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By Nur Ashikin Louis
KUCHING, Dec 9: Traditional knowledge of local communities in Sarawak will enable further research on natural resources and enhance ecotourism in the State.
Tourism, Arts and Culture Minister Datuk Seri Abdul Karim Rahman Hamzah said for generations, the local communities in Sarawak have been using natural resources in their daily lives.
“Their traditional knowledge on the application of natural resources in their everyday life is the preliminary reference for scholars to explore the different potential usage further,” he said.
He said this in a speech text read by the ministry’s permanent secretary Hii Chang Kee at the opening ceremony of Regional Conference and Exhibition on Natural Products, Traditional Medicines and Herbs 2021 held at Borneo Convention Centre Kuching (BCCK) today.
Abdul Karim also said the conference will not only acknowledge the traditional knowledge of the local communities, but different stakeholders can also come together to create sustainable ecotourism projects in the theme of learning and appreciation to amplify and boost the income of the local communities.
“With properly planned activities, ecotourism visitors may experience nature where communities harvest natural resources, go through an educational trip, and appreciate the cultural value of a community,” he added.
The three-day conference which ends on Dec 11 is organised by Universiti Malaysia Sarawak (Unimas) in collaboration with the Ministry together with Sarawak Business Event, Sarawak Trade and Tourism Office Singapore (Statos), Sarawak Biodiversity Centre, Clinical Research Centre Sarawak, Malaysian Pepper Board, Chemistry Department Malaysia and Malaysian Natural Product Society.
It serves as a platform to showcase the innovation and application of natural products, fostering interdisciplinary collaborations and identifying potential opportunities.
The event also saw the launching of a coffee table book entitled “Wonders of Natural Resources in Malaysia” which hopes to attract and inform visitors of natural products in Sarawak. — DayakDaily