Universitas Padjadjaran

Program Areas

To achieve the above objectives, the Institute of Ecology concentrates on the following program areas:

1. Aquatic Ecology

Water quality and quantity are influenced by several factors where human activities play an important role. Eutrophication, siltation and pollution are common problems in water bodies resulting in the deterioration of water quality in many industrial and agricultural surrounding areas, water pollution have become a common phenomenon. To prevent further deterioration of water ecosystem, better evaluation and monitoring of these natural resources need to be linked with the management of point and non-point sources pollution which often leads to the pollution of aquatic ecosystem. Research in this programme area will be focused on the development of aquatic ecosystem management at a watershed scale.

This programme area covers the following activities:

  1. Study of aquatic ecosystems at watershed level
  2. Water pollution and aquatic weeds risk analysis
  3. Groundwater contamination
  4. Man-made lake management
  5. Bio-indicators for water quality management

2. Environmental Toxicology

Agricultural and industrial sectors are the main focus of regional and national development in Indonesia.  The increasing activities in these two sectors have resulted in both economic benefits and negative impacts to the environment, particularly the occurrence of toxic and hazardous wastes that acutely and chronically threaten the health of human being and other living organisms. The last impact has led to the increasing role of environmental toxicology in Indonesia, especially, research on management planning and monitoring/evaluation of toxic, and hazardous compounds in water, soil and air.  To support the ecological development studies, it is necessary to develop the management of point and non-point sources pollution, e.g. by minimizing the industrial wastes which often leads to the pollution of aquatic and atmospheric ecosystems.

Research activities in the field of environmental toxicology covers the following:

  1. Environmental toxicology of natural resources
  2. The fate of toxic and hazardous compounds in the environment and their effects on human being including living organisms
  3. The development of monitoring programs for toxic and hazardous compounds in the environment.
  4. Monitoring of impacts of transportation, industries and other non-point sources on air quality
  5. Waste minimization and bio-remediation

3. Conservation Ecology

Ideally, the utilization of plant, animal and other natural resources should be base on the sustainability principles, and hence the extinction of certain species and the depletion of ecosystem as a whole could be avoided. Many species of plants, animals and their habitats in Indonesia have been categorized as being threatened, so that more attention should be given to the conservation efforts in the development processes. As experiences show, the development processes that include increasing population pressure on lands may directly or indirectly cause destruction of ecosystems leading to the extinction of plant and animal species. Consequently, the programme area of conservation ecology will not be limited to the biophysical aspects but also includes socio-economic aspects of human-environment interaction. Furthermore, conservation ecology should not be limited to protected areas, but it should also covers private lands potential for ex-situ conservation.

Conservation ecology research programme at the Institute covers the following activities:

  1. Studies of potentially useful species and their sustainable use in the development
  2. Harmonization between bioresource conservation and development
  3. Studies of the role of nature reserves in rural and urban ecosystems
  4. Studies of biodiversity condition and maintenance in tropical areas
  5. Studies on rehabilitation and conservation of terrestrial ecosystems
  6. Studies on the development and impact of eco-tourism
  7. Studies on ecosystem services in the agricultural landscape of the humid tropics

4. Land and Water Resources Management

The most important challenge facing environmental management is to create and foster a balance between human needs and environmental sustainability. One manifestation of interaction between natural processes and human activities is the pattern of land use/land cover observed in the region. Understanding how humans depend on landscape functions and products, and how landscape changes affect ecological, especially hydrological aspects and socio-economic processes can provide a sound basic for guiding sustainable development of land and water resources management.  A broad-based understanding of landscape structure and function is essential for promoting the land and water resources integrated management where human and environmental integrity are considered part of the same system.

This programme covers the following different aspects but interrelated with one another:

a.      Land use changes and environmental sustainability

b.      Integrated watershed management

c.      Hydrological processes

d.      Soil and water conservation

e.      River and reservoir sedimentation

f.       Application of Geographic Information Systems

5. Regional Development

Development is required to improve the quality of life of the people that, in this case, poses both environmental benefits and costs. Unbalance distribution of national development in space, time and among affected group has caused serious problems that, in many cases, have endangered the sustainability of development. Problem-oriented researches need to be carried out to develop methods for development planning which better ensures the sustainability of national development based on biophysical as well as socio-cultural factors.

This programme area covers the following activities:

  1. The study of interactions between components of the rural and urban ecosystems
  2. The study of food, health and human ecology in general
  3. The identification and evaluation of traditional knowledge and wisdom and their implications for development planning
  4. Studies of the role of traditional agro-ecosystems in conservation of soil, water and genetic resources
  5. Integrated solid waste management in urban and rural areas
  6. Development of methods and application of recycling management
  7. Studies on various aspects of irrigation in relation to food security

6. Community Development

In most of the cases, community development (including community empowerment) should be regarded as an integral factor in environmental management. Past experiences indicate that environmental protection that undermines community development faced considerable constraints and often failed to achieve the desired goal of local, regional, and national development programmes. On the other hand, community development is a key factor in reaching the balance between economic and ecological development.

This Programme area covers the following aspects:

  1. Institutional capacity building and economic empowerment in relation to environmental management
  2. Fostering community participation in environmentally sound development
  3. Social conflict resolution due to development of various sectors
  4. Studies on gender-related issues and development