Amalia Rezeki, lecturer at the Faculty of Biology at the Lambung Mangkurat University (ULM), does not want to waste even her spare time.
Time for her is a capital given by Allah Subhanahu wa Taala (glorified and exalted be He) that its benefits has multiplied through her love for others, the environment, and other living things, such as bekantan.
As a biology lecturer, Amalia Rezeki's love for proboscis monkey (Nasalis larvatus) has no doubt. Most of her life is dedicated to preserving and protecting the long-nosed animal which is an icon of South Kalimantan.
She is the first woman in Indonesia who has dedicated herself sincerely and consistently since five years to protect the proboscis monkey from extinction.
In supporting this effort Amalia founded the Indonesian Bekantan Friends Foundation (SBI), with a mission to save proboscis monkey (Save Bekantan). This effort is inseparable from guidance from the Ministry of Environment and Forestry through the South Kalimantan Natural Resources Conservation Agency (BKSDA).
The dedication to the preservation of proboscis monkey is not an appreciation, but a form of responsibility as a citizen, science, and faith as the vicegerent of the earth and for the sustainability of future generations.
"As a key species, saving bekantan for us is saving the planet," said Amalia Rezeki, who is also a final semester student at the environmental doctoral program of ULM.
First in the world
The recipient of the 2015 She Can Award in the field of Bekantan rescue turned out to not only set up a rescue center, but also built a proboscis monkey research station and wetland ecosystem in the Curiak Island - Barito Kuala. For this she collaborated with her almamater college.
This simple research station was inaugurated by ULM Rector Prof. Dr. H. Sutarto Hadi, M.Si, M.Sc. and Prof. Timothy Roberts Killgour from the University of New Castle Australia in 2018.
Previously, the single daughter and her friends built a Bekantan research laboratory which is now an internship for veterinary students from various universities not only from within the country, but also from abroad.
On the other hand Amalia realized that saving proboscis monkeys could not only protect it as an animal, but the importance of preserving the habitat and carrying capacity area for its survival.
For this reason, since 2014, she has carried out the Rambai (Sonneratia caseolaris) Mangrove Forest Restoration movement by releasing land that was once the habitat of proboscis monkeys and then changed its function to reforest.
This effort received support from various stakeholders. Thousands of rambai trees which are the main food and stands of proboscis habitat, she planted with his friends and students as well as the local community.
In this area she also founded the world's first Rambai Mangrove Center (MRC). The area that is not so wide is made as mangrove houses, as information centers and mangrove rambai nurseries.
In addition, there is a mangrove arboretum which is a pilot area for typical wetland plants. For her efforts she received much appreciation from universities abroad.
Every year there are several foreign universities that send students to learn about the conservation of proboscis monkeys and wetland ecosystems.
Amalia's struggle in preserving proboscis monkey was apparently not spared from various obstacles and trials. Weakening efforts from parties who are not happy with this business often occur, not only threatening the mind, but also physically.
Perseverance and patience that keeps her from protecting the proboscis monkey from extinction. "Tears can be exhausted by this tyranny, but our sweat will not stop dripping wet the body in an effort to save proboscis monkey and planet earth," said Amalia with teary eyes.
Her sincerity and patience yielded results that should be grateful for together. The fruit of her struggle with the team at SBI, is now starting to grow a real concern, both from the government and the community.
Now people are starting to take care of proboscis monkeys and their habitat. Likewise, the regional government began issuing regulations for saving bekantan, including developing sustainable tourism based on bekantan as a vehicle for recreation and education.
For her tireless efforts to preserve the proboscis monkey, the biology education lecturer and the SBI team on Foresters Day 2019 received an award from the Indonesian Ministry of Environment and Forestry through the South Kalimantan BKSDA which was handed over by the Governor of South Kalimantan H. Sahbirin Noor as a conservationist for bekantan.