Warm wishes from SEAMEO BIOTROP !
Still in the midst of the pandemic, I ponder the quote made by Charles Darwin, the father of evolution, who said "It is the long history of humankind that those who learned to collaborate and improvise most effectively have prevailed". This quote is in line with what SEAMEO BIOTROP has been doing: Collaborating with other institutions, both at home and abroad as well as Improvising its activities and programs. In other words, SEAMEO BIOTROP does what it takes to keep excelling and prevailing in its programs and activities in the field of tropical biology. The keyword of it all is "transform".
This spirit has also been the theme of the virtual 2021 SEAMEO Congress "Transforming Southeast Asian Education, Science and Culture in the Digital Age", which designed to reimagine education through digitalization technology. Through this Congress, all participating countries shared and exchanged practical experiences, breakthroughs, new ideas and initiatives to transform education, science and culture in the new normal era.
As far as collaborations with other institutions, during the second quarter of 2021 SEAMEO BIOTROP initiated collaborations with the Mindanao State University on Bioenergy Development by organizing a virtual Focus Group Discussion (FGD) among scientists from SEAMEO BIOTROP and the Mindanao State University. Other collaboration was also developed with the INFOFISH. The collaboration aimed to enhance the visibility of seaweed tissue culture technology, to improve the welfare of seaweed producers in the Asia-Pacific region. Collaboration with the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology (MEXT), Japan and Institut Pertanian Bogor (IPB) resulted in a joint online Regional Technical Guidance on Application of Next Generation Sequencing (NGS) Data and Artificial Intelligence (AI) in Agriculture.
In enhancing the visibility of SEAMEO BIOTROP, the Center actively participating in various activities, focusing on tropical biology. SEAMEO BIOTROP actively involves in the management of Invasive Alien Plant Species, through Mr Soekisman Tjitrosemito, PhD, SEAMEO BIOTROP's senior weed and invasive plant species scientist who was invited as the resource person in the virtual Technical Guidance on Management of Invasive Plant Species at Bukit Barisan Selatan National Park. A national online 5-day training course was held for vocational and senior high schools' teachers with theme "DNA Barcoding for Biodiversity Monitoring". A SEAMEO BIOTROP research assistant, Ms Shella Marlinda, participated in an online Spring Meeting with a theme "Sustainable Development Goals and Fisheries Sciences" held by the Japanese Society of Fisheries Sciences. SEAMEO BIOTROP along with other SEAMEO Centers in Indonesia held a virtual international webinar with a theme "Contribution and Impacts of SEAMEO Centers Indonesia on Education in Indonesia and Southeast Asia. This virtual international webinar was aimed to show the incessant supports of SEAMEO Centers in Indonesia toward the Merdeka Belajar program of the Kemendikbudristek. The Center also participated in the Virtual Exhibition held by the Ministry of Education, Culture, Research, and Technology of the Republic of Indonesia (Kemendikbudristek) to commemorate the Indonesian National Education Day.
In light of its active collaborative efforts and participation, SEAMEO BIOTROP is well acknowledged by other institutions, such as the Cagayan State University, who awarded the Partner Agency Award to SEAMEO BIOTROP, in sincere recognition and grateful appreciation for being a valuable partner of the Cagayan State University in gearing up the cause of quality education and innovative research and extension for the Cagayano Community. The 2021 SEAMEO Service Awards was presented to Dr Supriyanto, a senior scientist of SEAMEO BIOTROP and the coordinator of SEAMEO BIOTROP's SMARTS-BE program, which provides technical mentoring on growing non-seasonal fruits and vegetables as well as developing independence and entrepreneurial skills for vocational schools and teachers.
Keep up the optimisms! Stay healthy and safe!