Described as a “Biological Resources Cooperation”, the Ministry of Industry and Primary Resources (MIPR) in Brunei is exploring their biodiversity through their collaboration with CABI.
With the signing the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) the two organizations will research and develop the country’s biological diversity, identify and characterize forest microbes and those related to vegetation, and develop a long-term business plan for the viable collection of microbiology. The opportunity also allows development of national databases and the exchange of experts and information through joint training between the two bodies.
MIPR’s Permanent Secretary Hjh Normah Suria Hayati Pehin Jawatan Dalam Seri Maharaja Dato Seri Utama Dr Hj Mohd Jamil Al-Sufri highlighted Brunei's large and pristine verdant landscape as a huge asset providing not only environmental protection but also a vast opportunity for bio-industry.
"Bruneian microbes are highly diverse and the potential for new discovery of novel species is very promising that could be of benefit to the pharmaceutical, cosmetic and herbal industries with the potential for bio-products," she said.
Such collaboration will build the country’s capacity where, through training, CABI will support locals to become more knowledgeable in the specialized field.
Signing for and on behalf of MIPR was the Deputy Permanent Secretary (Primary Resources Development) Hjh Hasnah Ibrahim, witnessed by the Chief Executive Officer of Biodiversity Research and Innovation Centre Mahmud Hj Yussof, while CABI was represented by its Regional Director for Southeast Asia, Dr Loke Wai Hong, and witnessed by Dr Lum Keng Yeang, Chief Scientist of CABI’s centre in Malaysia.
The signing ceremony was followed by a presentation by Dr Lum and then by a visit of the Guest of Honour and guests to an exhibition on Brunei’s Biological Resource Centre and CABI.