Jakarta – BRIN Public Relations. Biodiversity is one of the most important pillars to support sustainable development. The National Research and Innovation Agency (BRIN) encourages collaboration in research and use of biodiversity among the G20 member countries to support the blue and green economy.

“We encourage strengthening of research capacity and use of biodiversity through global collaboration,” said Acting Head of the Earth Science Research Organization, Ocky Karna Radjasa, during the Preliminary Meeting of the G20 Research and Innovation Initiative Gathering (RIIG), held online, Thursday (24/02).

Ocky said that Indonesia as the largest archipelagic country and one of mega-biodiversity countries, has a strategic role in protecting the earth. Indonesia is blessed with a wealth of flora and fauna, various ethnicities, languages, traditional knowledge of indigenous peoples and local communities which are still very potential to be studied.

Research and use of biodiversity, said Ocky, are carried out to overcome the Covid-19 pandemic. In addition to developing a domestic vaccination program, Indonesia is conducting research by utilizing herbal plants from terrestrial biodiversity to prevent and treat Covid-19.

“Biodiversity is, among others, used as an effort to prevent Covid-19, screening and diagnosing, development of health devices, treatment, and therapy,” said Ocky futher.

In addition, Indonesia has the facility of Indonesia Culture Collection (InaCC), which is the center for storing collections of microorganisms. This facility is a form of Indonesia’s strong commitment to support use of biodiversity globally.

Currently, Indonesia is building a National Biodiversity Center (NBC) – KEHATI facility, as a scientific center for research and collaboration on biodiversity in the field of biology, including microbiology.

Biodiversity Supports Blue and Green Economy

Coordinator of the Directorate General of Research and Innovation of MESRI, Philip Roche supports Indonesia’s efforts to maintain biodiversity. He has the view that in developing the economy and people’s welfare, ecosystems and biodiversity should not be ignored. “The condition of a sustainable blue and green economy should be the consideration for the community, and ecosystem is as an asset and not a constraint,” he said.

Therefore, biodiversity is very important for the community’s needs and economic development. He encourages the use of biodiversity into something valuable ​​and beneficial for the community’s economy.

Roche believes that there are blue and green economic opportunities for future sustainability, among others reducing pollution, advancing research and innovation in the agricultural sector and urban development, developing the use of nature-based solutions, as well as opportunities to create cross-sectoral public-private partnerships to reduce pollution and marine damage.

In addition, Roche views that the implementation of blue and green economy can also create new opportunities to increase the contribution of the tourism economy. Biodiversity and nature-based tourism, he continued, can be combined with socially sustainable environment and management. This can help maintain the ecology properly with the support of local wisdom.

“Conservation of biodiversity is very important for economic growth, food security, and sustainable development,” he said.

Research and science play a role in identifying and developing nature-based solutions such as forest conservation and rehabilitation, agro-ecological practices, restoration of coastal and mangrove habitats, and reforestation of cities. In addition, it also improves biodiversity and ecosystem to accelerate identification of high-risk areas that must be avoided by infrastructure and degraded areas.

Roche encourages long-term integrated institutional development programs, designed to boost partnerships with countries and institutions that have more scientific expertise. This is to help build and strengthen research capacity.

“We also encourage research programs that add the science of biodiversity, and continue to identify and quantify the various benefits of biodiversity,” he explained.

The Preliminary Meeting is a series of RIIG side event agendas in the G20 Indonesia Presidency. RIIG will be an important meeting discussing research and innovation. The first RIIG side event is scheduled to be held in March 2022. In addition, BRIN is preparing to host the G20 Research Ministers Meeting and the G20 Research and Innovation Expo (tnt, jml).