SEAMEO BIOTROP proudly announces the launch of its Agro-Eco-Edu-Tourism (AEET) program, an initiative combining agriculture, ecology, education, and tourism. This event was held on December 21, 2023, and attended by notable figures such as Prof. Dr. Ir. Ernan Rustiadi, M.Agr, and Prof. Dr. Ir. Iskandar Zulkarnaen Siregar, M.For.Sc., from IPB University. The event also saw participation from representatives of the Department of Culture and Tourism of Bogor and Directors, Deputy Directors, and staff of SEAMEO Centres in Indonesia, including SEAMEO RECFON, SEAMEO SEAMOLEC, SEAMEO Qitep in Language, SEAMEO Qitep in Science, SEAMEO Qitep in Mathematics, and SEAMEO CECCEP. SEAMEO BIOTROP Board of Directors and Prof. Ernan Rustiadi from IPB University officially opened the AEET program through a ribbon-cutting ceremony.
In his opening remarks, Dr Zulhamsyah Imran, SEAMEO BIOTROP director, emphasized the significance of shifting from traditional classroom learning to more dynamic, nature-based education to align with the current VUCA era, advocating for transformative and adaptive educational methods. "SEAMEO BIOTROP AEET Programs answer the needs for a paradigm shift in biology education, moving from traditional classroom settings to more dynamic, nature-based learning environments."
Back-to-back with this event, the Centre also launched the Notable Learning Innovation Portal, designed to be a leading source of information in tropical biodiversity research and development. This portal is set to showcase research findings, expert orations, and contributions from SEAMEO BIOTROP affiliates, enhancing knowledge dissemination in the field. The event also honored the contributions of SEAMEO BIOTROP retirees for 2022-2023 with special souvenir presentations.
Following the formalities, guests were invited to explore the sports facilities and the BIOTROP Science Techno area; the participants visited the facilities for the AEET program, as well as the newly renovated SEAMEO BIOTROP Sports facilities. Prof Ernan AEET facilities visited including Sensory Garden, a space that stimulates the five basic human senses, offering a therapeutic and engaging experience; Smart Hydroponics, prototype showcases the integration of precision and smart agriculture techniques for sustainable farming; Stingless Bee Garden: An educational area focusing on stingless bees and their ecological and economic importance; Aquaponic Garden, provides practical learning experiences in freshwater fish and plant cultivation, emphasizing the synergy between aquaculture and hydroponics; Edible Mushroom House: Highlights mushroom cultivation and zero waste practices, using innovative growing mediums like lemongrass distillation waste; and BIOTROP Science Technology Expo, aims to provide direct experiences and practical applications of scientific principles. This initiative is expected to play a significant role in fostering national identity through playful learning and the dissemination of scientific research.
Interviewed after the program, Prof. Ernan's emphasis on international collaboration in agrotourism research resonates with IPB University's vision of integrating AEET into its diverse gardens, promoting Bogor as a center for science-based bio-agro tourism. Prof. Ernan highlighted the need for international collaboration in agrotourism research, in line with IPB University's vision of integrating AEET into its diverse gardens, promoting Bogor as a hub for science-based bio-agro tourism.