Signing of the Memorandum of Understanding on Scientific Cooperation | Photo: Andrea Daschner, ZMT

19/06/2023 | Dr. Fadjar Ibnu Thufail, Head of the Research Centre for Area Studies at the Indonesian National Research and Innovation Agency (BRIN, formerly LIPI) visited ZMT on the 15th of June to sign a Letter of Intent for scientific co-operation. The agreement focuses on facilitating staff exchange between the institutes, co-developing joint research areas in the fields of inter-and transdisciplinary marine sciences and broader contexts of sustainability research.

The signing was followed by a public lecture titled "Common Property Resources as Relation Theory: Marine Tenure in Indonesia." With a focus on Eastern Indonesia, the talk focused on the marine tenurial practice of hak ulayat laut as consisting of multispecies assemblages that are often overlooked in conventional theorisations on common property and collective action.

After his talk, Dr. Thufail, together with scientists from the ZMT, the University of Bremen, the German Institute of Development and Sustainability (IDOS, Bonn) and Ibu Diana from the Embassy of Indonesia in Hamburg convened a smaller roundtable discussion. An open dialogue was fostered on modes of decolonising knowledge production and scientific exchange following the new inter-institutional agreement. The points collectively raised in this discussion will be crafted as a joint memo.

Moreover, an online workshop between BRIN, ZMT, and the University of Bremen was proposed in which researches working on similar themes across Indonesia and Germany could be paired in co-presenting.

While ZMT scientists have been cooperating with LIPI scientists on an individual project basis, this new inter-institute agreement will sediment more systemically coordinated efforts at supporting scientists including early career researchers and graduate students who wish to continue working across the Indonesian archipelago.

BRIN´s Centre for Area Studies also offers a new internally funded postdoctoral programme that supports the institutional stay of international scholars across diverse disciplines in the social sciences and environmental humanities. These visiting BRIN fellows will further assist in the co-development of the Centre´s core interests and initiatives which include a More-than-Human Lab (for multispecies research), together with Disaster Studies, mobility and diaspora research.