Based on mutual interest in research, training, capacity building, and information dissemination, SEAMEO BIOTROP and the Mindanao State University agreed to renew the Memorandum of Understanding for another 3-year period. The signing of the MoU renewal was held on 28 July 2021 virtually.
In his opening remarks, Dr Zulhamsyah Imran, the Director of SEAMEO BIOTROP, stated that the mandates of SEAMEO BIOTROP are to conduct trainings, research, and information dissemination in tropical biology, especially biodiversity. He further added that the new vision of SEAMEO BIOTROP is to save biodiversity from mountain to ocean. "The mutual and beneficial collaborations between SEAMEO BIOTROP and the Mindanao State University are important, especially due to the similar geographical conditions. Both are archipelagic and volcanic states, with megabiodiversity, fertile soils, and abundant fisheries resources," said Dr Zulhamsyah.
Prof Habib W. Macaayong, DPA, the President of the Mindanao State University acknowledged that the previous MoU with SEAMEO BIOTROP had been one of the most productive collaborations. "The renewal of this collaboration is beneficial for the university, students, clients, and communities," he further added.
The 3-year period renewed MoU contains agreements between SEAMEO BIOTROP and the Mindanao State University to engage in several areas of collaborations, namely: 1. joint implementation of research activities on tropical forests and the related fields in a manner that will be mutually agreed upon by both parties; 2. provision of technical advice and research and development on tropical environment and its related fields; 3. joint training programs, seminars, symposiums, and conferences on tropical forests, ecosystem contributions, and the related fields; 4. joint publication of articles, reports and other scientific materials; 5. exchange of academic information, publication materials and other forms of scientific knowledge; 6. other forms of educational and scientific cooperation that may be mutually agreed upon by both parties.
During the subsequent discussion after the MoU signing, both parties proposed several research projects, which include climate change, coastal and aquatic system management, essential oils production from ylang-ylang, and IAS management. Other proposed collaborations were in promoting BIOTROPIA Journal to increase the citation rate of the journal, exchanging of scientists, and participating in joint workshops.
The closing remarks was delivered by Prof Alma E. Berowa, the Vice President for Academic Affairs of the Mindanao State University. In her closing remarks, she appreciated the mutual decision of SEAMEO BIOTROP and the Mindanao State University to renew the MoU for more opportunities to collaborate, particularly on research activities on tropical forests and the related fields for benefits of the people in Indonesia and the Philippines. (sis)