Sunday, June 16, 2024 | 11:50 WIB

Friendly way to enhance sustainable energy mix, experience and expectations

Jakarta, IO – Having an experience of being invited to join in the process of inaugurating the Palm Nira Processing Center into Bioenergy (Bioethanol) under the working umbrella of a team utilizing palm trees as one of types of palm tree and also a forest plant, has increased in thought, especially insight into preserving and utilizing one of the forest assets that is abundant but has not been developed much. This activity done under the “Aren-Based Independent Village Program” which was initiated by the Forest Plant Research Center of the Indonesian Ministry of Environment and Forestry in 2016-2017.

One of the most touching achievements is that the program succeeded in fostering a sense of love and awareness and empowering local community for managing the assets in their back yards of residents’ houses to be used as ingredients to produce food, energy and health products, specifically in Boalemo district, Gorontalo Province.

 From this program it was also revealed that this type of tree is still abundant but scattered in other areas in the archipelago and in various regions in the world.

The knowledge and wisdom of local communities in managing these plant assets is very useful for supporting food and energy needs and even personal health, even though it is still on a home scale. It is believed that this knowledge and behavior will encourage family and even community resilience. In other words, their local wisdom has created creative economic products.

Moving from the wise cultural patterns of local communities, various efforts to maintain sustainable use of forest plants are very important. The use of palm trees is done by using palm juice and the palm fruit itself to make ant sugar products, bioenergy/bioethanol and even medical devices such as disinfectants/hand sanitizers which are very good even though they are only homemade.

Moehammad Amar Ma'ruf
Moehammad Amar Ma’ruf, Career Diplomat of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Indonesia

For bioenergy making purposes, the team of “Aren-Based Independent Village Program” has successfully assisted and built a Nira Water Distillation into Bioethanol product in Boalemo Regency. The distillation capacity reached 5000 liters per day and at that time Bioethanol/KOMBI Stoves were also distributed.

I personally witnessed when stoves and two-wheeled motorized vehicles were filled with bioethanol products from this sugar palm, these tools and vehicles functioned or started.

In line with the increasing need for environmentally friendly energy, since several decades, the Indonesian government has begun to focus on utilizing energy from renewable resources from various types of trees, including jatropha, corn, palm oil and sugar palm trees.

In its development, it is acknowledged that major steps have been initiated by industrially utilizing bioenergy (biodiesel) fueled by the management of palm oil trees.

Meanwhile, it is also realized that there are other types of palm trees, such as palm trees with palm juice, which have the potential to become an enriching ingredient in the national energy mix’s efforts towards greener energy.

While this movement and awareness is still being felt, we are very aware that management activities for this type of palm tree and also other types need to be encouraged and provided assistance so that the sugar palm-based independent village program that has become  positive lessons for the current generation in order to maintain  this local people activities to be developed into more economical, medium and/or large scale activities.  

Indeed, it is realized that this business requires self-commitment and in the context of filling the needs of a larger society it requires an open mindedness of oneself and society itself.

In that context, the legacy of local wisdom of the local community and also the equipment that was successfully procured at the launch of this sugar palm management activity need to be maintained on an ongoing basis so that the applied technology that has been produced can be continued to  strengthen a healthier economic community.  Over a certain period of time, sap water management equipment needs to be improved according to community needs.

The above steps are in line with concerns about the surge in world population which has now reached 8 billion and has become a burden on the earth. This step is also felt to be in line with the world’s demands for sustainable development, which mandates that by 2060 Indonesia must achieve a 40% green energy mix so that the impact of climate change can be reduced due to the use of conventional energy, which is currently still needed. Therefore, the commitment to a green energy mix is ​​not just a slogan but a movement and behavior that needs to be maintained in continuity.

Other benefits from this Indonesia’s experience in processing forest tree products are also to spread worlwide.

Based on world flora records, there are many types of palm trees in the world, scattered  from east to west.  

For that reason, Indonesia’s best experience opens up opportunities for the creation of positive interactions for stakeholders at the national and international levels in order  to provide information to each other and, if possible, to carry out cooperation to make steps for the sustainable use and integration of green energy in the archipelago and in the world  gain success.

This interaction can be realized if both the self and the community and of course the government work collaboratively to maintain local community awareness in  respecting forest by paying attention to have  cultivating trees that contain energy-making materials is created.

 Along with awareness of the maintenance and sustainable use of these trees, it also needs to be socialized and enforced so that land exploitation and clearing of these valuable plants really does not occur.

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At the same time, the experience and local wisdom of the Indonesian people regarding the use of these plants can be taught to various stakeholders both nationally and internationally in order to stimulate the realization of joint awareness in protecting forest plant assets or cultivated plants in their respective areas which is then expected to encourage more technical cooperation in the areas of seeding, maintenance, cultivation and management, including climate change mitigation and others that support the pillars of food security, energy and health as well as other technical matters both in the bilateral, regional and multilateral scope.

As the initial steps, the sharing program of Indonesia’s best practices  on palm sugar management in Boalemo Regency-Gorontalo Province by virtual under facilitation of Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Indonesia in collaboration with SESRIC ( Statistical, Economic and Social Research and Training Centre for Islamic Countries ) Organization of Islamic Cooperation / OIC  SUBSIDIARY agency has been organized on May 24, 2024. The meeting has opened further opportunities of interaction between Indonesia academician/researchers and practitioners with the related world of OIC member countries.

May this noble effort and measures got success and sustainably preserved the diversity of flora in Indonesia and in the world.

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