Collaborations of SEAMEO BIOTROP, Institut Pertanian Bogor (IPB), the IPB Alumni Association, the Collaboration and Alumni Affairs, BPRS Botani, and IPB Press produced a very insightful Environmental Leader Talks Series 2 with the topic "Plastic War: Challenge and Solution". This webinar aimed to socialize the impact and risks of plastic usage, especially microplastic, to the environment and to share inputs, experiences, lesson-learned in overcoming the plastic wastes. The 1,039 enthusiastic participants came from both Indonesia and abroad, consisted of experts in environmental science, government agencies, research institutions, non-governmental organization, private sectors, environmental activists groups, schools, students, and the general public.
The welcome remarks were presented by Prof Arif Satria, the Rector of Institut Pertanian Bogor, Mr Fathan Kamil, the Head of IPB Alumni, and Dr Zulhamsyah Imram, the Director of SEAMEO BIOTROP. In his welcome remarks, Prof Arif Satria stated that in facing the global climate change and the Covid-19 pandemic, it is a global call for paying more attention to environmental issues for sustainable life. "The progress of a nation is determined by the nation's capabilities in managing its natural resources for sustainable life", Prof Arif stated. "Environmental leadership is a leadership which integrating the ecological modernization approach with political ecology by developing human resources, initiating collaboration in technical, legal and policiy aspects for overcoming the issues, and advocating conducive policies to all stakeholders in achieving the sustainable environment for sustainable life", he further added. Mr Fathan Kamil stated that in facing climate change issue we need a leadership that is committed to environmental issues.
Dr Zulhamsyah Imran mentioned that micro plastic is a more threatening form of plastics for human beings as well as terrestrial and aquatic biotas. Hence, SEAMEO BIOTROP is committed to find solutions for issues related to wastes, especially plastic wastes. Three program thrusts of SEAMEO BIOTROP is already set up for overcoming the wastes issues, i.e., ecosystem restoration and conservation; the sustainable utilization of biodiversity, bioenergy for food security, and elevating resilience toward climate change. "However, above all knowledge and technologies, the most important aspect in dealing with wastes is the attitude change of human being," Dr Zulhamsyah stated.
Resource persons and topics presented in this Environmental Leader Talks 2 were:
- Dr Muhammad Reza Cordova from the Oceanography Research Center of the Indonesian Institute of Sciences, who presented his slides on Plastic Pollution: Distribution, Movement and Disturbance Impact. He shared his experiences in observing the origin and pathway of plastic wastes from the households into lands and waters which eventually greatly and fatally impacted the terrestrial and aquatic biotas. He also explained about the microplastic pollution which influences the hormones of humans and biotas, genetic disorders and even diseases.
- Ms. Maya Tamimi, MSc, from Unilever Indonesia, who shared her company's commitments to greatly reduce plastics for packaging their products, as well as initiating public movements to collect plastic wastes.
- Mr Rofi Alhanif, the Asistant Deputy of Wastes Management of the Coordinating Ministry of Maritime Affairs and Investment, who explained the responsibility mapping in wastes management and regulations as well as strategic plans established by the Government of Indonesia for wastes management, in terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems.
- Mr Rahyang Nusantara, M.I. Kom, the National Coordinator of the Plastic-bag Diet Movement, who shared his experiences in socializing the Plastic-bag Diet Movement to the general public, by conducting collaborations with government agencies, universities, schools and private sectors to provide inputs in regulating wastes, especially plastic wastes, in educating students and general public on the adverse effect on the environment when using plastic-bag.
The Environmental Ambassador from Institut Pertanian Bogor, Ms Siti Sarah Nisrina Sopuan, shared activities of IPB studens in Controlling Plastic Waste in the IPB campus and the environment surrounding the campus. One activist, "Mr River Defender", presented his virtual tour video on his group's activities in cleaning the Ciliwung River. Many positive comments from the participants were shared as great appreciations toward the resource persons, in the hopes that real implementations in dealing with wastes, especially plastic wastes, can be soon realized. (sis)