Biodiversity can produce a wide range of interesting natural ingredients for developing commercially health and personal care products.
In 2006 the Sarawak Biodiversity Centre (SBC) started a project called “Development of Medicinal and Aromatic Oils from Sarawak’s Indigenous Plants”.
The aim of this project is to inventories, analyse and develop the medicinal and aromatic oils from Sarawak’s biodiversity.
So far, SBC has collected and analysed more than 100 different types of essential oils.
SBC committed to empowering indigenous communities of Sarawak because of their traditional knowledge associated with biodiversity resources.
For that SBC has embark on SBC Traditional Knowledge documentation programme.
This programme designed to help the indigenous communities in preserving their traditional knowledge which passed down generation to generation through digital recording and documentation.
SBC also engage the community involved through Access and Benefit Sharing which allow SBC to access the biological resources for R&D bio prospecting and product development purpose.
Any financial advantage that arises from the use of the resource for such purpose will benefit the community that provides the resource.
SBC had signed ABS with 5 communities; Kampung Kiding, Pa’ Ukat, Pa’ Lungan, Long Kerebangan and Long Telingan to harvest Litsea cubeba essential oil and trade it to SBC to be incorporated in LitSara® product line.
State Secretary, Datuk Amar Jaul Samion who is also the Sarawak Biodiversity Council Chairman said the intellectual property of local plant species called ‘Adenosma nelsonioides’ has been filed for protection.
SBC’s latest ABS collaboration is with a Bidayuh community of Kampung Semadang, Penrissen and Iban community of Rumah Simon, Lubok Antu to supply the aromatic plant “Bunga Taang” (known by the Bidayuh) or “Bangkit Engkerawan” (known by the Iban) for incorporation into soon to be launched AdenoSara® products.
He said the essential oil that could drawn from the plant had been trademarked as AdenoSara®
Datuk Amar Jaul said the SBC laboratory tests and data have shown that AdenoSara® has anti-bacterial and anti-fungal properties, which makes AdenoSara® a potential candidate for developing oral care and hygiene products such as mouthwash and hand sanitisers that are organic and natural.
On the benefit sharing agreement, he said it shows SBC commitment under its Traditional Knowledge Documentation Programme which built on the foundation of mutual trust with indigenous communities of Sarawak.
Datuk Amar Jaul also stress the benefit sharing agreement also marks the first step in moving towards commercialisation of local resources and will pave the way for creating extra income in the rural communities to improve their livelihood.
Datuk Amar Jaul signed the agreement on the behalf of SBC while Ketua Kaum Austin Mapus and Simon Kiai signed on the behalf of Kampung Semadang, Bidayuh community and Rumah Simon, Lubok Antu Iban community.
The signing ceremony witnessed by Minister of Education, Science and Technological Research Datuk Amar Michael Manyin.