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).

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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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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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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