In emphasizing the importance of bioenergy, SEAMEO BIOTROP initiated a virtual Focus Group Discussion (FGD) on 24 June 2021 with the Mindanao State University, Philippines, to look into collaboration on bioenergy development. The FGD aimed to look into possible collaboration between SEAMEO BIOTROP and the Mindanao State University, Philippines on the subject. The FGD was participated by Dr Zulhamsyah Imran, the Director of SEAMEO BIOTROP; Dr Perdinan, the Deputy Director for Administration of SEAMEO BIOTROP, Dr Evelyn Bigcas, the Deputy Director for Program of SEAMEO BIOTROP, Mr Armaiki Yusmur, MSi, the Head of Biosystem and Landscape Management Laboratory of SEAMEO BIOTROP, and researchers from the Mindanao State University, Philippines. The FGD resulted in an agreement to conduct a scientific forum about forest bioenergy, collaboratively organized by SEAMEO BIOTROP and the Mindanao State University, Philippines.
The idea of initiating the FGD comes from Dr Zulhamsyah Imran, the Director of SEAMEO BIOTROP, who has been actively following the bioenergy subject. Dr Zulhamsyah embraces Dr Irdika Mansur, whose expertise is in mine reclamation to carry out mine reclamation by planting trees as an additional source for bioenergy from forests. Other idea also comes from Mr Armaiki Yusmur, MSi, the Head of Biosystem and Landscape Management Laboratory who studies about Swampy Forest Construction as a mitigation strategy in treating acid mine drainage in Post Mining Area.
During the FGD, Dr Irdika proposed a mechanism to integrate land restoration, forest bioenergy, and floating garden into a synergy. Dr Irdika also emphasized that a degraded forest can be revitalized to produce biomass energy as a stepping stone to restore the forest. Furthermore, Dr Irdika shared that funding of such research can be obtained by mobilizing the Community Social Responsibility program from related companies to promote agroforestry system, particularly by intercropping the intended forest tree species with cash crops, so that the conservation and economic benefits can be achieved simultaneously. Other venue to obtain funding can be done by attracting investors who are interested in essential industry. The investors shall be invited to intercrop essential-oil-producing crops and indigenous forest trees. That way, the investors can gain economic benefit from the crops. Other beneficial crops are soybean which products can be subsequently processed to produce tempe and soybean milk. The wood of the forest trees can be made into wood pellets which can produce the same calorie as coal.