BIOTROP Courier Vol. XVIII Q2 2016
The increasing need for mastering Geographic Information System (GIS) technology is becoming apparent in these recent years, especially for spatial plans in Indonesia. Therefore, this quarter, BIOTROP proudly conducted a 26-day training on “Geography Information System to Elevate Government’s Capacity-Participatory Mapping and Planning PMAP 2)” as an implementation of MoA between BIOTROP and Land Equity International based in the USA, attended by thirty participants of government institutions from Jambi, Nusa Tenggara Barat and Nusa Tenggara Timur provinces. The hands-on skills provided by this training can finally be used to develop spatial plan for respective district of the participants. As an educational centre, BIOTROP keeps its role to advocate schools in practical biological fields, such as edible mushroom culture, tissue culture, composting as well as urban agriculture such as hydroponic, aquaponic and verticulture.
The school garden training held in the first quarter has resulted to the re-visitation of an alumna of the training who brought along 34 biology major teachers from 25 Madrasah Aliyah National (high school) with her, so that other teachers also experience the knowledge benefit from BIOTROP. This kind of recurring visit is very beneficial to increase visibility of BIOTROP in the national and regional levels.
The strategic location of Indonesia in the world, makes Indonesia as one of countries with abundant grass and weed species. BIOTROP has the most complete herbarium of weeds in Indonesia, which attracts many weed scientists to visit and study the herbarium’s collections. Among experts visiting BIOTROP is Dr Jan-Frits Veldkamp, a Dutch grass expert, who called himself “Dr Rumput” (Grass expert). He clarified the definition of weeds and elaborated on their general characteristics. He called them as plants of the future due to their increasing environmental impacts globally that needs immediate attention as well as the growing interest to discover their other potentially beneficial uses.
This quarter, we were saddened by the passing away of our former director, Prof Dr Soekotjo, whose contribution to the development of BIOTROP in becoming a more prominent regional institution in tropical biology is highly regarded.