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ILCB in Indonesia

In Indonesia, 12 field scientists working on eight different projects have benefited from an ILCB bursary since the programme's inception. Their profiles and projects, from research into medicinal plants to GIS training, spanning a variety of themes associated with the MDG of ensuring sustainability, are outlined below.

 Fiona Zakaria (PDF) received an ILCB bursary in May 2009, to conduct field research into ways of providing access to a safe supply of water for the urban poor in Jakarta (PDF). Our funding and support allowed her to investigate how water resources are managed in the city, where over-pumping has created concerns about the availability and quantity of ground water supplies.

Her research revealed that existing water programmes only benefited a small proportion of Jakarta’s poorer households and illustrated the need for new investment in the expansion of access to piped water supplies. As a result of her work in Jakarta, Fiona has recently been recruited by UNICEF to work on its Water Sanitation and Hygiene programme in Sudan. 

 Dedy Suyadi (PDF) was awarded an ILCB bursary in 2009. His research project investigated deforestation in Bukit Barisan National Park, Sumatra, and its implications on the population ecology of Sumatran tigers and their prey (PDF). Through our funding and mentoring, he was able to focus his research on the patterns and root causes of deforestation, as well as the ramifications on Sumatran tigers and their prey, through a variety of methods of data collection, such as satellite imagery.

Analysis of his data highlighted the complex nature of the issues of deforestation and land use change. It was found that rates of forest loss varied greatly in different areas, for different forest types, and over time. The underlying causes of forest cover change in the national park were found to be low law enforcement and socio-economic pressures. From his research, Dedy was able to formulate four major recommendations to reduce deforestation in the national park.

 Shinta Puspitasari (PDF), winner of an ILCB bursary in 2009, conducted research into the ecological resilience of beetle diversity on tropical islands in the face of human activities. Her activities were focused on the Kepulauan Seribu Marine National Park in Indonesia, where pitfall traps were laid in sample plots to collect beetle specimens.

The ultimate aim of the research is to provide a draft habitat management plan for the region and an outline of potential management directions and land-use policy to be presented to local stakeholders, as well as baseline information on insect diversity in the region. The project’s contribution to the MDGs lies in assessing the impacts of human interaction with the land and its species and devising island conservation measures to inform decision-making regarding ecological threats across the continent.

 In 2010, Cici Andriani (PDF) obtained an ILCB bursary to launch her career in biological research. Her medicinal ethnobotanical study of the region of Muak, Jambi, Indonesia aimed to observe the indigenous practices and traditions associated with medicinal plants. Our support and funding enabled her to carry out in-depth interviews and participatory observations in order to compile a database of local knowledge of medicinal plants such as Turmeric and Citronella. This is particularly crucial due to the loss of such knowledge as indigenous Indonesian populations become westernised. 

 Yetty (PDF), an undergraduate student at the University of Jambi, Indonesia, was the winner of an ILCB bursary in 2010. Her research project aims to carry out an ethnobotanical study of Jernang, also known as Dragon’s blood palm, a plant significant in medicinal and economic terms for many parts of tropical and sub-tropical south-east Asia. Her investigation seeks to assess the diversity of the Jernang and to document local indigenous knowledge associated with it. The project will also inquire into the sustainability of harvesting the plant as a non-timber forest product. Yetty will make use of both field research techniques and laboratory work.

 Zainal Arifin Nur & Daniel Theofilus (PDF) were the recipients of a bursary in 2010. Their work, aimed at fostering sustainability in remote communities through a micro-hydro project (PDF), was carried out in a partnership called FX-PEDITION 2010 which brings together young explorers, engineers, scientists and filmmakers from Indonesia and the UK. Our funding and support enabled them to establish the crucial need for electricity in three of the villages surveyed and to investigate the potential for construction of micro hydro power plants using the abundance of watercourses and waterfalls available.

 OuTrop Indonesia (PDF) received funding from ILCB in 2010 to carry out GIS training for four Indonesian research assistants of the Orangutan Tropical Peatland Project (OuTrop). Such a scheme aimed to educate staff in the use of GIS and GPS so that programmes investigating forest encroachment to monitor forest loss, targeting illegal logging, hunting and fire, could be initiated. The resulting database will be made available to local government and NGOs and updated annually. Ultimately, this project intends to invest in the future of the local population by educating them in matters of land use and sustainable management of the forest.

 Dewi Kartika's (PDF) support and ILCB bursary, received in 2010, will make it possible for her to undertake field research into the impact of the Banyuwangi and Madura communities on the marine resources of Menjangan island in Bali Barat National Park, East Java, Indonesia. Despite being declared a no-take zone, concerns have been raised about fishing in the coral reefs by neighbouring communities, and particularly the use of dynamite fishing. Dewi’s project will form part of a larger conservation initiative to raise awareness amongst local communities about the need for sustainable use of the Menjangan reef and its abundant marine resources.

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