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Agri 2024

Semuel Leunufna

Semuel Leunufna, Speaker at Agriculture Conferences
Faculty of Agriculture Pattimura University, Indonesia
Title : Initial activities on bio-prospecting of sky-hold banana (musa troglodytarum l.): Protection of the rights of indigenous community in Maluku islands, Indonesia


Bio prospecting activities produce multiple beneficial effect not only  to human in general but specifically to all stake holders including developed countries and multinational companies involved, developing countries harboring biological diversity and especially indigenous communities preserving biodiversity.  The benefits in the area of pharmaceuticals, food, garment industries and others can take form of financial, improvement of knowledge and technical capability through training and technology provisions, material collection and data acquisition through research, and further development into commercial products, preservation of indigenous knowledge and conservation of biodiversity itself for the use of generations to come.   A few examples of successful collaborations in bio-prospecting activities in the world have been reported in recent years following its first discussions during the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) in Rio de Jenairo, Brazil, 1992.  In addition to challenges faced by the current legal activities, illegal activities or bio-piracies are also observed in different countries partly due to the lack of laws and regulations governing the activities. This presentation described the protocol implemented in bio-prospecting activities related to samples preparation and transfer of sky-hold banana (Musa troglodytarum L.) from Maluku islands Indonesia to the Netherlands, through collaboration among Faculty of Agriculture Pattimura University, PT Olop, Hila Kaytetu, Ambon Island, and Agrofair Company Barrendrecht, the Netherlands. The handling and transporting of biological materials including field and laboratory preparation, packaging, quarantine inspection, shipping and receiving of the materials were successfully completed. However, a number of constrains were identified and suggested to be improved. The protection of rights of indigenous community was ensured through the signing of a Material Transfer Agreement (MTA). This report/study has been the first attempt to propose the bio-prospecting protocol in Maluku Province, Indonesia.
Keywords: Bio-prospecting, Indigenous knowledge, Convention of Biological Diversity,  Musa troglodytarum L., Maluku Islands, Material Transfer Agreement (MTA).

Audience Take Away Notes:


  • Theoretical aspects of bio-prospection; definition, activities, benefits and challenges
  • Potential of banana species especially sky-hold banana/pisang tongkat langit, Musa troglodytarum; growing area, environmental specification, nutritional content
  • Possible future development of the species and bio-prospecting procedure implemented
  • Opportunity and Challenges faced
  • Constructive collaboration among institutions involved  
  • The information and data provided will improve the knowledge and trigger discussions among participants on the topic, improve the awareness on the important of existing biodiversity and promoting their conservation and sustainable use.
  • The lecturers may use the knowledge in teaching and improving the awareness of students on the topic, promoting further researches and involvement of their institutions in promoting laws and regulations regarding bio-prospecting, biodiversity conservation and protection of the rights of indigenous communities related to biodiversity.
  • The institution may assist to ensure the availability of financial support regarding bio-prospecting especially on the research, indigenous communities and their knowledge and practices on biodiversity conservation, etc.



Dr. Semuel Leunufna completed his PhD program at the Martin Luther University (MLU) Halle-Wittenberg, and at the Institute for Plant Genetics and Crop Plant Research (IPK) Gatersleben, Germany on plant genetic conservation in 2004, earned a MSc. in Plant Breeding from the Crop Science Department of the University of Guelph, Guelph, Ontario, Canada in 1995. After one year job as a scientific staff at the IPK Gatersleben, he returned to Indonesia and work at the Faculty of Agriculture Pattimura University. Dr. Leunufna has published more than 70 scientific research articles in various international journals and book chapter in addition to a great number of popular scientific publications, invited as a speaker and keynote speaker at different international scientific conferences, both virtual and in person.

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