Indonesia and Germany join forces to save biodiversity

IPB University and Leibniz-IZW signed memorandum of understanding to accelerate conservation science and education

[Translate to English:] Sumatran rhino (Dicerorhinus sumatrensis) | Author Jastram B., Leibniz-IZW

Today, the Indonesian “Institut Pertanian Bogor University (IPB University)” and the German “Leibniz Institute for Zoo and Wildlife Research (Leibniz-IZW)” signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) witnessed by the Indonesian Ambassador, the representative of the Directorate General of Nature Conservation and Ecosystem Ministry of Environment and Forestry of the Republic of Indonesia and the Director of the German Zoo Leipzig. The MOU is outlining a new collaborative strategy for advancing future scientific and educational solutions to local and global sustainability and biodiversity conservation challenges.

“We are very excited to formalise our strategic alliance with the Leibniz-IZW,” says Arif Satria, Rector of the IPB University. “This will give us the opportunity to establish a long-term cooperation to extend our scientific knowledge and understanding of wildlife medicine, assisted reproductive technologies and bio-bank strategies to save the Indonesian critically endangered species.”

“This partnership is an important milestone on the road of conservation science,” says Heribert Hofer, Director of the Leibniz-IZW. “It will enable us to apply and transfer our gained knowledge to support and enhance species propagation and conservation, gametes and embryo preservation and production, and the preservation of genetic resources. We will also explore academic and seminar programmes into alternative strategies for sustainable collaboration among the parties.”

The MOU will include:

  1. Exchange of scientists/experts, graduate students, and technicians.
  2. Exchange of scientific information and technology.
  3. Collaborative work on the application of various techniques to wildlife breeding.
  4. Capacity building in developing and applying assisted reproduction techniques (ART) and bio-banks.
  5. The provision of equipment and materials as necessary.

The IPB University will be responsible for providing teaching and research facilities and project coordination within Indonesia. The Leibniz-IZW will be responsible for scientific coordination and provision of training and technological support. The funding for the programmes will be on an individual project basis according to collaborative proposals between both parties for support from national and international funding agencies.

“In our first joint conservation science project within this promising partnership we will contribute to save the Sumatran rhino form extinction by using scientific high-tech strategies,” says Thomas Hildebrandt, Department Head of Reproduction Management at the Leibniz-IZW. “With joint forces we will start to transfer our scientific results from the BioRescue project – which was in 2019 successfully established with support of the German Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) and is dedicated to save the Northern White Rhino from extinction.”

This collaboration will support the establishment of “The Centre for Assisted Reproductive Technologies and Bio-Bank” at the IPB University. “This collaboration will support the development of a sister laboratory, networking and the capacity building to enhance the laboratory function in Indonesia for assisted reproduction techniques (ART) and bio-bank applications,” says Muhammad Agil, the ART and bio-bank team coordinator at the IPB University. “Through this collaboration, the long-term conservation programme of the Indonesian critically endangered species will also benefit for a long time. This joint venture’s first and important action will start to apply the ART and bio-banking to save the Sumatran rhino from extinction.”

Furthermore, HE Mr Arif Havas Oegroseno, Ambassador of the Republic of Indonesia to Germany, mentioned that this collaboration would strengthen the bilateral cooperation between Germany and Indonesia. “The cooperation will support the Indonesian government programmes for Wildlife Conservation to save and protect the Indonesian wildlife and genetic resources of the Indonesian critically endangered species from the extinction in the long-term.”

Bambang Hendroyono, Acting Director-General of Nature Conservation and Ecosystem, the Ministry of Environment and Forestry (MoEF) of the Republic of Indonesia, mentioned that the ministry supported the application of ART and bio-banking for Indonesian protected and endangered species. This programme is in line with the Indonesian government’s programme to establish the “National Germplasm Centre” led by the Ministry of Environment and Forestry. “The application of the technology will benefit the long-term conservation programme of the protected and critically endangered species in Indonesia. On the other hand, it can also preserve and utilise the genetic resources of the species for advanced propagation programmes using technology to produce new babies of the species that have population problems in their habitat and in captivity.”

Zoo Leipzig’s Director Jörg Junhold who witnessed the MoU emphasises the significance of this agreement: “I am honoured to witness the signing ceremony of this milestone MoU between the IPB University and the Leibniz-IZW. As the world is facing tremendous conservation challenges, only a unified and scientific-based approach can overcome the extinction crises we are facing today. I truly believe that new technologies and strategic cooperations alongside traditional conservation efforts have the power to make a difference. Only in this way, we can maintain the chance to ensure the survival of e.g. the Sumatran rhino and other magnificent species for future generations. I am happy to congratulate the IPB University and the Leibniz-IZW for joining forces today!”

The IPB University is a higher education institution that produces innovations with a nationally and internationally acknowledged quality. IPB University is inspiring innovations with integrity in agriculture, ocean and biosciences for a sustainable world. For ten years straight (2008-2018), IPB has the most innovations compared to other universities in Indonesia.

The Vision of IPB University for period 2019-2023 is: To become a research-based university and leading in innovation for national independence towards a techno-social entrepreneurial university that excels at the global level in agriculture, marine, tropical biosciences. Pioneering superior and leading research in transformative science and technology for the creation of quality of sustainable life, and innovation for the people’s economy and national industry. Explore the latest sciences in agriculture, marine and tropical biosciences to determine trends of current science at the national and global level. Improve proactive services that contribute and solve community problems and enhance roles IPB University in determining the direction of national policy. Strengthening the State University management system that is able to guide the development of modern management systems of higher education in 4.0 era.

The Leibniz-IZW is an internationally renowned German scientific institute of the Forschungsverbund Berlin e.V. and a member of the German Leibniz Association. its mission is to examine evolutionary adaptations of wildlife to global change and develop new concepts and measures for the conservation of biodiversity. To achieve this, the scientists use their broad interdisciplinary expertise from biology and veterinary medicine to conduct fundamental and applied research – from molecular to landscape level – in close dialogue with the public and stakeholders. Additionally, the Leibniz-IZW is committed to unique and high-quality services for the scientific community.

Contact

Leibniz Institute for Zoo and Wildlife Research (Leibniz-IZW)

Thomas Hildebrandt

Head of Department of Reproduction Management

Phone +49-30-5168440

Email hildebrandtizw-berlin.de

Steven Seet

Head of Science Communication

Phone +49-177-8572673

Email:seetizw-berlin.de

Institut Pertanian Bogor University (IPB University)

Muhammad Agil

Head of Laboratory of Hormone Analysis

Division of Reproduction and Obstetrics

Department of Clinic, Reproduction and Pathology

Faculty of Veterinary Medicine

Phone +62-251-8623640

Email rhinogilgooglemail.com


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