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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Benefit Sharing Agreement Signing Ceremony for LitSara® Project

Sarawak Biodiversity Council signed the Benefit Sharing Agreement (BSA) with six indigenous communities while witnessed by Yang Berhormat Datuk Roland Sagah Wee Inn, Minister for Education, Innovation and Talent Development.

The ceremony held today marks the second BSA under the LitSara® Project following the inaugural signing three years ago with five communities. With the signing, the additional community from the Lun Bawang from Long Rusu, Ba’kelalan officially joins the LitSara® project.

With the signing of the BSA, the six communities involved in the LitSara® Project are the Bidayuh, Kelabit and Lun Bawang communities of Kampung Kiding, Padawan, Pa’ Ukat and Pa’ Lungan of Bario, Long Telingan and Long Kerebangan of Lawas, and Long Rusu of Ba’kelalan.

The BSA signing between Sarawak Biodiversity Council with the communities represents three-fold benefits to the participating indigenous communities in terms of recognizing and respecting the communities’ right to its biological resources and associated Traditional Knowledge, ensuring fair and equitable sharing of monetary and non-monetary benefits arising from the utilisation of biological resources and associated Traditional Knowledge, as well as, promoting the importance of biodiversity conservation.

SBC would like to take this opportunity to thank United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and Global Environmental Facilities (GEF) for funding LitSara® project since the beginning from year 2014 till 2018. Last but not least, we would like to thank TERAJU for supporting three communities under the TERAJU Livelihood and Dana Pembangunan Usahawan Bumiputera (DPUB) Program.

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Memulakan inovasi penyelidikan di antara Diamond Gas Holdings Sdn. Bhd. dan Pusat Kepelbagaian Biologi Sarawak dalam pengeluaran tenaga mampan

Diamond Gas Holdings Sdn. Bhd. (DGH) and Sarawak Biodiversity Centre (SBC) are embarking into a new research agreement this year after the successful operation of the largest, and one of its kind outdoor Algae Cultivation Facility (ACF) in Southeast Asia, located at SBC.

Algae Cultivation Facility at Sarawak Biodiversity Centre
Algae Cultivation Facility at Sarawak Biodiversity Centre

DGH, an established Malaysian investing company for upstream development, midstream and GTL (gas to liquid) projects in Malaysia is wholly owned by Mitsubishi Corporation (MC). Under the new research agreement, DGH is channelling research funding over a period of 3 years, to support research and development (R&D) activities in developing microalgae towards various potential industrial applications.

Stemming from a long-term SBC-MC collaboration, this SBC-DGH partnership aims to open a new chapter in efforts to spur green technology innovations and offer alternatives to achieve sustainable renewable energy production, in line with this year International Biodiversity Day 2021 theme: “We’re part of the solution #ForNature” announced by the Secretariat of Convention on Biological Diversity in March 2021.

Biodiversity serves as the primary solution for various sustainable development challenges from nature-based solutions to climate, health issues, food and water security, and people’s livelihoods. Thus, through this partnership, microalgae will be the main bioresource to drive the development of decarbonization technology as the world transits to the use of renewable energy.

MC began a strong research partnership with SBC in 2012. They have been actively supporting the microalgae R&D in SBC and exploring initiatives to deploy green solutions. Amongst the major achievements that were established is a natural resource asset called Sarawak’s Microalgae library, and the construction of an algae production facility for industrial stakeholders to pilot their technology.

Monitoring of cultivation system by Sarawak Biodiversity Centre’s staff
Monitoring of cultivation system by Sarawak Biodiversity Centre’s staff

The Microalgae library has a collection of more than 650 strains covering 75 genera that are indigenous to Sarawak. More than half of these strains have known biotechnological applications, and some remain yet to be decoded in its function. Currently, the SBC research team has successfully demonstrated the cultivation of locally isolated Chlamydomonas and Spirulina as the feedstock for biofuel and aquaculture. The facility for these algae production is equipped with Internet of Things (IoT) powered by Artificial Intelligence (AI) and digital network to enhance productivity.

Over the years, MC have been supporting different activities in Sarawak which include energy, automobile businesses, and tropical forest restoration conservation and protection of the environment are placed as one of their core responsibilities to the public.

