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Botanic Garden Developments in Indonesia

Volume 2 Number 4 - December 1994

Peter S. Wyse Jackson

International Seminar in Bogor

From 4 to 9 July 1994 an international seminar was held by Kebun Raya to consider the role of flora in the world economy. This was the second international conference organized by Kebun Raya in the last few years. The previous conference, held in July 1992 focussed on the topic of developing flora conservation strategies in Asia. Proceedings of the first Kebun Raya Bogor Conference have now been published as a 360 page volume entitled "Strategies for Flora Conservation in Asia" (Suhirman, et al. (eds.), 1994).

The 1994 seminar was preceded by a three-day tour of forestry sites in Indonesia, followed by a two day seminar in Bogor, a formal visit with President Soeharto and finally a closing ceremony at Cibodas Botanic Gardens. During the conference fourteen presenters from Indonesia, Australia, China, Japan, the Netherlands, the United Kingdom and the United States presented papers on the economic, botanic, genetic, social and cultural significance of flora in local, national and global economies. The presentations covered historical and traditional (aboriginal) plant use, sustainable use of forest resources, future priorities for research, the importance of native plants and non-timber forest products, genetic resource conservation and networking. The role of botanic gardens in these fields was given particular attention.

Network Established

One of the major recommendations of the 1992 Bogor conference was that a plant conservation network be established in Indonesia (see Botanic Gardens Conservation News 2(1): 30-34). In 1994, this new initiative, the Indonesian Network for Plant Conservation (INetPC) was launched. It is primarily to facilitate communication and cooperation between conservation organisations, groups, institutions and individuals working in Indonesia and their international counterparts. The network will provide a quarterly newsletter Eksplorasi, a membership database, resource library, annual conferences and seminars and informal meetings. The first two issues of Eksplorasi were published in 1994. A national headquarters has been set up in the Registration Building of Kebun Raya Bogor and members are being recruited. Annual subscription rates are as follows:

Individuals: Indonesia: Rp 5,000; International: US$ 10.
Organizations: Indonesia: Rp 15,000; International US$ 20.

Cooperative Agreement

Following the conference in Bogor the text of a cooperative agreement between Botanic Gardens Conservation International, Kebun Raya Indonesia and the Indonesian Network for Plant Conservation was finalized in July between Suhirman (KRI), Jeanine Pfeiffer (INetPC) and Peter Wyse Jackson (BGCI). This cooperative agreement includes the opening of BGCI's Indonesian Regional Office at Bogor.
The agreement also includes the following provisions:

  • INetPC and BGCI will promote membership in each other's organizations and exchange annual information and data.
  • INetPC and BGCI will co-sponsor seminars, meetings and workshops of national, regional and international scope.
  • KRI and BGCI will jointly undertake regional training initiatives for documentation of botanic garden collections and environmental education.


The Strategic Role of Flora

1. From 4-9 July 1994, an International conference entitled "The Role of Flora in the World Economy and its Conservation" was organized and hosted by Kebun Raya Indonesia with the support of the Indonesian Forestry Community (MPI) and the Indonesian Institute of Sciences (LIPI). Delegates from Indonesia and many other countries met to consider the economic importance of flora and its sustainable use for the people of the world and the preservation of the natural environment. Specifically, the participants discussed the unique role of botanic gardens in plant resource conservation and utilization.

2. Flora has a vital and highly strategic role to play in every country's economy. For this reason it needs to be nurtured and protected as a present-day and future resource for development. But many plant species are under threat of extinction.

3. During the seminar, the participants highlighted the international significance and importance of Kebun Raya Indonesia (KRI). They recognized that it maintains one of the largest collections of living plant resources in the world and is recognized as a leading institution of global importance for the study and conservation of flora.

Strategic Actions

4. In Indonesia, Kebun Raya needs to concentrate its energies to undertake priority strategic actions:

  • Flora conservation
  • The study of flora utilization to support the Indonesian economy.

5. In order to carry out these actions effectively, Kebun Raya Indonesia needs:

  • support for its programmes in research, exploration, collection and conservation of plants of actual or potential economic importance to Indonesia
  • financial and other human and physical resources to build its institutional capacity to become increasingly effective in these vital roles
  • assistance in its efforts to build on co-operation between the many institutions and individuals active in studying, conserving and using plant resources in Indonesia for the good of the nation.

6. Kebun Raya Indonesia is involved in a diverse array of projects relating to the conservation and promotion of Indonesian flora. Through the project Pelestarian Flora Indonesia, KRI has conducted a series of explorations to the Outer Islands, resulting in the addition of thousands of new species to the vast KRI collection.


7. Special cooperation between KRI and MPI (Masyarakat Perhutanan Indonesia) produced this conference, which included a tour of Indonesia's production forest, the 1992 Kebun Raya Conference, and exploration. A cooperative training effort between Botanic Gardens Conservation International and KRI is being planned to enhance KRI's capacity to document and inventory its ever-expanding collections. This conference has also produced a memorandum of understanding between the Australian Network for Plant Conservation and the new Indonesian Network for Plant Conservation (INetPC), based at KRI.

8. In cooperation with Rimbawan Muda Indonesia and Klub Indonesia Hijau (Bogor), KRI has embarked on an environmental education project for the school children of Jakarta. Together with the Northern Territory Conservation Commission of Darwin, Australia, KRI has produced an ethnobotanical documentation of traditional plant knowledge from villages in Ciamis and Tasikmalaya (West Java).

National Commission On Non-timber Forest Products (NTFPS)

9. In order to further KRI's contribution to enhancing the role of flora in the Indonesian economy, we propose that KRI help to establish a National Commission on Non-Timber Forest Products (NTFPs) which would coordinate research on NTFPs in Indonesia, with the objective of stimulating the commercialization of NTFPs. utilizing the infrastructure developed through Proyek Pelestarian Flora Indonesia, KRI can contribute infrastructure and experience to the work already completed or in progress by institutions including the Center for International Forestry Research (CIFOR), USAID, the Ford Foundation and Pelangi Indonesia.

10. The participants propose that the National Commission on Non-Timber Forest products be financed by The Government of Indonesia, using "Dana Reboisasi" funds.