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Food and energy sovereignty have become critical issues for a country because these two matters are crucial factors that mark the independence of a country. In Southeast Asia, food security is being fundamentally altered – as patterns of food consumption and production change. Recently, a larger Asian population demands more quantity and quality of food (Asian Development Bank Institute 2013), although Southeast Asian countries have abundant natural resources. Asian population growth and changing consumption habits also affect regional food security. In addition to food sovereignty, Southeast Asian countries face energy problems driven by high consumption and export rates. Thus, to prevent and overcome this problem, the policies on energy security of a country must consider three aspects: the availability of energy sources, the affordability of energy supplies, and the continued development of new renewable energy.
Apart from food and energy sovereignty issues, climate change and massive land conversion (e.g., deforestation) are also essential to be resolved. According to the World Bank and Regional and Coastal Development Center of ITB (2007), climate change will have a severe impact on Indonesia. It is estimated that in the next 30 years, around 2,000 small islands in Indonesia will sink when the increase in seawater reaches 0.80 m. Climate change occurs because of increasing concentrations of greenhouse gases (GHG) and carbon dioxide (CO2) in the atmosphere, which have implications for rising sea levels due to the melting of ice at the North and South Poles. In a world with rapid climate change and land degradation due to anthropogenic causes, restoration is one of the two methods that could be used to slow the rate of species extinction, to restore the biodiversity loss, and to improve the ecosystem services of the degraded ecosystems.
In this regard, the theme for research proposals implementation in 2020 is ‘Food Sovereignty, Energy Resilience, Ecosystem Restoration, Climate Change and Disaster Mitigation, and Sustainable Use and Protection of Local Biodiversity in Southeast Asia’.The project must be implemented within a 9-month period, most likely to start from March 1st to November 30th, 2020.The call for proposals is open to Indonesian nationals. However, researchers from other Southeast Asian countries are welcome to explore research collaboration with Indonesian researchers.