August 11, 2022, marked the launch of the Southeast Asia Journalist-Scientist Rainforest Hub (SEA Hub).
The launch was held at a seminar with the topic of "Multilenses of Deforestation and Reforestation in Indonesia," co-hosted by the largest agricultural university in Indonesia, Bogor Agricultural University (IPB).
The two-year initiative will bring researchers, scientists, and journalists together to discuss and address urgent issues around rainforests in Southeast Asia. Indonesia is the first country to participate in the initiative. Stories by the Pulitzer Center’s Rainforest Journalism Fund (RJF) and the Rainforest Investigations Network (RIN) have focused on Indonesia's rainforests. To strengthen reach, the SEA Hub will also expand to other SEA countries in the second year.
Around 135 researchers and university students gathered at the launch, where Pulitzer Center Fellows and grantees as well as two influential scientists led discussions on their work.
RJF grantees Dhana Kencana and Titik Kartitiani showed the audience visuals of their coverage in Ranupani, Mount Semeru, and Petungkriyono Forest in Central Java. RIN Fellow Bagja Hidayat, who has extensively covered food estates, sparked dialogue among the scientists.
“I’m very impressed with how Dhana presented such complex issues in a three-minute video. We might have extensive data from our research, but to present in such engaging ways has been challenging for us,” says Alfian Helmi, one of the lecturers.
Sarah Cardey, from the University of Reading in the U.K., shared information about deforestation drivers in the Philippines. The Pulitzer Center's Fellow from the Philippines, Karol Ilagan, talked about deforestation in Southeast Asia, specifically the Philippines.
The first seminar connected scientists and environmental journalists. We hope to foster relationships between them to create more impact in the forests and their communities.