Microalgae as viable alternative energy source show a high potential for the generation of fuel such as biohydrogen, bioethanol and biodiesel. Through this partnership, demands of both producing enough renewable energy to meet future needs while preserving the environment by reducing greenhouse gas emissions can be achieved.

The SBC-DGH partnership agreement was formalized on 20th May 2021 in conjunction with International Biodiversity Day 2021 which is held on 22nd May annually. Diamond Gas Holdings Sdn Bhd was represented by the Managing Director, Mr Yasuyuki Suzuki and the Sarawak Biodiversity Council was represented by its Chairman, YB Datuk Amar Jaul Samion, Sarawak State Secretary. The formalization of the agreement was witnessed by Mitsubishi Malaysia Chief Executive, Mr Masashi Shiraishi, Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Education, Science and Technological Research, Sarawak and Deputy Chairman of Sarawak Biodiversity Council, Mr Kameri Haji Affandi and Chief Executive Officer of SBC, Dr Yeo Tiong Chia.

SBC mengikat perjanjian perkongsian faedah bersama komuniti pribumi untuk membangun dan mengkomersil minyak pati dari hutan hujan untuk kegunaan manusia dan penternakan

Kuching, Sarawak, Malaysia, October 17, 2020: The Sarawak Biodiversity Centre (SBC) today announced the signing of a Benefit Sharing Agreement (BSA) with the Bidayuh and Iban communities of Kampung Semadang (Padawan) and Rumah Simon (Lubok Antu), respectively, to partner on the development and commercialization of AdenoSara®, the essential oil of Adenosma nelsonioides (Bunga Ta’ang/Bangkit Engkerawan), for human and veterinary health and wellness applications.

Perjanjian Perkongsian Faedah (BSA) kedua dijadualkan pada September 2020

The Sarawak Biodiversity Centre (SBC) will be signing its second Benefit Sharing Agreement (BSA) on the use of indigenous communities’ knowledge for R&D leading to commercialisation.

The BSA signing scheduled for September 2020, will be with the Bidayuh community of Kampung Semadang near Kuching and Iban community of Rumah Simon at Lubok Antu. The BSA stipulates the rights of the communities on development of Bunga Ta’ang or also known as Bangkit Engkerewan through Sarawak’s Traditional Knowledge (TK) Documentation programme. The essential oil of the plant will be commercialized under the trademark AdenoSara®.

This was revealed by the Chief Executive Officer of SBC, Dr Yeo Tiong Chia during a visit by Dato Sri Michael Manyin, Minister for Education, Science and Technological Research, Sarawak, to SBC on Thursday. The Minister was accompanied by Dr Annuar Rapaee, Assistant Minister for Education, Science and Technological Research, and a delegation comprising officers from the Ministry of Education, Science and Technological Research (MESTR) and the Sarawak Research Development Council (SRDC).

Sarawak, through SBC sealed its first BSA in March 2019 with five indigenous communities for the commercialisation of the LitSara® essential oil.

Sarawak is the first in Malaysia to implement the Nagoya Protocol on Access and Benefit Sharing (ABS) which entails governance of genetic resources and traditional knowledge with benefit sharing channelled to indigenous communities for sustainable development and use of their biodiversity.

During visit, the Minister and his delegation were given an update on SBC’s R&D activities, and witnessed industrial and scale-up commercialisation on bio-based products during a tour of the Centre’s laboratories and algae cultivation facility.

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Pengetahuan tradisional dan potensinya: Seminar TK SBC menarik penyertaan terbesar dari 17 komuniti etnik

KUCHING – In conjunction with SBC’s 21st Anniversary celebration, a Traditional Knowledge Documentation seminar showcasing its ongoing and future commercialisation projects held on 06th December 2019 at Harbour View Hotel, attracted community leaders and representatives from 17 ethnic groups, from across Sarawak, namely, Bagatan, Berawan, Bidayuh, Bisaya, Iban, Kayan, Kelabit, Kenyah, Lun Bawang, Melanau, Melayu, Penan, Punan, Saban, Sekapan, Tabun and Tagal.

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