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.
The delegates visited SBC's laboratories, TK Documentation building, Algae Cultivation Facility and Natural Product Library. The Secretary of SaBC, Dr Gerald Jetony, commemorated the visit by planting an Engkabang Jantong tree (Shorea macrophylla). This species is endemic to Borneo and its seed oil is popularly made into a 'vegan' butter.
Together with SBC, the delegates then visited the Adenosma farm at Kampung Semadang, one of sites for the AdenoSara project. Mr Govin Glen Gilbert as the representative of Kampung Semadang Headman, KK Austin Mapus, shared the story of Bunga Ta'ang and the project development over the years.
Dr Gerald said, “SBC is way ahead in terms of the Traditional Knowledge documentation and implementation of ABS. We have learned important lessons and challenges to carry out research and development in utilising the State’s biodiversity throughout the visit”. He added that, “Sabah is well known for its richness in biodiversity and various ecosystems. Hence, SaBC is currently formulating biotechnology blueprint action which underlines its agenda and framework for the biotechnology development in utilising Sabah's biodiversity in a sustainable manner. In addition, community involvement in the agenda is important so that they will appreciate this richness of biodiversity surrounding them".
Dr Gerald led the group and representatives from SaBC Council members consists of Dr Waidi Sinun, Group Manager Conservation & Environmental Management Division, Yayasan Sabah Group, Dr. John Tay, Forestry Consultant Prime Forestry Consultant, Prof. Dr. Clemente Michael Wong Vui Ling, Professor, Molecular Biology and Microbiology Biotechnology Research Institute, Universiti Malaysia Sabah, Assoc. Prof. Dr. Monica Suleiman, Director, Institute for Tropical Biology and Conservation, Universiti Malaysia Sabah and Dr. Julenah Ag. Nuddin, Senior Lecturer, Natural Product Chemistry, Faculty of Applied Sciences, Universiti Teknologi MARA, Cawangan Sabah.