Environmental issues and sustainable development are currently the central themes of all communities on earth. The Biosphere Reserve is one of the multi-stakeholder area management models introduced by UNESCO as a role model. It put the conservation area as a core zone that contributes to various important and basic ecosystem services. Further, it also place rural settlements around conservation areas as buffer zones and urban communities as transition zones. Based on this point of view, on Thursday, March 17, 2022 IRCS UB holds a Kick Off Program: Center of Excellence for Sustainable Biosphere. The 2 hours event was attended by IRCS UB officials, Head of the faculty agency for research and community services (BPPM), Head of IRCS study centers and service centers, Agung Nugroho Adi, SE., MM., MM.HRM ,lecturer from the management department of the Faculty of Economics and Business UB, as moderators, and Doktor Mengabdi grant proposers for the 2022 Fiscal Year.

This event was opened by Prof. Luchman Hakim, S.Si., M.Agr., Ph.D. as the head of the IRCS UB. In his speech, he said, “This program aims to consolidate and optimize several aspects performed by IRCS UB. In 2022, UB has become a Legal Entity State University (PTNBH) which of course has consequences to meet the demands of society and the government to improve performance, role, and participation in conducting research and community service”. He added, “After we analyzed, actually the potential for research and community service activities is quite large. In this time, the strategic role of the university is required in the context of global life by initiating environmental excellent programs. UB as legal entity university, is expected to have a  multidisciplinary flagship and integrated research. Through the Center of Excellence for Sustainable Biosphere Program, IRCS UB is expected to be able to answer these challenges. This program is designed to involve study centers under IRCS, BPPM Faculties, and Postgraduates with the aim of responding to global challenges and requirement of a sustainable living model. The management model includes interdisciplinary educated area as a laboratory for conducting research, education, and community service activities.”

Further, he explained that “One form of conservation-based area management model is the Biosphere Reserve. In East Java, there are 2 Biosphere Reserve areas, namely Arjuno – Bromo Tengger Semeru Biosphere Reserve and Blambangan Biosphere Reserve. The two areas potential is not optimized, so it becomes a challenge for UB in encouraging national recognition. Hopefully, with interdisciplinary management model, there will be more UB’s national work with global reputation. Therefore we need to have integrated work in one area of ​​the Biosphere Reserve model. IRCS UB’s role and intervention is expected to encourage several researches to be conducted in the area and to initiate community service programs through the student study service”.

The biosphere area under the Center of Excellence for Sustainable Biosphere program, located in the Regencies of Malang, Lumajang, Probolinggo, Pasuruan is a buffer zone for the Arjuno Bromo Tengger Semeru Biosphere reserve management system which has been determined by UNESCO at the 27th session of the International Coordinating Council (ICC) MAB at the Office UNESCO Center on 9 June 2015 in Paris. Meanwhile, Banyuwangi Regency is the core district of the Blambangan biosphere reserve system that has been established by UNESCO at the 28th International Coordinating Council (ICC) MAB (Man and the Biosphere) in Lima, Peru on 18-18 March 20, 2016.

In his material entitled “Concept and Implementation of Bromo Tengger, Semeru-Arjuno and Belambangan Biosphere Reserves”, Prof. Dr. Ir. Y. Purwanto from the National Committee for UNESCO Indonesia’s MAB Program, BRIN said “One thing to remember is that we propose this area to become a biosphere area is not an easy process. it has gone through a long process to convey our advantages in these two areas so that we can get a recommendation or world recognition that this area is feasible to be managed as a biosphere reserve”.

“Bromo Tengger Semeru National Park (TNBTS) as a national park managed by  zoning system can be utilized for research, science & educational purposes, for supporting cultivation, tourism and recreation. This concept is absolutely related to the principles of the biosphere reserve concept,” said Novita Kusuma Wardani, S.Hut.,M.AP.,M.Env as the Head of the Administration Division and concurrently as the substitute for Head of TNBTS Center in his material entitled “TNBTS policies in managing biological and geological resources in TNBTS and TNBTS efforts in managing and empowering communities around TNBTS”

There was also Dr. Suyanto Waspo Tondo Wicaksono, M.Si Head of BAPPEDA Banyuwangi Regency to explain the material entitled “Concept and Implementation of Bromo Tengger, Semeru-Arjuno Biosphere Reserves and Belambangan Biosphere Reserves”. The man, who is familiarly called Yayan, presented “Banyuwangi The Sunrise of Java. Banyuwangi is the first place to get sunlight, to be active earlier, to get new ideas to inspire and contribute to regional and national constellations.”