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The Royal Golden Cocoon of Java: Cricula Trifenestrata UNSDGAction48294


The Royal Golden Cocoon of Java: Cricula Trifenestrata UNSDGAction48294 is a successful initiative that showcases the possibility of international collaboration and open science that utilises a new healthy biomaterial to create an inclusive zero-emission industry, healthy cultural tourism and afforestation while revitalising land biodiversity.

By collaborating with Professor Dr Hiromu Akai and Mr Hidenori Nakanishi (Master Wild Silk Craftsman), the Royal Family of Yogyakarta is the pioneer in utilising the Cricula golden cocoons into export quality wild silk yarns and crafts, which has high demand in the Japanese market who understand and appreciate Cricula wild silk as a superior and healthy material.

Jogja International Heritage Walk (JIHW) launched in 2008 is a non-political sport event that involves walking as a healthy activity and a time of appreciation for the heritage sites; creating empowerment for the local villagers and refreshing cultural heritage knowledge for international walkers.

This initiative has also significantly created working opportunities for women of all ages as wild silk yarn spinners. With their skills to earn an income, they regain identity and confident as a human being. When these women have a strong sense of belonging and empowerment in the community; mothers have the voice and capacity in the family to protect themselves and their children from early or child forced marriage.

2019 is a triumphant year when United Nations recognised this initiative as a good practise in line with UN SDG2030. We are looking forward to create global awareness of this good practise, with the hope to replicate this practice globally, hence mitigating climate change.

It is paramount to have trustworthy channels of communication between multifarious stakeholders, across sectors, cultures and borders, in order to prevent disinformation and exploitation of local natural resources.

We are pleased to have the blessing from the Royal Family of Yogyakarta, to further disseminate this good practice and accelerate global climate change mitigation, with the creation of a sustainable art book: The Royal Golden Cocoon of Java - Cricula Trifenestrata (Bilingual: English and Japanese).

Cricula Trifenestrata is NOT A PEST but a healthy biomaterial.


Problem, challenge or context: 
  • Fast-crop cultivation has created arid land prone to extreme weather events such as erosion, floods and landslides, which endangers the rural residents as well as a Javanese cultural landscape in Imogiri, Yogyakarta, Indonesia.
  • Child marriage is a problem in the rural villages where there is a lack of access and capacity for a sustainable economic support system.
  • There is a lack of knowledge on Cricula Trifenestrata as a beneficial insect, hence the massive culling with excessive use of noxious pesticides which destroy biodiversity.
  • The possibility of the loss of a unique species as part of a healthy ecosystem.
Specific elements of components: 

The cocoons of the Saturniidae wild silkworms are filled with 0.1- 0.8 micron small pores; first discovered by Professor Dr. Hiromu Akai in 1988 with an electron microscope. Cricula Trifenestrata is one of the wild silk moths that belongs to the Saturniidae family which has the highest number of pores (only 2nd to the protected Agama Miley Madagascar) and occured in abundance. Presently, they are still labelled as pests in Indonesia and the rest of the world.

Unlike the domesticated (non-porous) Bombyx Mori silk yarn, porous wild silk yarn has excellent heat retention, light texture, higher UV cut and  bacteriostatic properties; the potential "healthy silk" of the future.

Therefore, Cricula Trifenestrata golden cocoons can be utilised as sustainable and biodegradable materials which is healthy for human and the environment:

  • TEXTILE: Cricula wild silk yarns and textile are anti-UV radiation & antimicrobial.
  • COSMETIC: Cricula proteins are natural, non-allergen ingredients with high anti-UV radiation & excellent antioxidants; great for healthy skin.

  • PHARMACY: Cricula golden pigment is rich with Lutein; a type of carotenoid pigment contained in the cornea of ​​the eye, effective against cataract. (patented in 2008)

The action taken: 

In the 1990s, the Royal Family of Yogyakarta has successfully elevated the livelihood of local villagers in Yogyakarta, Indonesia, especially the rural women who are trained and employed as export quality wild silk spinners. This is made possible due to open science and artistic collaboration between Yogyakarta and Kyoto as Sisters Cities since 1985.

Professor Dr Hiromu Akai’s pioneering knowledge on the health benefits of porous wild silk cocoons, a potential biomaterial with higher level of antimicrobial & wider range of anti-UV characteristic compared to the non-porous domesticated Bombyx Mori silk, has created an inclusive, zero-emission business model and transformed Cricula Trifenestrata’s labelling; from pest to healthy silk producers.

As the rural villagers understand the value of Cricula Trifenestrata’s golden cocoons, they begin to protect Cricula’s natural habitat by active tree planting, resulting in biodiversity restoration of an otherwise arid land that belongs to the Royal Family of Yogyakarta.

Key lessons learned: 

Cricula Trifenestrata wild silk moth are distributed throughout different regions, we need open science in order to have qualitative and quantitive exchange of information and knowledge for the progressive health benefits for all, leaving no one behind.

Collaboration across cultures and nations is paramount as wild silk moths live in various regions of the world. Therefore, it is important to have reliable and trustworthy channel of communication, in order to avoid disinformation and exploitation of natural resources.

There are approximately 160,000 species of moths in the world, many of these moths create unique cocoons, these are abundant natural resources awaiting for collaborative research and development for the benefit of all.

It is a basic human rights to have access to applicable biodiversity knowledge and veritable information, in order to achieve optimum health and living condition for all.

Impacts and outcomes: 

Unlike the domesticated Bombyx Mori silk moth that solely feeds on mulberry leaves, Cricula Trifenestrata are polyphagous. This means they are capable of feeding on leaves from various fruit plants such as cashew, mango, avocado, kedondong etc. Therefore, when the local villages begin to protect Cricula’s natural habitat, they are conserving the biodiversity of healthy soil by planting various fruit trees, instead of adhering to monoculture practise which drains the soil’s nutrients in the long run.

Cricula golden cocoons are popular in the Japanese market who understand & appreciate the health benefits of Cricula wild silk as a potential biomaterial with higher level of anti microbial and wider range of anti-UV characteristics compared to the domesticated bombyx mori silk. The high demand for Cricula wild silk in Japan has evidently created job opportunities for rural women in Yogyakarta. With their skills to earn an income, they regain identity & confidence as a human being. When these women gain a sense of belonging & empowerment in the community; mothers have the voice & capacity in the family to protect themselves & their children from early or child forced marriage.

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