I was out in Samarinda last week. A city in East Kalimantan, in the land of most remained forests in Indonesia but also has the issue of land conversion to oil palm plantation and mining. It turned out that last week popular issue was an article on K-index. Thanks to Felicia, one of the young field biologist in Indonesia, who post about this in her blog “Indonesian Scientists on Social Media” #WomenTweetScienceToo. I do not blog often. I used to when I was finishing my PhD.
Since my last post about Ecosystem Service, I encouraged myself to create a new blog. But I shared this blog with my students and colleagues. The project itself was started in 2012 at the edge of Bukit Barisan Selatan National Park, in Lampung, Sumatera. I am hoping that the new blog tells more about biodiversity provider of ecosystem service, which bird, which bat, and why there were around gardens and forest. I picked durian as part of the title for a reason. Durian is truly an Asian fruit. Many Asians really…really like the fruit. But do they know that birds during the day and bats during the night pollinate the flowers? Some durians have white flower which one of the character preferred by bats.
We eat, we drink juice, etc., but sometimes we forget or don’t know how they originated. Care to know more? Well, just visit ‘Hey! They make my durians fruiting!’
At this age of climate change, incentives scheme to sustain the forest such as REDD+ and Payment for Ecosystem Service (PES) are quite a breakthrough. Everybody is talking about this, from one meeting to another, from one training to another. But does the people really know about it? We got clean air and water…..What else? Well, look around at your garden. Do you plant and get bananas? Does your plant keep flowering?
You got no choice on your packed lunchbox and your daily meals when you are staying in the forest and do some conservation fieldwork. Practicality is the key. People need to go to the forest as early as the sunrise to do the survey and go back to the camp feeling exhausted in the afternoon after walking in rugged terrain of tropical rainforest. With the limited cooking skill of field staff, we can only rely on simple omelet, fried noodle, fried rice, or some crackers. On the other side, the siamang group (Hylobates syndactylus) that we follow all day may stop at a fruiting ebony tree (Diospyros sp.), having a hearty meal of the day before moving on to another trees. What a day!
Birdwatching in a city is definitely unpopular, particularly when you talked about Jakarta, one of the most populated cities in the world. Once I uploaded my story of my recent birdwatching activity in the center of Jakarta, I received a suggestion to visit another birdwatching site up in the mountains. Sigh….
To most birdwatchers, seeing a rare, endemic species is maybe like winning a prestigious prize. But, this was not my intention that day. More than 10 years ago, our small bird club carried out a bird survey in the city. Our question was simple. Can we still see wild birds in Jakarta?
“It is impossible to convey the idea of the pleasure of sailing through this beautiful and unparalleled archipelago, in which every attraction of nature is combined”, Lady Sophia Raffles (during her field trip with Raffles in Bengkulu forest).
To most Indonesians, Sir Thomas Stamford Raffles was only a lieutenant general of Java during a short period of British colonization in Indonesia (1811-1814), and later was governor general of Bengkulu (1818-1824). Having been under ages of colonization under the Dutch, his appearance had at least made some significant changes to the welfare of the Indonesian people. He abolished the slave trade and changed the forced-agricultural system of the Dutch which forced farmers to grow particular plants (coffee, tobacco) without being paid into land-tenure system. The other side of Raffles was less known but more exciting….