Cibinong – BRIN Public Relations. The Biological and Environmental Research Organization (RO), is one of 12 ROs within the National Research and Innovation Agency (BRIN). Head of the Biological and Environmental RO, Iman Hidayat, said, that the Biological and Environmental RO was formed to carry out research and innovation in the field of biodiversity and environment.

“The Biological and Environmental RO will work hard to support the government’s commitment to the success of Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) agenda,” said Iman.

Iman said that the Biological and Environment RO which he leads will oversee 8 Research Centers (RCs), namely Engineering and Genetics RC, Biosystematics and Evaluation RC, Ecology and Ethnobiology RC, Applied Microbiology RC, Applied Zoology RC, Biomass and Bioproducts RC, Environment and Clean Technology RC, and Plant Conservation, Botanical Garden and Forestry RC.

Iman explained that there are 4 scopes of main activities that form the basis of research and innovation activities in the Biological and Environmental RO. First, exploration of the archipelago’s biodiversity, with the main output of biological scientific collections (animals, plants, and microorganisms) and the accompanying data.

Second, in-situ and ex-situ conservation of biodiversity and ecosystems, with the main outputs of ex-situ conservation areas such as National and Regional Botanical Gardens, and Research Stations in conservation areas in collaboration with the Ministry of Environment and Forestry (KLHK).

Third, utilization of the archipelago’s biodiversity. “The main output is technology that is able to give an added value to the biodiversity of the archipelago, for the development of a green, sustainable and inclusive economy for the economic improvement of local communities,” explained Iman.

Fourth, research and innovation for the development of environmentally friendly technologies, with the main output being the technology to overcome environmental pollution (soil, water, and air), as well as clean technology that can be used by various industries to support sustainable national development.

Genomic and Protein Data for Biowealth-Based Industry

Iman said that in the short term he will consolidate all research centers in the Biological and Environmental RO. “It is important to understand the scope of each RC and the national and global problems that must be answered by these research centers through research and innovation. In addition, mapping of the strength of human resources and coordination with relevant stakeholders, especially from ministries, universities, local governments, and the private sector must be carried out immediately,” he said.

For the medium and long term, continued Iman, the Biological and Environmental RO will transform the management of biological scientific collections and their utilization. In the past, only physical specimens were stored from exploration (be animals, plants, or microorganisms). Starting this year, the results of exploration must include the genomic and protein data in order to reveal their potential and then stored, because industries which are based on biodiversity or biodiversity will be Data Mining-based, including industrial products ranging from food to medicine.

“It will take time, because our current human resources are not yet very supportive, but I am optimistic that we can do it,” continued Iman, who was recently inaugurated as Head of the Biology and Environment RO on March 4, 2022.

Iman further said that Indonesia’s rich biodiversity is the basic capital for the development of the nation. But we are still not able to optimize it. Our economy is still dependent on the mining industry (Mineral Mining) which has an impact on environmental pollution.

“The Indonesian nation must start shifting economic development from a Mineral Mining-based industry to a Data Mining-based industry which comes from the richness of our archipelago’s biodiversity, and environmentally friendly and sustainable economic development. Here, the role of the Biological and Environmental RO must be strong, and it is certainly not easy to realize, but we must be confident to make it happen,” he affirmed.

He also said that development of a green and inclusive economy will be the medium and long-term target of the Biological and Environmental RO. The touch of technology to give an added value to the local biodiversity and also use of local knowledge or wisdom for inclusive economic development are very important for sustainable development.

Through research stations that will be built in various regions in Indonesia, the Biological and Environmental RO will work together with local universities, the Ministry of Environment and Forestry, and local governments, as well as other stakeholders to raise the potential of local biodiversity in improving the economy of local communities, in addition to increasing capacity building in all research stations so that human resource capacity improves (aa,shf ed sl/ ed: tnt)