Lawatan Kerja oleh YBrs Tuan Haji Azmi bin Haji Bujang, Setiausaha Tetap, Kementerian Pendidikan, Inovasi dan Pembangunan Bakat serta Naib Pengerusi Majlis Kepelbagaian Biologi, Sarawak

It was a pleasure to welcome Tuan Haji Azmi bin Haji Bujang, Permanent Secretary of Ministry of Education, Innovation and Talent Development on a working visit to SBC on 4 January 2023. He was accompanied by Deputy Permanent Secretary, Mdm Anielia ak Siam, and also the officers of the Ministry.

Tuan Haji Azmi was briefed on SBC's facilities, highlights and centre’s discoveries as well as its functions, achievements, and current projects.

During his address to SBC officers, Tuan Haji Azmi shared that "One of the core objectives of Ministry is to develop a science literate society in a short term or long term. SBC is the right place to promote scientific discovery in Sarawak."

He planted a Sekiu tree (Madhuca motleyana) to commemorate his visit. The Sekiu oil extracted from the seeds has a bitter almond scent and contains healthy monounsaturated fats. This species is listed as Near Threatened under the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Red List of Threatened Species in 2018.

We thank Tuan Haji Azmi for his advice and direction.

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Official visit by the New Zealand High Commission Kuala Lumpur to SBC

A delegation from the New Zealand High Commission Kuala Lumpur, led by its High Commissioner, Her Excellency Pam Dunn, paid a courtesy visit to SBC on 7 October 2022. She was accompanied by YBhg Tan Sri Datuk Amar Dr. Hamid bin Bugo the former State Secretary of Sarawak and alumnus of University of Canterbury, New Zealand. Among the delegates are Mr Aidan Beckett, First Secretary and Mr Tan Zhong Yan, Policy and Public Affairs Advisor from the New Zealand High Commission KL and Mr Hasrin Othman, Trade Compliance Manager, Fonterra Brands (M) Sdn Bhd and Ms Esther Yap, CEO, Stellar Sparx International Sdn Bhd.

Ambassador of the United States of America, His Excellency Brian McFeeters official visit to SBC

Ambassador of the United States of America, His Excellency Brian McFeeters paid an official visit to SBC on 7 October 2022. He was accompanied by Ms Susan Riggs, Deputy Economic Councillor, Ms Katherine LeRah Jernigan, Economic Officer, Ms Kylie Tumiatti, Economic Officer, Ms Wesha Ooi, Economic Assistant, Mr Gurdit Singh, Press Attaché and Embassy Spokesperson, Ms Dela Amira Ahmad, Online Media Specialist and Ms Fiona Teo, Information Specialist.

Technical Visit by Sabah Biodiversity Centre (SaBC) and Sabah Biodiversity Council Members to SBC

On 29 September 2022, Sabah Biodiversity Centre (SaBC) and Sabah Biodiversity Council Members held a technical visit to SBC to understand how SBC is implementing the Nagoya Protocol pertaining to Access and Benefit Sharing (ABS) Agreement, protection of the indigenous communities’ rights and knowledge, Traditional Knowledge (TK) Documentation and biodiscoveries.

UNDP Assistant Administrator and Director Regional of Asia and the Pacific visit to SBC and Kampung Semadang, Penrissen, Kuching

On 4 August 2022, Ms Kanni Wignaraja, UN Assistant Secretary General, UNDP Assistant Administrator and Director Regional of Asia and the Pacific arrived in Kuching, Sarawak on an official visit that included a visit to the Semadang Village here in Penrissen. Semadang is one of the project sites funded by UNDP-MOF’s Orang Asli/Orang Asal Micro-Grant Facility for Conservation and Livelihood (OAMGF).

Working Visit of His Excellency Charles Hay MVO, British High Commissioner to Malaysia to Sarawak Biodiversity Centre, 21 July 2022

Working Visit of His Excellency Charles Hay MVO, British High Commissioner to Malaysia to Sarawak Biodiversity Centre, 21 July 2022.

The British High Commissioner to Malaysia, His Excellency Charles Hay MVO made a visit to the Sarawak Biodiversity Centre on 21 July 2022 as part of his programme on an official trip to Sarawak.

His Excellency was accompanied by staff of the British High Commission Kuala Lumpur, Ms Khairun Nisa Zabidi, Climate Change Advisor and Mr Nicholas Chan, Climate Diplomacy Advisor. The delegates were welcomed by Mdm Margarita Naming, Deputy Chief Executive Officer, SBC, Haji Husini bin Bakir, Principal Assistant Secretary and Ms Asha Devi Kaushal, Principal Assistant Secretary of the Ministry of Education, Innovation and Talent Development.

