The 53rd Anniversary of SEAMEO BIOTROP was celebrated on 8 April 2021 with theme “Be There for Nature Solutions” which depicted the aims of this celebration: 1. to commemorate and promote the highlights of SEAMEO BIOTROP’s achievements; 2. to initiate pride among SEAMEO BIOTROP staff, alumni, governing board members, partners and stakeholders as the SEAMEO BIOTROP family; 3. to strengthen the collaborations between SEAMEO BIOTROP and its partners, both national and international; and 4. to strengthen the support from the Centre's stakeholders.
In his welcome remarks, Dr Zulhamsyah Imran, the Director of SEAMEO BIOTROP introduced several strategic and important issues in transforming SEAMEO BIOTROP toward the digital era. First, the challenges presented by the Industry 4.0 and Society 5.0 have been integrated by SEAMEO BIOTROP in implementing its mandates to conduct research, training and information dissemination in tropical biology, mostly by means of digital management system. Second, the Covid-19 pandemic has made all of us realize about the importance of working together in facing this pandemic, both nationally and internationally. Third, the Covid-19 pandemic has made us aware that we have to be wise in utilizing the natural resources in order to sustain ourselves in the future. Fourth, the global challenges have urged us to start our strategic plans toward producing biotechnology products, conserving biodiversity, sustaining food security and enhancing biomedicine to balance our lives.
Further, Dr Zulhamsyah explained that SEAMEO BIOTROP is formulating one new spirit through the "Transformation of SEAMEO BIOTROP Visibilities in the National and International Scope" movement. This movement covers several activities:
- Transforming Management to Support Global Knowledge Activity, which consists of:
- Accelerating the Visibilities of Research, Training and Information Dissemination Mandates.
- Formatting the Structure of Administration Management toward Standardized andSystematic Format.
- Digitalization of Information and Publication on Product Innovations and Services.
- Launching of Integrated Programs and Participations through the School of Biodiversity, SMARTS-BE as well as Research and Tourism programs.
In further explaining the transformations, Dr Zulhamsyah stated that these strategic plans are made to ensure the measurable quality of SEAMEO BIOTROP. The new vision is called "Mountain to Ocean in Tropical Biodiversity Richness". This new vision will be comprehensively discussed in-depth and be presented in SEAMEO BIOTROP 11th FYDP.
Dr Zulhamsyah also stated that these strategic plans are formulated by considering the already existing resources and infrastructure. SEAMEO BIOTROP programs and activities cover a wide spectrum from capacity building, research, education and training, to information dissemination in tropical biology. All programs and activities of SEAMEO BIOTROP will be formulated into the 3 program thrusts: ecosystem restoration and conservation; utilization of sustainable biodiversity, bioenergy and food security; as well as increasing resiliencies toward climate change.
Finally, Dr Zulhamsyah explained that the draft of SEAMEO BIOTROP program thrusts is made by considering several global challenges and opportunities. In general, SEAMEO BIOTROP has prepared recognition indicators for internal use as well as for partners and stakeholders in facing several challenges: inter-disciplinary science, global framework, and market requirements toward the management of tropical biology. The three program thrusts will be directed toward increasing SEAMEO BIOTROP visibilities in the national and international scopes to conserve biodiversity. The three program thrusts will be translated into three main programs: School of Biodiversity (on campus), SMARTS-BE (Off Campus), Research Tourism Biodiversity (On and Off Campus). These three programs are the new breakthrough programs in developing SEAMEO BIOTROP for the next 6 years (2021-2026).
During the celebration, SEAMEO BIOTROP presented several programs, such as:
- Planting of rare trees in the vicinity of SEAMEO BIOTROP campus, i.e., Rasamala (Altingia excelsa), Masoi ( Cryptocarya massoia), Eboni (Diospyros celebica), Kali Muru (Neolitsea accendentoides)
- Regional Workshop and Focus Group Discussion (FGD) on Essential Oil with theme “Potential of Essential Oil Development to Enter New Normal Era in Southeast Asia”. The FGD was aimed at 1. Introducing the benefit and utilization of aromatic plants and their derivatives; 2. Identifying prospects and global market for essential oils; 3. Identifying development strategies of essential oils in the Southeast Asian region.
- Launching of three new applications: Human Resources Information System (HRIS), BIOTROP Online Course (BioOC), Integration System on Administrative Information Management Transactions (ISAIMAT).
- Signing of Memoranda of Understanding between SEAMEO BIOTROP and PT Garuda Food, IPB University, Balai Uji Terap Teknik dan Metode Karantina Pertanian (Center for Applied Test on Agricultural Quarantine Techniques and Methods) and Yayasan Usaha Mulia (Usaha Mulia Foundation).
- Book Launching: Panduan Melakukan Survei Tumbuhan Invasif (Guidelines for Conducting Survey of Invasive Alien Plant Species); Kajian Lingkungan Hidup Strategis (Strategic Environmental Studies) and Standardisasi Publikasi (SEAMEO BIOTROP Publication Standardization)