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 provide high-quality timber.