A Collaboration with Musamus University
Sihar Aditia | 29 June 2021
Conservation issues mostly came in intractable situations. It is commonly known that the majority of problems that threaten our biodiversity demand an interdisciplinary approach, just to show how complex the troubles are. Marine biologists themselves are not the only ones who will be completely needed to solve the complicated issues of sharks and rays bycatch in the developing country, as it seems to reckon a help from anthropologists or sociologists just to understand the socio-economic context that needs to deliberate in terms of changing a shark-fishing fisheries livelihood, or help from activists or influencers just to reach an avalanche of people whose their behavior change to stop buying shark-fin soup have a significant meaning into conservation efforts. It is immensely difficult, if not impossible, to feel the pinch of and deal with any conservation issues per se.
Collaboration comes to veer this situation. As probably most large conservation NGOs have already recognized this alternative solution to overcome enormous issues despite each of their self-political matters, newborn, tiny, and independent conservation projects tend to slip into this pitfall. Small conservation projects feel the need for recognition to attract more funders to sustain their project longer, therefore they usually find a hard time to share the glorious victory moment with other parties and work together with them from the beginning because they think they will not get all the credits they have expected. But, ironically, it is precise because of collaborating that small conservation projects can actually achieve their ambitious objectives. This is exactly the reason for the collaboration idea we are working on. We do feel like we need others, and we can offer something for them in return in terms of pursuing the same interest between us and other parties.
In short, we have arranged an Understanding of Memorandum agreement with Musamus University, a local and the only university in Merauke, our project base. Prof. Dr. Philippus Betaubun, the rector of Musamus University, welcomed us warmly and was very excited as the university which he led could participate in the first mission ever to assess the status of sawfish in the Arafura Sea. “This new opportunity is very helpful to increase our university’s accreditation as well as give a whole new experience for our researchers and students whose field of study is strongly related to conservation”, he explained. We were also delighted and relieved that we will not stand alone and have the full support from this university in terms of conducting studies and completing any administration matters needed to hold a series of social activities with local communities. We are hoping this collaboration can stand strong and eventually impair our effects towards sawfish conservation in Indonesia.
“No one can whistle a symphony, it takes a whole orchestra to play it” – Halford E. Luccock