SBC expresses interest in potential collaboration with British counterparts in bioindustry

Her Excellency Charles Hay, MVO waters the Engkabang trees at SBC.

KUCHING, July 22: Sarawak Biodiversity Centre (SBC) has expressed interest in establishing greater relations with its British counterparts in bioindustry with collaborative opportunities.

According to SBC in a statement today, the interest was conveyed to the British High Commissioner to Malaysia His Excellency Charles Hay, MVO during his visit to the centre yesterday (July 21).

“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,” it said.

Meanwhile, during the visit which is part of his programme on an official trip to Sarawak, His Excellency was accompanied by staff of the British High Commission Kuala Lumpur Khairun Nisa Zabidi, Climate Change Advisor and Climate Diplomacy Advisor Nicholas Chan.

The delegates were welcomed at the centre by SBC deputy chief executive officer Margarita Naming, principal assistant secretaries of the Ministry of Education, Innovation and Talent Development Husini Bakir and Asha Devi Kaushal, and later briefed by Arlene Alicia Toaiang on the interesting plants utilised by the indigenous communities in Sarawak.

His Excellency also visited the proof-of-concept algae production facility at SBC and took the opportunity to view and take photos of the tree planted by His Royal Highness The Prince of Wales back in year 2017.

Apart from that, the delegation 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.

Following that, His Excellency and the delegates went to visit the Natural Product Library, which displayed an exclusive collection from unique species of plants and microorganisms from the rainforests of Borneo.

Meanwhile, to commemorate his visit, His Excellency planted a 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. — DayakDaily