For the last 52 years, SEAMEO BIOTROP has implemented its programs and activities to contribute significantly in addressing tropical biology issues, particularly in the Southeast Asian region. Every fiscal year, those programs and activities were developed and modified to adapt the recent internal and external issues.
Through the three main mandates namely: Research, Training and Other Learning Activities, and Information Dissemination, the Centre completed its annual program to achieve the Centre’s vision “to be a leading Centre in promoting and enriching the real values of tropical biology in the Southeast Asia”. In addition, the Centre developed its services which cover consultancies and products provision.
During the period of July to December 2019, the Centre’s activities were conducted according to the plan. Some changes were made to meet the available budget or other resources. However, starting in March 2020, the Covid-19 pandemic occurred, therefore, the Centre shall modify some of its programs and activities and made necessary changes of the plan in accordance with the government regulations, national situation as well as national budget revision. Nevertheless, the Centre endeavored to implement programs to achieve its targets as planned.
SEAMEO BIOTROP Annual Report 2019/2020 presents the Centre’s achievements in three Key Result Areas, namely: Regional Leadership, Regional Visibility, and Solid Resource Base.
During the fiscal year under review, the Centre conducted 26 research that were completed in December 2019 and 20 research projects, which will be completed by the end of 2020. For the period of July 2019 to June 2020, the Centre selected research proposals by the theme ‘Food Sovereignty, Energy Resilience, Ecosystem Restoration, Climate Change and Disaster Mitigation, and Sustainable Use and Protection of Local Biodiversity in Southeast Asia’. The research projects are conducted in 12 provinces in Indonesia. Research that has been and will be carried out by SEAMEO BIOTROP, provides benefits to educators, academics, policymakers and private agencies, to answer identified biological problems related to the three (3) program thrusts of SEAMEO BIOTROP, i.e.,: 1. Restoration of the Degraded Ecosystems; 2. Sustainable Management of Intensively Used Ecosystems/Landscapes; and 3. Conservation and Sustainable Use of Unique Ecosystems/Landscapes of High Biodiversity.
For the fiscal year 2019/2020, the Centre also funded 5 (five) National School Garden Action Research, 4 (four) research proposals submitted by PhD students from Institut Pertanian Bogor (IPB-Bogor Agricultural University), and 7 (seven) junior researchers/research assistants to support their research projects.
The Centre conducted 5 training of trainers, 1 national conference, 3 online quarterly, public seminars, 1 workshop, 5 online sharing sessions, 1 online talk-show, 2 online talk series, 3 online trainings, 4, online seminars, 1 FGD, 4 international conferences, 3 in-country trainings. A total of 3,202 individuals from government institutions, schools, universities, research centres and private sectors, benefited from these activities.
During the Fiscal Year 2019/2020, a total of 45 MoUs were signed, consisted of 1 completed MoU and 44 on-going MoUs. The 44 on-going MoUs are consisted of 6 MoUs with universities, 6 MoUs with non-profit organizations, 3 MoUs with government institutions, 6 MoUs with private companies and 23 MoUs between the Centre and Vocational Schools on the Agriculture Vocational School for Vegetable and Fruit Tree Orchard (SMARTS-BE) Program. One of the MoUs with the government institutions was the MoU with the Center for Tropical Horticulture Studies (PKHT) of Institut Pertanian Bogor (Bogor Agricultural University-IPB) on the establishment of Agro-Eco-Edu-Tourism program. One of the MoUs with private companies was an international collaboration in the provision of Cottonii seaweed plantlets derived from tissue culture for MSC. CO., Ltd, a manufacture company of food additives, such as jelly and carrageenan from South Korea.
The Centre published 3 (three) issues of BIOTROPIA, an international scientific journal indexed by SCOPUS. The Centre also published 6 (six) books and one proceeding on the 3rd International Conference on Tropical Biology (ICTB). Four editions of BIOTROP Courier; the Centre’s quarterly newsletters were published and disseminated to the external partners and Centre’s beneficiaries. During the fiscal year in review, the Centre produced 3 (three) educational videos on intensive fruit tree gardening, potted fruit trees production and plant tissue culture were published in BIOTROP Youtube Channel with English subtitles. On 1 May 2020, the Centre launched its E-Publication on the Centre’s official website (biotrop.org/publication). A total of 21 books are now available in digital version. The publication request is submitted through an online form available at link.biotrop.org/publication request. To disseminate information on the Centre’s accomplishments, products, technologies, expertise, and publications, the Centre participated in at least 2 exhibitions during the fiscal year 2019/2020. To accommodate the increasing demands for the mobile web visitors, as well as to improve the website’s Search Engine Optimalization (SEO) friendliness, so that the website will have greater visibility to better disseminate the Center’s program and new information, in April 2020, the Centre launched its new redesigned main website. The new website design incorporates a fresh look and new mobile friendly interface.
During FY 2019/2020, the Centre facilitated 10 undergraduate students and 2 master students to conduct their research at the Centre’s laboratories. The Centre also facilitated the internship and on-the-job training for 239 students and teachers. Due to Covid-19, the Centre limits the number of in-office activities, thus, for the fiscal year in review, the Centre only accommodated a total of 237 students to participated in internship program at the Centre.
For the period of July 2019 to June 2020, SEAMEO BIOTROP accommodated 76 visits consisted of 3,605 visitors came from various schools, universities, government agencies, private companies, communities as well as regional/ international institutions, included the visit of delegates of Zanzibar, Sweden and Timor Leste.
School Fruit Garden for Education, Production, Genetic Conservation and Entrepreneurship in Agriculture Vocational Senior High Schools in Indonesia (SMARTS-BE) which was initiated since 2018, is still continued by publishing 57 manuals of intensive fruit plantings and 98 manuals of fruits-based products, conducted an FGD and Training course on the Use of Geospatial for Monitoring and Evaluation of Fruit Gardens, as well as a series of webinar titled SMARTSBE TALKS SERIES. The results of SMARTS-BE Program were also presented in International Conference on Food and Economic Security and Environmental Sustainability, organized by Cagayan State University, Tuguegarao, the Philippines from 16 - 18 October, 2019.
SOLID RESOURCE BASE
In the Fiscal Year under review, the Centre implemented staff development program to 153 staff members by sending them to attend training courses, conferences, seminars, workshops and symposia in Indonesia and abroad. The Centre also purchased laboratory equipment to support research works at some laboratories, conducted maintenance of various facilities and improved some facilities physical performance to make staff, researchers, and visitors feel more comfortable working or staying at the Centre. For the fiscal year under review, the Centre received fund from the Government of Indonesia (GoI) as Operating Fund to cover staff salary and wages, operational expenses, and building and equipment maintenance. The Centre also received the annual Special Education and Development Fund (SEDF) from SEAMEO Secretariat which is intended for conducting regional and international trainings and seminars, research, Governing Board Meeting (GBM), and personnel exchange.