The need for food, energy, water, and medicines boils down to the rich natural biodiversity. More than half of the world's biodiversity can be found in tropical areas, accounting for only five percent of the world's total area. Although only 1.3 percent of the Earth's total area, Indonesia plays an essential role because it is the center of world biodiversity.
Indonesia has the second position in the world for biodiversity on land and is first for biodiversity in the ocean. This uniqueness is a valuable asset that other countries do not have.
Although available in nature and often abundant, these natural resources must be managed carefully, considering that much of this biodiversity is sensitive, vulnerable, and non-renewable.
"Understanding the importance of biodiversity as a life support system is what needs to be the basis for developing every policy, development, and management of natural resources in the long term," said Wahjudi Wardojo, Terrestrial Program Senior Advisor Yayasan Konservasi Alam Nusantara (YKAN).
Working for more than 45 years in the forestry sector, with particular attention to biodiversity, is a form of Wahjudi's commitment and work to preserve Indonesia's nature. He stressed that despite playing an essential role worldwide, Indonesia's natural assets are not global. Indonesia has complete sovereignty over this asset. Biodiversity can be a necessary capital in multilateral, regional, and bilateral negotiations, so this asset is only utilized if it contributes to Indonesia.
"Indonesia's natural assets play a role in providing food for the world's population. However, the capitalization of biodiversity needs to be prioritized for domestic interests. The role of biodiversity for medicines, energy, fertilizers, increasing the productivity of agricultural businesses, alternative food ingredients, and protecting water sources for water purification deserves to be managed jointly across agencies and sectors by taking into account the impact and sustainability of all these life support systems," added Wahjudi in his scientific speech when he was awarded an Honorary Doctorate (honoris causa) from Gajah Mada University, on Thursday (31/8).
He emphasized that Presidential Instruction No. 1 of 2023 concerning Mainstreaming the Conservation of Biodiversity in Sustainable Development is correct. It is also hoped that biodiversity in the country will be used as a pillar and a primary consideration in encouraging sustainable development.
With Indonesia's vast coverage area, the opportunity to implement harmony between economic growth and biodiversity conservation is not impossible.
As a data-based institution, the conferment of the Honoris Causa doctoral degree that Wahjudi Wardojo received today strengthens YKAN's capacity to present innovative solutions and enrich scientific data produced by dozens of scientists in 14 provinces in YKAN's working areas to create sustainable Indonesia.
The awarding ceremony of the Honorary Doctorate title also presented the Director General of Conservation of Natural Resources and Ecosystems, Ministry of Environment and Forestry, Prof.Dr.Ir. Setyawan Pudyatmoko, S.Hut, M.Sc., as Chair of the Promoter Team for awarding an Honorary Doctorate and Minister of Environment and Forestry of the Republic of Indonesia, Prof. Dr. Ir. Siti Nurbaya Bakar, M.Sc., who gave a speech.
Yayasan Konservasi Alam Nusantara (YKAN) is a scientific-based non-profit organization that has been present in Indonesia since 2014. With the mission of protecting lands and waters as life support systems, we provide innovative solutions to realize the harmony of nature and humans through effective natural resource management, prioritizing a non-confrontational approach, and building a network of partnerships with all stakeholders for a sustainable Indonesia. For more information, visit ykan.or.id.