ECO-SEA: The Ethnobotanical Conservation Organization for South East Asia

Annual Report 1999


With an annual budget of less than $50,000 and four part-time staff, look what we've accomplished!


Ethnobotanical Interpretive Kits

Arianne Rand pulled together a model interactive kit based on 20 SE Asian native plant species for the University of California-Davis Botanical Conservatory to use with visiting school groups.

Ir. IBK Arinasa (Director, Bali Botanic Gardens) assembled and hand-delivered several sets of Balinese ethnobotanical kits and taught docents at the UC-Berkeley Botanical Gardens and Strybing Arboretum how to use the kits.

Interpretive Exhibits & Presentations

ECO-SEA reached over 1000 plant society members, botanical enthusiasts and the general public at ten public presentations including:

  • San Diego Orchid Society
  • Central California Orchid Society
  • Peninsula Orchid Society
  • UC-Berkeley Botanical Garden
  • Strybing Arboretum
  • UC-Davis Botanical Conservatory Open House
  • UC-Davis Picnic Day
  • Indonesian Cultural Festival, San Francisco
  • Whole Earth Festival, Davis, California
  • California Rare Fruit Growers Annual Festival

Ethnobotanical Entertainment

ECO-SEA combined fun-raising with fund-raising and co-sponsored three events at local botanical institutions. The fundraisers treated guests to home-cooked Southeast Asian food and unique lectures on the flora and culture of Indonesia. The events included: Dinner in the Rainforest at the UC-Davis Botanical Conservatory, Finding the Sacred in the Ordinary: Balinese Ceremonial Plant Use and Dragons and Durian at Strybing Arboretum.

Plant & Project Profiles on the Web Page

Dr. Barry Meyers-Rice (The Nature Conservancy, Davis Office) constructed ECO-SEA's 10-page web site which includes native SE Asian plant profiles, ECO-SEA and affiliate projects and institutions and is updated quarterly.

Convention on Biological Diversity

Jeanine Pfeiffer directed a panel session on Bringing the Convention on Biological Diversity to Life in Botanical Gardens at the AABGA Annual Conference in Vancouver attended by over 100 administrators and researchers from prominent North and South American, European and African institutions.

University Research Expeditions Program (UREP)

The University of California funded ECO-SEA to lead a Plants and People expedition of eco-tourists to Bali and Flores. Nine participant-donors accompanied ECO-SEA staff and affiliates for two weeks in Indonesia, assisting with photo-documentation of native fruits and ethnobotanical practices.


Annotated Ethnobotanical Bibliography

Irene Wibawa completed this prototype reference text consisting of over 150 listings of source books pertaining specifically to ethnobotanical research in the biogeographical region of Malesia (Malaysia, Indonesia, the Philippines, Papua New Guinea, Singapore, Brunei Darussalam).

Ethnobotany and Conservation Status of Indonesia's Native Fruits - Field Expeditions

Jeanine Pfeiffer initiated a multidisciplinary, collaborative research program in cooperation with Kempo Manggarai communities on Flores, Indonesia. Ms. Sisilia Nisa, Ms. Kristina Harti, Mr. Antonius Jehari and Mr. Markus Panggu of Golo Leleng and Nampar Macing villages collected ethnobotanical data; Mr. Bian Tan and Brian Lym from Strybing and Ir. IBK Arinasa and Ni Made Suradi of Bali Botanic Gardens conducted plant survey expeditions; Dr. Haruyasu Yamaguchi (Gunma University, Japan) conducted community health surveys; Irene Wibawa collected insect specimens for the UCD Bohart Museum, and UREP participant-donors joined the second field expedition. The expeditions were co-funded by UREP, ECO-SEA and private donors.


Study-Tour of Ir. Ida Bagus Ketut Arinasa

Together with the Strybing Arboretum and UCB Botanical Gardens, ECO-SEA sponsored the first-ever visit of a researcher from the Indonesian Botanic Gardens. With sponsorship from the Stanley Smith Foundation, Ir. Arinasa traveled to N. California for four weeks where he visited nature reserves, botanic gardens and research institutions, was tutored in plant taxonomy by resident experts, and gave four lectures on Balinese ethnobotanical practices.

Equipment and Book Donations

During Ir. Arinasa's visit, ECO-SEA facilitated donations of photographic equipment, film and scientific texts valued at over USD $5000 to the Bali Botanic Gardens. ECO-SEA continues its conservation text donation service to academic and botanical institutions in both the USA and SE Asia.

Need-Based Scholarships

ECO-SEA granted its first university fellowship to Mr. Selvanus Malufu, a member of the Dawam ethnic group of South-Central Timor. Mr. Malufu's studies will be supervised by Ms. Andalusi Noviana, Head of the East Nusa Tenggara Nature Conservation Unit, Ministry of Forestry, Kupang. Mr. Malufu is assisting Ms. Noviana with ongoing ethnobotanical research in the Mt. Mutis Nature Reserve.

Supplies to Elementary Schools on Flores

As part of this summer's UREP expedition to Flores, donations of writing pads, pens, pencils, crayons, colored chalk, books, maps and sports equipment were conveyed to over 400 students at three elementary schools located in the research area. These schoolchildren will also be recipients of educational pamphlets and posters on native fruits and indigenous ethnobotanical practices.


  • Trilingual pamphlet & posters on indigenous ethnobotanical traditions for Kempo Manggarai
  • Fulbright-funded research on Indonesian fruits


Ms. Melissa Kauffman
Ms. Arianne Rand
Ms. Irene Wibawa

While enrolled at local universities, interns earn academic credit and are co-sponsored by a university professor.


Dr. James Bauml, Arboretum of Los Angeles County, California
Dr. Eric Crystal, University of California at Berkeley
Ms. Fiona Dennis, Botanic Gardens Conservation International, UK
Ms. Lisa Gollin, University of Hawaii
Ms. Jeanine Pfeiffer, ECO-SEA Executive Director
Dr. Kevin Rice, University of California at Davis
Mr. Bian Tan, Strybing Arboretum, San Francisco
Ms. Irene Wibawa, ECO-SEA Research Associate

Articles on ECO-SEA appeared in these publications:

American Association for Botanical Gardens and Arboreta Newsletter
Botanic Gardens Conservation International News
California Native Plant Society Newsletter
Davis Herbaria Society Newsletter
Flora Malesiana
San Francisco Bay Guardian
Strybing Arboretum Society Newsletter*

Post Office Drawer 1710
Davis, California, 95617, USA

Executive Director: Jeanine Pfeiffer

Telephone/Facsimile: +1 530/758-1716


ECO-SEA is a registered 501(c)3 non-profit organized for scientific and educational purposes with the State of California.