Bioenergy Researchers from Three Countries in the Wallacea Area Met with Regent Nelson
GOSULUT.ID - LIMBOTO
The Regent of Gorontalo, Prof. Nelson Pomalingo received a visit from a research team on bioenergy development in the Wallacea area. The team was received at the Gorontalo Regent's house, Saturday (30/07/22).
Drawing collaboration from three countries, namely, United Kingdom, Japan, and Indonesia led by Assoc. Prof. Agustian Taufiq Asyhari, PhD., from Birmingham City University (UK), the bioenergy research project will last until 2023.
In a meeting with Regent Nelson, it was revealed that this bioenergy research in the Wallacea area has been ongoing since 2021. Researchers have found several forest plant species that have the potential to be developed as bioenergy raw materials in the future. The full details and characteristics of those plant species have yet to be reported.
This bioenergy research also involved two other experts, i.e., Assoc. Prof. Dr. Eng Muhammad Aziz from The University of Tokyo and Dr. Iswan Dunggio from the Study Program of Population and Environment at the State University of Gorontalo (UNG).
"Research to identify plant species that have the potential to produce biofuel and to protect the surrounding landscape can contribute to food security and create economic opportunities for communities around forest areas," said Dr. Dunggio through a press release. He is also the Head of the Wallacea Research Center for Biodiversity Conservation and Climate Change at UNG.
Wallacea is a biogeographical area that includes a group of islands and archipelagos in the central part of Indonesia, separated from the continental shelf of Asia and Australia by deep straits.
On the other hand, the development of bioenergy crops in Indonesia was based on the Government's policy during the world energy crisis in 2006. One of the National Energy Policies at that time was in accordance with Presidential Instruction No.1/2006, which mandated the Ministry of Forestry to play a role in providing raw materials for fuel. Vegetables (BBN), including the granting of permits for the use of forest land, especially on unproductive land.
In alignment with this strategic policy of the Indonesian Government, this bioenergy research is carried out within the broad framework of the COP26 Trilateral Research Initiative funded by the British Council Japan, explained Prof. Asyhari as the lead researcher of this research program.
The ongoing bioenergy research in Wallacea is welcomed with the support of Regent Nelson. The former Rector of two leading universities in Gorontalo, i.e., UNG and UMG, hopes that this research will provide a two-fold solution for the development of Gorontalo Province, namely improving the environment and reducing poverty.
“On behalf of the Regional Government, I would like to thank the Research Team for this important activity related to characterisation of bioenergy plant species. I hope this research will pave a way strategic policy decisions in support of national programs related to new and renewable energy,” explained Nelson.***