KUCHING, Oct 17: The Sarawak Biodiversity Centre (SBC) today seals a Benefit Sharing Agreement (BSA) with the Bidayuh and Iban communities of Kpg Emperoh Semadang along Jalan Borneo Heights and Rumah Simon from Lubok Antu, respectively.
The agreement is to partner on the development and commercialisation of AdenoSara, the essential oil of Adenosma nelsonioides (Bunga Taang/Bangkit Engkerawan), a type of wild herb for human and veterinary health as well as wellness applications.
The BSA is being established to govern the equitable sharing of any benefits arising from the joint development.
Minister of Education, Science and Technological Research Datuk Amar Michael Manyin Jawong witnessed the ceremony.
Present were also State Secretary Datuk Amar Jaul Samion, who is Sarawak Biodiversity Council chairman, and chief executive officer of Sarawak Biodiversity Centre Dr Yeo Tiong Chia.
The ceremony today is the second agreement signed in the state and represents the culmination of the ongoing efforts since 2004 by SBC to establish a complete ‘jungle to consumer’ value chain based on the centre’s comprehensive traditional knowledge.
The first such agreement was signed on March 20 last year under the LitSara project with five committees – the Bidayuh of Kpg Kiding in upper Padawan, Kelabits of Pa’Ukat and Pa’Lungan, and Lun Bawang of Long Telingan and Long Kerebangan in Lawas.
Jaul said the BSA signifies the commitment of SBC under its traditional knowledge documentation programme, which was built on the foundation of mutual trust with indigenous communities in the state.
“This benefit sharing agreement also marks the first step in moving towards commercialisation of local resources and will pave the way for generating additional income in the rural communities to improve their livelihood,” Jaul pointed out.
He stressed that it was important that SBC work with the indigenous committee to keep in touch with the global development in biodiversity management and conservation.
“This is in line with the state government’s effort to move from traditional based industry and explore new economic growth opportunities through innovations,” he added.
He was glad to note that several agencies like Department of Agriculture, Ministry of International Trade and Industry, Industrial Terminal and Entrepreneur Development, Ministry of Tourism, Arts and Culture and Malaysian Cooperative Commission are partnering with SBC in this project.
The BSA today is signed by Jaul on behalf of Sarawak Biodiversity Council, while village chief of Kpg Emperoh Semadang Austin Mapus and village chief of Rumah Simon Kiai signed on behalf of the longhouse. —DayakDaily