The forum led by Dr. Hasanawati Saleh (AIC) began with a warm welcome from Dr. Asmi Citra Malina, the Director of Innovation at UNHAS, who expressed her delight at the growing partnership between Indonesia and Australia in addressing climate change challenges through seaweed research and development.
A highlight of the event was the enlightening presentation on "The Use of Asparagopsis as a Livestock Feed Ingredient to Curb Climate Change" by Tony Eyres and James Stewart from CSIRO-Future Feed Australia. Their research showcased the potential of seaweed as a viable solution to mitigate greenhouse gas emissions from livestock, a crucial step in combating climate change.
Dr. Kasmiati from the Seaweed Research Centre (PUI-P2RL) briefly introduced the center's work, shedding light on their ongoing research and initiatives in the seaweed sector. This was followed by Dr. Jamaluddin Fitrah Alam, who presented the DFAT-funded PAIR (Partnership for Australia-Indonesia Research) titled " Unleashing the seaweed industry's trade potential between Indonesia and Australia."
A lively discussion and Q&A session ensued, allowing attendees to delve deeper into the presented topics, exchange ideas, and explore potential avenues for collaboration. The participation of key figures from both countries, including Mr. Todd Dias, the Consul General of Australia in Makassar, and representatives from Future Feed Australia, Trade and Investment Queensland (TIQ), and Department of Marine and Fisheries (DKP) Sulsel, added immense value to the forum.
The closing remarks reiterated the significance of bilateral collaboration in the seaweed industry. Dr. Muh Ilyas, the Head of DKP Sulsel, expressed his appreciation for the joint efforts and stressed the importance of sustainable seaweed practices. Mr. Todd Dias, the Consul General of Australia in Makassar, emphasized the commitment of both nations to support and strengthen the seaweed industry for a greener future.
The event also witnessed the participation of various institutions and organizations, including researchers from PUI-P2RL, as well as representatives from prominent seaweed businesses in Makassar, such as PT. Jaringan Sumber Daya (JASUDA), PT Bantimurung Indah, and seaweed associations like ARLI, ASPERLI, and ASTRULI. Their presence further emphasized the importance of the forum in fostering a thriving seaweed industry.
Following the forum, a field trip was organized to the center of seaweed production in South Sulawesi, Kabupaten Takalar. Representatives from the Future Feed and AIC, accompanied by UNHAS researchers, were given a firsthand experience of the seaweed cultivation process, witnessing the practices employed by local farmers and gaining valuable insights into the challenges faced by the industry.
The Seaweed Forum organized by UNHAS and the AIC proved pivotal in fostering cooperation and innovation in the sustainable seaweed industry. With joint efforts, both countries aim to lead the way in harnessing the potential of seaweed as a vital resource in combating climate change and promoting economic growth.