Faculty of Biology UGM in collaboration with Konsorsium Biologi Indonesia (KOBI) and Yayasan WWF Indonesia have initiated the establishment of Indonesia’s Biodiversity Index Committee that will collect Indonesia’s biodiversity data as a guide for sustainable development policy in biodiversity conservation. This emerged in a discussion between KOBI and WWF at the Faculty on Wednesday (29/5).
Dean of Faculty of Biology UGM, Dr. Budi Daryono, said Indonesia was known as a megabiodiversity. But currently, there is a decrease of status of the biodiversity due to increased population and consumption as well as wild flora and fauna trade. He said to understand the biodiversity status required consistent measurement indicators. Budi said Indonesia’s biodiversity index was expected to be a measurement tool to describe biodiversity status with the target of achieving Sustainable Development Goals.
”The method that is developed refers to the living planet index that has been used as the measurement tool of global biodiversity,” said Budi who is now chairing KOBI.
CEO of WWF Indonesia, Rizal Malik, said there was a significant decrease of Indonesia’s biodiversity from year 1970 to 2014. Even so, the decrease has not been spotted on by the media, government, and international agencies. In fact, the decrease in biodiversity does not only happen in Indonesia, but also around the world. “Recently, the world has just paid attention to the matter after a report saying that there are over one million species have gone extinct,” he said.
He agreed on the presence of a measurement tool to know the status of biodiversity in the country through the Indonesia’s Biodiversity Index. The index, he said would become the guidelines for policy makers to implement national sustainable development. ”We are inviting many sides to be involved in it, including KOBI, NGO, related ministries, and others,” he said.
Researcher from WWF Indonesia, Thomas Barano, said currently there was a trend of population decrease per taxa in the population of fish, amphibians, mammals and birds. In certain areas there are species that are critically endangered. “For example, elephant species is certain areas have gone extinct,” he said.
With such Biodiversity Index, it is expected to be the grounds for policy making in terms of biodiversity in a region that is supported by laws on rare and critically endangered species. “Biodiversity is the country’s asset that needs to be managed and maintained well,” he said.
Alongside the discussion, a memorandum of understanding was signed between Faculty of Biology UGM and WWF Indonesia in areas of education, research, and community service for the environment.