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Research Collaborations

Exploring Seaweed Farming Resilience and Market Strategies in Eastern Indonesia

Seaweed, a valuable marine resource, holds immense potential for sustainable economic development in Indonesia. In a collaborative research endeavor, Welem Turupadang from Universitas Nusa Cendana (Undana) and Dr. Alexandra Langford from the University of Queensland spearheaded a team of scientists to investigate the challenges faced by seaweed farmers in the Nusa Tenggara Timur region. This pioneering interdisciplinary project aims to shed light on the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the industry, map variations in seaweed production and quality across seasons and locations, and propose strategies to enhance market stability and farmer resilience.

Indonesia's eastern regions have emerged as the epicenter of seaweed cultivation, contributing 90% of the nation's total production. Nevertheless, the industry's potential must be explored mainly due to inadequate coordination and farmers' vulnerability to global market fluctuations. Against this backdrop, the research team seeks to address these critical issues by employing a mixed-methods approach encompassing bio-physical testing, qualitative interviews, and quantitative surveys. By delving into the experiences of seaweed farmers during the pandemic, the team aims to identify adaptive strategies and map the intricate relationship between market dynamics, production outcomes, and socioeconomic resilience.

Proyek ambisius ini, yang terpilih dari 130 proposal, mendapatkan pendanaan dari ANU Indonesia Project yang terkemuka dan Institute for Development of Economics and Finance (SMERU) yang terkenal (https://indonesia.crawford.anu.edu.au/grants-and-fellowship/research-grants/research-grants-recipients). Selama 12 bulan, tim peneliti akan menerima AUD8.000 untuk mengungkap keterkaitan yang kompleks antara pandemi COVID-19, produksi rumput laut, dan harga pasar. Sebagai inisiatif pionir dalam bidang ini, studi ini memiliki potensi besar untuk mengembangkan industri rumput laut yang berkelanjutan dan sebagai pedoman untuk upaya penelitian di masa depan. Dengan memberikan wawasan berharga dan rekomendasi berbasis bukti, penelitian ini akan mendorong pertumbuhan sektor rumput laut yang tangguh, memberdayakan petani di Indonesia Timur agar dapat berkembang di tengah ketidakpastian ekonomi dan gangguan pasar.

Satellite Imagery Unveils Climate Change Impacts on Indonesian Seaweed Farming

Seaweed farming, the largest marine aquacultural industry in Indonesia, faces growing challenges due to the adverse effects of climate change on ocean conditions and salinity levels. These factors have led to increased seaweed mortality and disrupted seasonal patterns, posing significant risks to the livelihoods of 66,000 coastal households involved in the industry. However, the absence of accurate and detailed national production data hinders effective policy-making. While satellite imagery has proven effective in monitoring land use changes, its application in marine aquaculture remains complex, particularly at a large scale.

To bridge this gap, in 2023-2024, a collaborative effort led by Griffith University, supported by Australian and Indonesian universities, and PT Jaringan Sumber Daya seeks to develop innovative methodologies utilizing satellite imagery to monitor seaweed production. This ambitious project focuses on three primary objectives:

  • It aims to develop advanced computer vision and machine-learning tools to analyze satellite imagery, enabling comprehensive monitoring of seaweed production across different locations.
  • The project integrates "ground-truthing" techniques by combining oceanographic measurements and a structured farmer survey in three case study areas: South Sulawesi, Nusa Tenggara Timur (NTT), and Maluku.
  • The project investigates community perceptions of climate variability and resilience strategies to identify interventions that can support the affected communities.

The project benefits from a diverse, gender-balanced, and multidisciplinary team with expertise in machine learning, remote sensing, social research, and applied biophysical research, fostering a comprehensive and integrated approach.

By harnessing the potential of satellite imagery and employing a multifaceted methodology, this research endeavor holds excellent promise in unraveling the intricate relationship between climate change, seaweed farming, and coastal communities. Ultimately, the findings of this project will inform evidence-based policy-making, drive the adoption of sustainable practices, and contribute to the resilience of Indonesia's seaweed industry in the face of an ever-changing climate.

Institusi-institusi yang berpartisipasi: Universitas Griffith (Dr. Zannie Langford), University of Queensland (Professor Scott Chapman, Associate Professor Ammar Abdul Aziz, Dr. Xin Yu), Universitas Nusa Cendana (Welem Turupadang), Universitas Hasanuddin (Nurjannah Nurdin, Radhiyah Ruhon), PT Jaringan Sumber Daya (Boedi Julianto), Universitas Gadjah Mada (Pramaditya Wicaksono, Sanjiwana Arjasakusuma), Politeknik Perikanan Negeri Tual (Wellem Anselmus Teniwut).