Lun Bawang from Long Rusu signs Benefit Sharing Agreement with Sarawak Biodiversity Centre

Sagah (standing third right) witnessing the signing of the BSA. Jaul (centre) signed on behalf of the Sarawak Biodiversity Council.

By Jacob Achoi

KUCHING, May 21: The Lun Bawang community from Long Rusu in Ba’ Kelalan is the latest community to join the Benefit Sharing Agreement (BSA) with the Sarawak Biodiversity Centre (SBC).

Before this, the Lun Bawang community who participated in the BSA were from Pa’Lungan of Bario, Long Telingan and Long Kerebangan of Lawas.

Today the BSA under the LitSara project was signed at SBC, the second of its kind and witnessed by Minister of Education, Innovation and Talent Development Datuk Roland Sagah Wee Inn.

The other communities with the BSA are Bidayuh from Kpg Kiding in upper Padawan and Kelabits of Pa’ Ukat and Pa’ Lungun.

Present was State Secretary Datuk Amar Jaul Samion, who is also chairman of Sarawak Biodiversity Council.

The BSA signing represents a three-fold benefit to the participating indigenous communities in terms of recognising and respecting the communities’ right to its biological resources and associated traditional knowledge.

The BSA also ensure 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.

Jaul said under the first BSA which was signed three years ago, the payment of essential oils and benefits shared from the sales of the products amounted to RM600,000.

He thanked United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) Global Environment Facilities for funding the project since 2014.

According to him, SBC started as one of the first research agenies in the country where traditional knowledge fundamentally meets modern science to explore the sustainable utilisation of biodiversity. — DayakDaily