Sarawak Biodiversity Council Convenes its New Term

The Sarawak Biodiversity Council, the body that oversees a state research agency under the Ministry of Education, Innovation and Talent Development (MEITD), recently convened its inaugural meeting for its new term spanning March 2024 to February 2026, on 17th April 2024.

At this meeting, the Council’s newly appointed Chairman, Datu Dr Muhammad Abdullah bin Haji Zaidel who is Deputy State Secretary for Economic Planning and Development, conveyed his appreciation to former Chairman, State Secretary Datuk Amar Haji Mohamad Abu Bakar bin Marzuki, who had helmed the Council since 2022, and Professor Datu Dr Andrew Kiyu Dawie of UNIMAS, who served as a member of the Council from 2020 to 2024.

Datu Dr Muhammad Abdullah also extended a warm welcome to two new Council members, Dr Veronica Lugah, Director of the Sarawak State Health Department, and Datu Lester Matthew, Director of the Economic Planning Unit Sarawak.

The current Council composition includes the Deputy Chairman, Permanent Secretary to the Ministry of Education, Innovation, and Talent Development; Permanent Secretary to the Ministry of Natural Resources and Urban Development; the State Attorney General; the State Financial Secretary; Director of the Economic Planning Unit Sarawak; Director of the Forest; Director of the Agriculture; Controller of Environmental Quality, Natural Resources and Environment Board.

Also on board are prominent business leaders and experts, namely Mdm Anne Kung, Dr Veronica Lugah, and Dr Mary Jane Cardosa, whilst CEO of Sarawak Biodiversity Centre (SBC), Dato Dr Yeo Tiong Chia serves in the capacity of Secretary to the Council.

The Sarawak Biodiversity Council provides policy decisions and strategic guidance to SBC, in the implementation of key projects under PCDS2030 such as the Sarawak’s first Bioindustrial Park, as well as setting directions for SBC Green Technologies development.

Sarawak Biodiversity Council 2024

Photo caption:  The new Sarawak Biodiversity Council lineup with Datu Dr Muhammad Abdullah bin Zaidel (seated 4th from left) during a photocall before its first meeting for the year.

Seated (l-r): Mr Dominic Chunggat, Director of Agriculture, Mr Joseph Chioh Hock Hua representing the State Attorney General, Deputy Chairman Datu Hj Azmi bin Haji Bujang, Datu Muhammad Abdullah bin Haji Zaidel, Dato Dr Yeo Tiong Chia, Datu Haji Hamden bin Haji Mohammad, and Encik Jeferi Bin Darhman representing the State Financial Secretary.

Standing (l-r): Ms Ivy Lim representing Director of Economic Planning Unit, Dr Veronica Lugah, Mdm Anne Kung, Ms Tang Hung Huong representing Permanent Secretary to the Ministry of Natural Resources and Urban Development, and Mr Paul Bond Chamberlin representing the Controller, Natural Resource and Environment Board.

SBC terima kunjungan Duta-duta European Union

On 15th February 2024, SBC received the delegation of the European Union Ambassadors, led by His Excellency Michalis Rokas, Ambassador of the European Union (EU) to Malaysia.

The visit to Sarawak was part of the EU Business Day programme which aims to enhance connections and to seek opportunities for future business ventures in Sarawak.

During the visit to SBC, the delegates were briefed on Access and Benefit Sharing practices related to the use of biological resources in Sarawak, SBC’s R&D offerings, as well as on the progression from lab-scale to industrial-scale algae cultivation for various industrial applications.

His Excellency Peter Van Acker, Ambassador of Belgium to Malaysia and current President of the Council of the European Union, commemorated the delegation’s visit by planting a Scaphium longiflorum, also known as Kembang Semangkuk.  The species serves multiple purposes, from being used as shade, soil stabilisation and building material, to therapeutic uses.

The Ambassadors commended SBC for its research accomplishments and expressed anticipation for future cooperation.

Crown Prince of Pahang, Tengku Mahkota Tengku Hassanal Ibrahim Alam Shah Ibni Al-Sultan Abdullah Ri’ayatuddin Al-Mustafa Billah Shah official engagements in Sarawak

Sarawak Biodiversity Centre Marks a Momentous 25 Years of Innovation and Discovery

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Planting Trees Together

On 20 June 2023, the Sarawak Biodiversity Centre (SBC) and the Forest Department Sarawak (FDS) planted trees together at Sabal Forest Reserve as one of the activities to mark SBC’s 25th Anniversary and also to support the Greening Sarawak Campaign, which aims to plant 35 million trees by 2025. The primary objectives of the event were to raise awareness about environmental rehabilitation and promote the importance of reforestation.
In the event, a group of 100 participants, including SBC and FDS staff, interns and Sabal communities, planted 1,000 saplings of valuable indigenous timber species. This initiative has not only contributed to biodiversity and ecosystem restoration but has also helped in achieving the broader goals of the 'Greening Malaysia Agenda Through 100 million Tree Planting Campaign' (2021-2025). With the cumulative number of trees planted in Sarawak now surpassing 20 million, this effort showed that the collective contributions can succeed in achieving greener and more sustainable Malaysia.
The tree planting event has also facilitated collaborative discussions between SBC and FDS which focused on exploring biotechnology-based research and development related to Sarawak's biological resources, particularly forest resources.
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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.



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