Initiative (GII) and the British Council, and involving seven universities from Indonesia, United Kingdom and United States of America, and one private mining company in Indonesia.
In strengthening individual and institutional capacities, the Center implemented 25 national training courses, workshops and seminars, 2 international conferences, one regional/international seminar-workshop and one in-country training course. These learning events benefited 1,601 individuals from 7 SEAMEO member countries as well as outside the region.
SEAMEO BIOTROP entered into 22 new Memoranda of Understanding and Agreements (MoU/A) with national and regional organizations in conducting joint-research programs and learning events, expertise and information exchange. The Centre’s scientists and program staff were sought in several local and international activities in Indonesia as resource persons, consultants, facilitators, and coordinators by government and nongovernmental institutions.
The Centre initiated the implementation of the three-year SEAMEO STAR Village Project with five other SEAMEO Centres in Indonesia. The Project generally aims to develop a community-based sustainable development model that could reinforce the SEAMEO Community Involvement Program especially in helping address the SEAMEO 7 Priorities and the Post-2015 Sustainable Development Agenda. It envisions a village that is Sustainable, Technopreneur, Ability-rich and Responsible (STAR) in terms of economic, social, and environmental development. The pilot site is the Cihideung Ilir village in Bogor, West Java. This project was launched officially by Minister of Education and Culture of the Republic of Indonesia during celebration of SEAMEO’s golden anniversary celebration in Indonesia on 7-8 October 2015 in Jakarta.
The Centre also facilitated the internship and/or on-the-job training of 184 students from 45 secondary and vocational schools and universities, and 26 research projects of undergraduate and master students from seven academic institutions. It also accommodated the visit of 3,417 people from schools, universities, government and private institutions as well as communities.
The Centre published three monographs, one regional seminar-workshop proceedings, two issues of its bi-annual journal BIOTROPIA (i.e. Vol. 22 No. 2, Dec 2015 and Vol. 23 No.1, June 2016) and four issues of its quarterly newsletter, BIOTROP Courier. A total of 282 articles have been electronically uploaded in the Centre’s online journal website that prospective users can download for free. SEAMEO BIOTROP researchers and program staff also published 16 articles in peer-reviewed journals, an article in refereed proceedings and a book’s chapter.
The Centre’s library registered 202 serial publications (journals, proceedings, newsletters, annual reports and magazines), consisted of 50 as gifts and 152 as exchange. Currently, the Centre’s library holds and manages 13,236 book collections. In FY 2015/2016, a total of 239 people from national and regional/international institutions consisting of 234 universities, 2 research institutions and 3 international organizations visited the Centre’s library. Eighty-three percent of visitors were satisfied with the Centre library services.
During the fiscal year in review, the Centre uploaded 131 articles in its website (http://www.biotrop.org) consisting of 42 articles on the Centre’s activities, two highlights of research results, 37 articles on events of SEAMEO Secretariat and other SEAMEO Centres and partner institutions and 6 book reviews. On the other hand, 44 information updates were also uploaded in the new Centre’s publications section (e.g. proceedings, books, research reports, training/seminar reports, newsletters, annual report and selected photo gallery).
The Centre’s website received 40,471 visitors during the period in review or 7.95 percent increase compared to last fiscal year (37,996 visitors). Of this number, 63.8 percent were new visitors.
The Centre also maintained and updated its virtual knowledge management centre on tropical biology (http://kmtb.< biotrop.org), which provided information along the Centre’s two program thrusts. A total of 13 and 14 articles on Community Welfare and Environmental Integrity, respectively were uploaded in the website.
The Centre launched a new website on Spatial Information & Services (http://spatial.biotrop.org). This website provides information on the Centre’s database of Landsat imagery collections which were acquired since 1995 and covered almost whole of provinces in Indonesia. The Centre also developed and disseminated to its stakeholders two educational videos on Composting method and Mushroom Cultivation.
Meanwhile, the Centre’s Third Biodiversity Conservation Photography Competition drew in 314 entries from Indonesia, Philippines, Vietnam, Malaysia, Brunei Darussalam, Cambodia, Thailand, Lao PDR, and Myanmar. The top three winners were all from Indonesia. A feature article about the competition was published on 6 October 2015 in Kompas, one of the major national newspapers in Indonesia.
SOLID RESOURCE BASE
In fiscal year under review, three of the Centre’s staff earned their Master Degrees in Communication for Rural and Agricultural Development, Plant Biology, and Electrical Engineering for Digital Media Technology respectively and another staff
completed an exchange program at the Western Carolina University, USA in May 2016.
Eighty-nine percent of the Centre staff, or 12 percent increase compared to last fiscal year, attended staff development activities such as training, conferences, seminars, workshops and symposia in Indonesia and abroad during the period in review.
The Centre completed the construction of a hydroponic unit and revived its Mycorrhiza Laboratory. The Centre also renovated the following facilities: Silviculture Laboratory building, Services Laboratory building, one training room, two dormitories and seven greenhouses.
The Centre’s Product Development and Services Department produced a total of 290,134 seedlings of Teak (Tectona grandis), Banana (Musa sp.), Jabon (Anthocephalus cadamba), Satoimo (Colocasia esculenta var antiquorum) through tissue culture technique. The Department also produced 35,790 baglogs of Oyster mushroom (Pleurotus ostreatus) and Wood Ear mushroom (Auricularia auricula) which were distributed to private companies and individual clients.
SEAMEO BIOTROP’s Services Laboratory upheld its ISO/IEC 17025: 2005 accreditation by increasing146 testing parameters of water and air quality, soil fertility and aflatoxin content on peanut and maize. SEAMEO BIOTROP’s Services Laboratory served 921 customers and analyzed 7,312 water, air, soil, plant, food and feed samples.
The Centre’s grants coming from the government of Indonesia and other funds increased by 4.52 percent and 5.12 percent, respectively. However, the total amount of USD 2,460,597 was 0.96 percent lower than the previous fiscal year. This is attributed to decrease in unallocated funds due to regulation changes on management of non-tax-revenue (Penerimaan Negara Bukan Pajak, PNBP), particularly funds generated from renting the Centre’s training facilities and dormitories.