Makassar is one of the main business and trade centres and the central transport hub to the eastern provinces of Indonesia. The 1.5 million metropolis is also the capital of Sulawesi Province. Its bustling streets and various markets offer a great opportunity to savour the local specialities such as Otak-Otak (fish rolled in a banana leaf), Coto Makassar (a tasty soup) or fresh fish. The markets also offer some great shopping for souvenirs from the region. The ancient Fort Rotterdam or the harbour Paotere offer the chance for a glimpse into the past. And just a 45 minute ride from Makassar tropical forests teeming with life and some of the oldest cave paintings (Leang Pattakere) known to date can be found.
The Universitas Hasanuddin (UNHAS) was founded in 1956 and is now among the biggest and leading public universities in Indonesia. With its 14 faculties and 59 undergraduate programs it covers a wide range of study fields from social sciences, politics and economics to life pharmaceutical sciences. For the conference it offers modern conference facilities with all needed amenities.
The Spermonde Archipelago is located in close vicinity to the city of Makassar in southern Sulawesi, Indonesia. It comprises around 80 small islands and submerged platform reefs, and extends 40 – 60 km offshore on a carbonate platform. The area is home to one of the largest reef fisheries of Indonesia, with the highest number of fishing households per kilometre of coast in Indonesia. Fishing techniques used in the region are diverse and include handlines, gillnets, bomb fishing, cyanide fishing and soft-bottom trawling. Live fish trade also plays an increasingly important role in the archipelago. Targeted species include a wide range of organisms, including holothurians, scleractinian corals, molluscs, various species of reef fish and even dugongs. The trade of ornamental and food products from the marine areas of the Spermonde Archipelago has global dimensions and is channelled via a chain of intermediaries – from the fishing labourer in the archipelago to global markets in China, the US, Europe and elsewhere. Diminishing marine resources in combination with the local effects of global environmental change posit serious livelihood threats to Spermonde islanders who overwhelmingly depend on marine resources. Reef degradation also reportedly increased over the last century. Pollution with effluents from the city municipality and discharge from Berang River just south of Makassar, is combined with the increased exploitation of the reefs using destructive fishing practices.
Science is called to contribute to the development of approaches which enable a transformation towards socially and ecologically feasible and desirable long-term futures.