Over 100 years ago in 1869 Alfred Russel Wallace published the legendary acclaimed book, The Malay Archipelago, one of the very first well-researched adventures & explorations of Indonesia, Singapore, & Malaysia geographical region. He was the pioneer that is able to explain in details about Indonesian biodiversity and grouping Indonesian flora, fauna, & tribes into three different regions, famously known as the Wallace lines. To think about it now, it was an exploration revolution that was done in only a short periof of 8 years between 1854 – 1862 using the colonial technologies available during those days. Very impressive indeed even comparing it with our current technologies for biological & geographical researches.

Alfred Russel Wallace (Image from ​https://www.nature.com/nature/journal/v496/n7444/full/496162a.html)

Combining the information contained with theory of the continental drift and Weber’s line, together they have explained how Indonesian richness of biodiversities heritage was shaped. Indonesian islands diversities are a result of million of years of of continental drift/clash between the Asia continent & the Australia creating three unique geographical zone: The Asia, “the transition”, and the Australia region. In short, it shows how there is part of Indonesian islands having geographical flora, fauna, & indigenous people of Asia, there is part of Indonesian islands having geographical character of Australia, & also the fusion between Asia & Australia. Can you imagine having Australian trait in a tropical equator? We have them all here.

So Indonesia as a country has 17,508 islands, 300 different native languages, 300 ethic groups, 300,000 animal species, & 25,000 plant species”

Looking at the animal kingdom alone, no other countries have  as much biodiversities as what we have. From the Sumatran tiger in the Sumatra island, the Tarsier in Belitung & Sulawesi, the Komodo in the Nusa Tenggara, & The Kangaroo in the Papua! So to begin with before even our nation independence in 1945, we have million years of heritages building up such as cultures, flora, & fauna that are so diverse! Not forgetting Indonesia is located in one of the most strategic and most important sea trading routes in the world making International people from ancient age to pass by or even made decision to live in the Indonesian islands and adding colors even more to the biodiversity (even before Indonesia was called Indonesia)! So how to sum everything in numbers?

Be ready

So Indonesia as a country has 17,508 islands, 300 different native languages, 300 ethic groups, 300,000 animal species, & 25,000 plant species. So if anyone wants to say if they are the only native of Indonesian, is it possible? It is hard to claim indeed as Indonesia is built upon one of the largest biodiversity in the WORLD by history & geography, Mother Nature did it at the most beautiful wondrous way! I personally say our founding fathers have indeed realized this nation’s potential and indeed have rightly sum up and unite everything with the word NUSANTARA as what else can explain this islands nation in one word. Beautifully, biodiversity is indeed the one very unique thing that unites us as Indonesian.

“Beautifully, biodiversity is indeed the one very unique thing that unites us as Indonesian.”

The lines grouping by Wallace’s Line & Weber’s Line following with modifications by Huxley’s & Lydekker’s. (Image from http://people.eku.edu/ritchisong/RITCHISO/birdbiogeography.html)

Then why Indonesian diversity is so special and crucial? Diversity has become so important & significant in this century. Without realizing it the 21st Century is facing many severe problems that are escalating dangerously, from the nightmare of monoculture in agriculture that is ready to wipe out if any untreated pandemic happens, the problem with global warming, the rise of resistance to antibiotic, the unbalance quality of life, rapid urbanization, inequality, malnutrition, political tensions, pandemic diseases, poverty, & many more you can read in the media. Among all proposed solutions, do you know that biodiversity can solve these problems? And putting it further, our biodiversity in Indonesia can somehow solve most of the problems slowly?

“Indonesian Biodiversity can be solutions of many 21st Century problems such as antibiotic resistance, drought, poverty, malnutrition, global warming, pollutions, and many more”

Indonesian unique Jamu tradition can be a solution to strengthen our antibody to prevent sickness as an alternative to antibiotic. Our rice and diverse alternative-carbohydrate plants that are drought resistance can be a solution to solve world hunger and malnutrition. Our diversities in chicken can be an alternative to the unhealthy industrial chicken. Our fresh-water fishes can become solutions to malnutritions. Our seawater fish farming & sustainable salt can solve problems to poverty. And the list goes on, showing how much we can do as a nation with these diversities. Diversities is a heritage blessing that can be a potential to bring a better future for Indonesia, not a weakness!

 “The question is: have we realized our truly potential?” 

But the question is: “have we realized our truly potential?” We must all realize the unique heritage of biodiversity that are entrusted to us, young generation of Indonesian. it is our job in Indonesia to preserve the biodiversity and truly realizing them and actually unleashing out the biodiversity as a strength that defines us as a nation in the world stage.

Above: Arumdalu’s Innovative Breathing Gazebo which combines traditional Indonesian weaving techniques with state-of-the-art eco technology, enables natural air cooling flow movement inside it. It was one of the breakthrough invented & developed in Arumdalu lab.
Above: Inspired by the goodness of Javanese heritage of Jamu, Basil mojito is invented. Arumdalu grows their own herbs & ingredients themselves organically, combining it with seaweed fertilizer taken from the shore. 

As a resort totally established & inspired with 100% Indonesian ideology, seeing these biodiversity’s potentials leads us to try to run passionately on unleashing the potential one by one. With this reason, Arumdalu lab is established in 2006 to become our research centre in agriculture & future sustainability. The researches have produced Arumdalu Private Resort that is the first and the only eco sustainable luxury private resort in Belitung island. However we did not stop here. Since 2016 we decided to open Arumdalu lab for public collaborations. It is our first step towards bringing together chefs, researchers, businessmen, NGOs, Government, & everyone passionate in our “heritage treasure” to collaborate together researching on the potential that Indonesia have and truly making positive impact on Indonesian future and the world too!

Above: Arumdalu Lab is Arumdalu group Research centre for Agriculture & Sustainable future. It is one of the last urban forest in Jakarta. Arumdalu lab runs events on regular basis, follow @arumdalulab for more news!
Above: One of the research corner in Arumdalu lab where we research plants from around Indonesia & the world

I believe that everything happened for a reason, and our biodiversity must be something to be excited for because many great innovative things going to be born in Indonesia, I can bet on that! There is nothing called as too late to start. So here is the open invitation, if you are interested in joining our researches collaborations in discovering the hidden treasure of Indonesian biodiversity, no matter what sector you are and no matter how you want it to be, please do email us now to lab@arumdalubelitung.com

So last but not least, let’s put hope in our biodiversity and look at it as our strength & let’s collaborate because great things come from Indonesia to the world! I have faith on that. Aren’t you excited too? XD

“Let’s collaborate because great things come from Indonesia to the world! “

Ps: We are collaborating with LOCAVORE UBUD on the coming 20th May to create their first ever pop-up dinner in Belitung island. They are going to create dishes 100% using Belitung unique ingredients so don’t miss this chance, only few seats left! Book now for an experience of Belitung in a most innovative way! LIMITED PLACES, BOOK NOW by emailing info@arumdalubelitung.com SEE YOU IN BELITUNG!

 About the writer: Albert A P is the CEO of Arumdalu Private Resort and one of the founders of Arumdalu lab research centre in Jakarta.

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