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The ASEAN Foundation received the visit of representatives from PROSEA (Plant Resources of South East Asia) Association on 21 November 2012. Dr. Makarim Wibisono, the ASEAN Foundation Executive Director, warmly welcomed the guests, Prof. Dr. Endang Sukara, Chairman of PROSEA Association, and Prof. Dr. Dedy Darnaedi, M.Sc., Director of PROSEA Association.

Prof. Endang Sukara introduced PROSEA Association and its main goal, which is documenting information on plant resources in Southeast Asia and making them widely available for use by the education, extension, research, and industry sectors as well as for the end users. These PROSEA Associationís activities also help identify which plants are categorised as endangered species and prevent them from extinction by encouraging their preservation through more plantings of them.

With twenty years of work involving more than 1,000 scientists from Indonesia and Netherlands, PROSEA Association has managed to identify those plants and has compiled them into 19 series of books, of which now serve as guidebooks for other scientists and also text books for students. For its achievement, PROSEA Association received Silver Medal from the Government of Netherlands in 2003.

These representatives of PROSEA Association further informed that due to the rapid development in biological sciences, it had come to the Associationís attention that the books needed to be revised and the web database needed to be improved. By digitising the books and bringing them online, it is expected that more people will receive the benefit of this valuable publication. Socialisation to farmers in ASEAN of these books can also help the farmers to identify which plants are beneficial to the environment and health.

Prof. Dedy Darnaedi pointed out his hope for PROSEA Association and the ASEAN Foundation to collaborate and finally contribute to ASEAN people by way of exploring the value of ASEAN biodiversity for sustainable development.

Nurturing partnership with other ASEAN regional organisation such as this PROSEA Association will help promote greater awareness of ASEAN and greater interaction among the peoples of ASEAN as well as their wider participation in ASEAN's activities, of which fall under the mandate of the ASEAN Foundation as stipulated in its Memorandum of Understanding on its establishment.

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