HoB conference begins

National 2 minutes, 10 seconds


A CONFERENCE to discuss research and development within the Heart of Borneo’s (HoB) landscape was launched yesterday.

The Heart of Borneo Trilateral Conference is expected to run for two days with several researchers from Brunei, Malaysia and Indonesia presenting their recent findings regarding the flora and fauna found within the area.

During the conference’s opening ceremony, the Permanent Secretary at the Ministry of Industry and Primary Resources said that the partnership between the three countries has to continue striving for the survival of the landscape’s pristine rainforests and for all that it contains.

“Heart of Borneo is recognised as the next frontier. We are the only place left on earth with the pristine Tropical Rain Forest and for this reason, we need to work hard and work smart to conserve, and also to explore its potential in herbal medicine, search for natural products and remedy; and most of all take the opportunity in the development of Halal and BioIndustry”, said Hjh Normah Suria Hayati Pehin Jawatan Dalam Seri Maharaja Dato Seri Utama (Dr) Hj Awg Mohd Jamil Al-Sufri.

She added that the opportunity it holds is huge and that the resources are available.

“Brunei Darussalam indeed take these initiatives seriously and (would) like to see the smooth implementation of the project under the HoB initiatives,” said the permanent secretary.

“What is left for us to do is to upgrade our knowledge and expertise. We can do this through partnership.”

Besides establishing the HoB as the centre for research in life sciences, microbial studies, tropical forest, herbal medicine amongst others, she emphasised the need to involve Borneo inhabitant to be involved as well.

“It is also important for the people who lives in Borneo to become the expert themselves, the scientists, the researcher and the campaigner,” said Hjh Normah.

“We must also educate the next generation, create awareness to fall in love with the forest and (be) able to tell stories about the forest and the advantages it brings to sustainability and environment,” she added.

The conference is expected to continue today with researchers from Malaysia and Indonesia presenting their findings.

The outcome of the conference is expected to be a documentation of all HoB research and development findings from each HoB member country for reference and private sectors to take up business opportunities created by the projects and to develop business plan.

Its report will also include the strategic plan of actions to move forward the trilateral agenda, funding options and mechanisms, list of potential HoB partners and supporters, recommendations, and commitment and pledge of all stakeholders.

The Brunei Times