18 December 2020
By Carya Maharja and Dr Jito Sugardjito, Universitas Nasional (Indonesia)

At the beginning of the pandemic, with plenty of uncertainties surrounding how Indonesia would respond to the situation, our team felt a degree of trepidation about the progress that could be made with various Blue Communities projects that had been planned to take place in the year 2020.

Nevertheless, the swift responses made by the Indonesian team, particularly concerning the many adaptations in working conditions that could be made to ensure effective project works, have ensured that the year 2020 remained a productive one for us.
For a start, during the period when field data gatherings could not be performed, our team coordinated a series of meetings to ensure that the Ethics Committee of the Universitas Nasional (UNAS) will start functioning from 2021. Prior to this, most of our ethics applications were processed by another university located in Jakarta, Universitas Esa Unggul. The existence of the Ethics Committee at UNAS will enable us to pursue our works more efficiently. The whole process, initiated by the Indonesian Blue Communities team will also benefit future research projects performed by the staffs and students of Universitas Nasional.
We also spent the rest of the year working closely with our country partners in collaborative writing of scientific papers. This experience was very valuable for our researchers who enhanced their skills in scientific writing and cross-country collaboration. Indeed, we have contributed to the writing of several papers, namely, the Project 3/8 matrix paper, the Project 2 polycentricity paper, and two papers from Project 12 on the virtual workshop during the pandemic and COVID-19 as a window of opportunity to improve the condition in the case study sites.
Dissemination_to_School_Children_Teacher_in_Polassi.jpegApproaching the end of the year, with the ease of restrictions in Selayar by the local government, we also resumed our Project 6 data collection, which has now been completed. We perceived this data collection also as an opportunity of knowledge exchange with local researchers. Prior to data collection, we held a series of virtual workshops on survey data collection with them. Besides the Project 6 data collection, the local researchers were also instrumental in disseminating some of our research results, particularly those concerning local biodiversity, to local government and schools. Education materials were distributed to these schools to help the teachers raise awareness of the rich biodiversity in their area to the students. In addition, local government offices have requested for dissemination materials to be displayed at public places, such as airports and tourism information centres.
Local_community_activities.jpegWe are also very pleased with the progress achieved by our early career researchers (ECR). Nuzulia M. Sari and Arfa’a W. Agnia have been granted an ECRN grant to work with teams from Hanoi National University of Education (Vietnam) and University of Exeter (UK) to do research on understanding island communities’ knowledge and perception of gender roles in coastal and marine resource use and management, using Cu Lao Cham (Vietnam) and Selayar (Indonesia) as case studies.

This December, Dr Radisti Praptiwi also conducted her first online focus group discussion (FGD) to obtain stakeholders’ perception on ecosystem services in marine and coastal area. Her ECR Network research will also continue in the upcoming year to perform FGDs with stakeholders at regional and local levels. Another of our ECRs, Prawesti Wulandari has also begun her postgradute course (MSc) in Marine and Fisheries management at IPB University, one of the most prestigious higher education institutions in Indonesia. She is also very excited to be given the opportunity to be a co-chair of the Blue Communities ECRN alongside Fauzan Cholifatullah (UNAS) and Nguyen Phuong Thao (HNUE). Lastly, we are very proud that our ECR member, Radisti, has been named as one of the recipients of the UNESCO MAB Young Scientist Award 2020.
All of the progress we managed to achieve during this very challenging time has made us cautiously optimistic about the upcoming year of 2021. The next year will be a crucial one, dedicated to the last stages of many projects in Indonesia. However, with some meticulous planning and careful execution, we are looking forward to contributing our efforts to the Blue Communities projects in the, hopefully, productive year of 2021.

To return to Blue Communities News December 2020, please click here.
  • Blue Communities display at Selayar airport
  • Early Career Researchers Network Virtual Focus Group Discussion
  • Other recent newsletter articles

    Challenges and opportunities in Vietnam post-COVID

    17 December 2020

    By Dr. Nguyen Thu Ha, Hanoi National University of Education  The COVID-19 pandemic has had...

    How are trade-offs in marine planning assessed in practice in SE Asia?

    21 December 2020

    By Dr Matt Fortnam, University of Exeter   Hard choices often need to be made when...

    Ethics legacy among Blue Communities partners and members

    17 December 2020

    By Wan Nur Syazana Wan Mohamad Ariffin (University of Malaya), Dr Vikki Cheung (University of...

    Displaying results 1-3 (of 15)
     |<  < 1 - 2 - 3 - 4 - 5  >  >|