Collaborative research discovers new plant species

Hamden (centre) presents a souvenir to Prof Dr Takao as Runi looks on.

KUCHING: A 20-year research has resulted in the discovery of more than five new species of plants and more than 40 new species at the Bukit Lambir National Park.

This was revealed by four researchers from the Japan Research Consortium for Tropical Forests in Sarawak (JRCTS).

The research was a joint project between the JRCTS and the Forest Department Sarawak (FDS).

FDS director Hamden Mohammad stated that the department welcomed research and development (R&D) in the forestry field.

“It is important prior to the department’s efforts in achieving sustainable forest management, forest industry, forest landscape restoration as well as social forestry aspects,” he said during the opening ceremony of the ‘Seminar On Ecological Research at Totally Protected Area (TPA) in Sarawak’ here recently.

A total of 60 civil servants attended the half-day seminar.

Hamden (seated centre), Prof Dr Takao (right) and Runi (left) with the seminar participants.

The seminar aimed to share research findings that had been carried out since 1992 and encouraged research collaboration with relevant agencies.

Hamden invited the JRCTS researchers to expand their research and to include the permanent forest estate areas in Sarawak.

He also encouraged local researchers to join the JRCTS researchers in conducting research to not only learn new things but also to fully benefit from the collaboration.

Also present were JRCTS coordinator Prof Dr Takao Itioka and FDS Research Development and Innovation Division senior assistant director Runi Sylvester Pungga.