Cianjur – BRIN Public Relations. “170 Years Living Side by Side with Nature and Developing National Research and Innovation” is the theme raised in a webinar to commemorate the anniversary of the Cibodas Botanical Garden (KRC), Monday, 11/4. In a period of 170 years, KRC has played a very strategic role in plant conservation, research, education, environmental services and tourism.

Research activities at KRC have been initiated since the Quinine plant was imported to Indonesia in 1852, at which time there was acclimatization to plants imported from abroad. Another research activity in 1890 led to the discovery of mycorrhizae by JM Jansen in KRC which had an important role in increasing yield of agricultural crops. Until now, various research activities, especially those related to wet upland plant research, have been carried out.

Head of BRIN’s Biological and Environmental Sciences Research Organization, Iman Hidayat, said that conservation and research cannot be achieved optimally without collaboration with various relevant stakeholders. Hence KRC must continue to strengthen and enhance cooperation. Presently, research and innovation cooperation at KRC is still not optimally supported by adequate research facilities in accordance with technological developments in the field of plant conservation, so this must be addressed immediately.

“Building new networks in collaborative research and innovation in the field of plant conservation with multi-stakeholders must continue to be carried out so that KRC’s benefits can be nationally and globally felt by the community and that also continue to increase,” he added.

Other than presenting and explaining various research activities that have been carried out by KRC, in the webinar, KRC researchers also invited stakeholders (researchers, students, and the public) to conduct collaborative research activities.

This is in line with what was conveyed by the Head of KRC Office, Fitri Kurniawati when opening the webinar that BRIN has prepared various schemes to facilitate research and innovation activities, cooperation and capacity building, such as the open platform scheme for research facilities, various research funding schemes, as well as research collaboration center scheme, so that the number of research collaborations at KRC is expected to increase. It is hoped that this opportunity can be used optimally by stakeholders, especially universities.

The webinar to commemorate the KRC Anniversary presented KRC researchers who are competent in their respective fields, such as Andes Hamuraby Rozak, a researcher in the field of Ecology and Forest Conservation, who explained about the progress of research related to forest biomass and its role in climate regulation, especially the contribution of large trees to forest carbon balance, and Decky Indrawan Junaedi who shared about research on invasive exotic plant species at KRC including why it is important to study, research, and manage viewed from the aspects of global threats and the point of view of botanical gardens.

An equally interesting explanation was delivered by Muhammad Imam Surya, who shared about large amount of plant genetic resources owned by Indonesia but still limited in term of utilization and development that otherwise encourages us to optimize them. Another resource person, Wiguna Rahman, brought up the topic of plant conservation which does not only focus on plants which are under the status of rare, endemic and almost extinct, but also plants that have economic potential that also need to be conserved. (NS, ed:aps)