Collaborating for Sustainable Business: Optimizing Collaboration Potential in Musi Banyuasin Regency

The Role of Musi Banyuasin Regency in Environmentally Friendly Sustainable Economy

Kabupaten Musi Banyuasin (Muba) in South Sumatra is blessed with abundant natural resources, much like many other regencies in Indonesia. However, what sets it apart is the commitment of Muba Regency to sustainable economics and green development governance. The commitment to green development in Muba Regency was driven by the significant forest fire disaster in 2015, which resulted in a loss of 53.8 trillion for the South Sumatra Province. Since then, Muba Regency has been committed to building a sustainable green economy.

This commitment is evident in the high scores for quality of life and natural resource management in the Indeks Daya Saing Daerah Berkelanjutan/IDSB (Sustainable Regional Competitiveness Index). Muba Regency has also won numerous awards for their commitment, such as ranking second in the Sustainable Regional Competitiveness Award and securing the first position for good governance. The success of Muba Regency in focusing on a sustainable economy is also attributed to the collaboration between the regency government and various stakeholders, including investors, development partners, and business players.

Exploring the Potential of Multi-Stakeholder Collaboration and Optimizing the Natural Resources of Muba

The virtual webinar organized by the Yayasan Inisiatif Dagang Hijau (IDH), Lingkar Temu Kabupaten Lestari (LTKL), and Supernova Ecosystem sparked discussions on the importance of economic development supported by environmental conservation for sustainable development. Additionally, the event introduced key sustainable business potentials in Muba Regency, such as the potential of sustainable palm oil and rubber, as well as other non-timber forest products. With a vast area of approximately 14,265.96 km², about 337 thousand hectares in Muba are dedicated to rubber plantations, with 90 percent of them being community-owned. Meanwhile, 429 thousand hectares of the region are dedicated to oil palm plantations, with around 31.1 percent owned by companies and the rest owned by the community, significantly increasing the income of oil palm farmers.

Despite the remarkable natural resource wealth, Muba Regency still has untapped potential, including innovations like developing a mixed asphalt raw material from latex-based concentrated rubber and exploring future commodities such as plepah and gambir. To continue supporting the commitment to sustainable economics, the optimization of these natural resource potentials is continually developed through a multi-stakeholder management model committed to producing sustainable commodities while considering environmental management and protection.

The success achieved by Muba Regency is rooted in the strong determination of the local government to preserve nature concurrently with economic development. However, success is also attributed to the collaborative efforts of various parties who share a commitment to sustainable businesses and prioritize principles of sustainable governance. In the series of virtual webinars initiated by IDH, LTKL, and Supernova Ecosystem, stakeholders and the broader audience are introduced to the concept of collective commitment from Muba Regency. This collective commitment implies collaboration with parties that share the same vision for development. The activity also highlights success stories and positive impacts from investments in Muba Regency, showcasing their cohesive collaboration with external parties in their sustainable development efforts in the social and environmental sectors.

Multi-stakeholder Engagement to Explore Diverse Perspectives

The perspectives raised in the discussion through this virtual webinar organized by the Yayasan Inisiatif Dagang Hijau (IDH), Lingkar Temu Kabupaten Lestari (LTKL), and Supernova Ecosystem are highly diverse. The dialogue is conducted in a two-way manner involving the Regional Development Agency (Bappeda) of Muba, the Yayasan Inisiatif Dagang Hijau (IDH), and SNV Netherlands Development Organization— an international non-profit organization as a development partner for the government, PT Kirana Megatara Tbk (KMG) representing the corporate sector, and Syamsu Rizal representing the SME Gambo of Muba. Through this discussion, we not only hear from the government’s perspective but also from the private sector and development partners. The challenges faced in building sustainable businesses will be comprehensively discussed, and responses and plans from the Muba Regency government will be presented as a joint effort to find solutions together to achieve economic development commitments that do not sacrifice the environment.

Fitrian Ardiansyah, Director of the IDH Foundation, opened the discussion with an exposition on the challenges faced by the Muba Regency, including forest fires, environmental impacts, and the productivity limitations of Muba farmers. There was also a brief discussion about the flagship commodities of the Muba Regency. Mr. Widyantoko from KMG outlined the collaboration between his company, engaged in the rubber industry, and local farmers. The collaboration involves efforts to develop as a community by providing education, examples of best practices, and marketing. KMG collaborates not only with farmers and the government but also with NGOs like IDH and SNV. The goal of this collaboration is singular: to develop sustainable businesses, with each party playing its respective role and complementing each other’s capabilities.

The discussion through this virtual webinar was divided into two sessions, the first for development partners and the second for investors. In each session, there were presentations on the success of the Muba Regency in achieving sustainable development through multi-stakeholder collaboration. One of the main objectives of this webinar is to introduce the concept of collective commitment or emphasis on multi-stakeholder collaboration that has a vision for sustainable business and forms the foundation of the Muba Regency’s journey toward sustainable economic development. The webinar also explores the experience of Musi Banyuasin in developing sustainable business practices and looks at opportunities for impactful investments in Muba Regency. One example is the development of rubber asphalt and plant-based fuels, stemming from downstream efforts in rubber and palm plantations in Muba. Additionally, there are investment opportunities in traditional commodities for the people of Muba, such as gambir. Apart from producing latex from gambir, there is also an effort to develop gambo, a distinctive woven fabric from Muba that uses natural dyes or waste from gambir processing.

This activity is initiated by IDH with the support of LTKL and Supernova Ecosystem. IDH has extensive experience working with businesses, investors, governments, and communities to realize sustainable trade in global supply chains. IDH believes that collective work and collaboration will have a positive impact on sustainable development. This belief is also shared by LTKL, a collaborative forum formed and managed by the district government to realize sustainable development. LTKL serves as a bridge between the district government and those with similar commitments, building networks with national and global development partners, including Supernova Ecosystem, a catalytic organization that helps drive impactful investments at the district level in Indonesia.

Written by Azarine Kyla Arinta for Supernova Ecosystem.

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