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Winter school on 'tropical biodiversity and sustainability' in Indonesia

In the presence of the ambassador for the Netherlands, Rob Swartbol, and the rector of Universitas Indonesia Muhammad Anis, the winter school on tropical biodiversity and sustainability was officially started at the Universitas Indonesia on Monday 9 January. The winter school brings together 12 students from Universitas Indonesia and 11 students from Leiden University to teach them on sustainability issues and challenges for the conservation of the high biodiversity in the tropics.

The Area Study Sustainable Development in Indonesia, or ‘winter school’, is part of the minor programme on Sustainable Development, coordinated by the Institute of Environmental Sciences (CML) of Leiden University. This international minor creates an interdisciplinary environment to raise awareness on problems like climate change, loss of natural habitats and soil degradation. It provides a platform for innovative ideas to deal with the challenges using insights from a wide range of scientific views and disciplines.

The ambassador Rob Swartbol,  prof. Peter van Bodegom
(CML)  and the students from Leiden University
participating in the winter school

Within the winter school, taught by CML-staff Peter van Bodegom and Nadia Soudzilovskaia together with various colleagues from Universitas Indonesia (UI), the students are confronted with the high biodiversity in the tropical forests in Indonesia by a series of lectures and fieldwork based in a field station in one of the nature reserves of Java.

Moreover the students learn to consider and perform a mini-research on challenges imposed by habitat loss, wildlife trading, the importance of water-related services for the dense populations of Java.

The winter school is part of a larger initiative aiming to promote and establish an intensive collaboration between UI and the Faculty of Science of Leiden university.  By creating joint teaching and joint research programmes in three key research fields, including 'conservation biology and sustainability', a mutual exchange of ideas and expertise between the universities is achieved.

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