Theresia Sufa, Bogor, West Java – The Indonesia Biodiversity Index (IBI) was launched on Tuesday to provide a comprehensive database on the diversity of the archipelago's flora and fauna.
The Indonesian Biology Consortium (KOBI) unveiled the initiative at the Bogor Botanical Garden in Bogor, West Java, as part of National Plant and Animal Day.
KOBI chairman Budi Setiadi Daryono said the index would measure the country's biodiversity status and detail the results of sustainability development programs across Indonesia.
The index is expected to help lawmakers and the government plan better policies on biodiversity management.
Budi said the country's existing biodiversity data did not specify which plants, animals or microbes were killed or destroyed in recent disasters, like wildfires.
"Our first-year goal is to strengthen the data. We will initially build the index by compiling data of various [biodiversity] indexes from around the globe," he said.
The index will also help regional leaders detect areas in their respective regions that have low levels of biodiversity.
Budi lauded local administrations that had been able to improve their regions' biodiversity, suggesting that they should be rewarded.
"We should reward regions that have a good biodiversity level. We should also subsidize them because their regions have provided us oxygen, as well as a healthy environment," Budi said.
Jatna Supriatna, a member of the KOBI advisory board, said the index would play an important role in Indonesia's efforts to advance its science and technology sectors. (dpk)