They were briefed by Mdm Arlene Alicia Toaiang on the interesting plants utilised by the indigenous communities in Sarawak. His Excellency visited the proof-of-concept algae production facility at SBC and he also took the opportunity to view and take photos of the tree planted by His Royal Highness The Prince of Wales back in year 2017.

The tour emphasized on SBC key activities specifically biodiversity discoveries towards the sustainability and ethical impact on communities in Sarawak. They were given insights on the LitSara, Adenosara and Sekiu Access and Benefit Sharing project, covering communities’ engagement, and the social impacts on the communities’ livelihood, skills and knowledge.

His Excellency and the delegates visited the Natural Product Library, an exclusive collection from unique species of plants and microorganism from the rainforest of Borneo.

During the visit, SBC conveyed its keen interests in establishing potential collaborations with British counterparts in bioindustry. His Excellency noted that there are great opportunities for British companies to collaborate with Sarawak in terms of biodiversity related projects and research and its commercialization.

To commemorate his visit, His Excellency planted the Engkabang Jantong tree (Shorea macrophylla). This species is endemic to Borneo and locally abundant in mixed dipterocarp forest and it was listed in the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species.
The oil from the seeds is known as 'butter from the rainforest' and is used in cosmetics products. It is also one of the species that provides a high-quality timber.

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USDA US Embassy Kuala Lumpur visit to SBC

We received a visit from the USDA US Embassy Kuala Lumpur led by Mr. Timothy Harrison, Agricultural Attaché, Mr. Abdul Ghani Wahab, Agricultural Specialist, USDA US Embassy Kuala Lumpur and Ms. Rowena Ngumbang, Marketing Specialist, USDA US Embassy Kuala Lumpur.

We toured the SBC’s facilities such as the Ethnobotanical Garden, the proof of concept Algae Cultivation Facility, Natural Product Library, Analytical Chemistry and Gallery.

They learned how SBC preserves traditional knowledge of the plants and projects associated with bio-related products with the indigenous communities of Sarawak.

During the visit, we exhibit some of the projects implemented by SBC in partnership with communities such as LitSara project, Biodiversity make Scents, essential oils and Sekiu Oil project.

We also discussed matters on the USDA’s Borlaug Fellowship Program which promotes food security and economic growth by providing training and collaborative research opportunities. The program helps foster science-based trade policies that improve international market access for U.S agriculture products.

 

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Working Visit of His Excellency Lee Chi Beom, Ambassador of the Republic of Korea to Malaysia, to Sarawak Biodiversity Centre, 8th June 2022

The Ambassador of the Republic of Korea to Malaysia, His Excellency Lee Chi Beom made an official visit to the Sarawak Biodiversity Centre on the 8th June 2022 as part of his regional visit to Sarawak.

His Excellency was accompanied by the Minister Councillors, Mr Lee Kyoung Dock and Yoo Kwangyul, embassy’s delegates, Korean Chamber of Commerce Malaysia Chairman, Mr Baek Seung Ryul and his colleagues, as well as other key corporate associates of the embassy. The delegates were welcomed by Datu Kameri Haji Affandi, Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Education, Innovation and Talent Development and Dr Yeo Tiong Chia, Chief Executive Officer, SBC.

The purpose of the visit is to explore new areas of cooperation, particularly in bioresearch and bioproduct development. During the visit, His Excellency and the delegates were briefed on SBC’s roles and functions to drive the growth of bioindustries in Sarawak. His Excellency also witnessed the proof-of-concept algae production facility at SBC that was used to inform the construction of a 5Ha facility at Sejingkat. The tour around SBC highlights specific biodiversity discoveries that will be commercialized.

His Excellency and delegates were given insights and framework of a project the LitSara® Access and Benefit Sharing project, covering the projects’ initial establishments, communities’ engagement, and the social impacts the projects have had on the communities’ livelihood, skills and knowledge.

During his speech, His Excellency emphasised that developing countries to work together with developed countries especially in communities’ engagement and sharing of benefits with the communities. He added that there will be huge opportunities for Korean companies to collaborate with Sarawak in terms of biodiversity related projects within the bioindustry sector. He shared that they have learned valuable knowledge about biodiversity in Sarawak during the trip to Semenggoh.

To commemorate his visit, His Excellency planted a Diospyros cauliflora tree also known as Surang Bai by the Bidayuh community of Sarawak. The Borneo native tree can grow up to 60-feet high and produces bright yellow fruits. Some research has shown that the edible sweet fruit contains phytochemical that exhibits antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and anti-cancer bioactivities.

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