• Sarawak has more than 40 sub-ethnic groups which can be broadly categorized into the following groups: Iban, Bidayuh, Orang Ulu, Melanau, and Malay. Each of these ethnic groups has inherited a rich array of traditional knowledge from their ancestors, much of which has not been documented.  This knowledge includes centuries of practice on how to grow food and to survive in their environment.  Such utilization and management of natural resources by indigenous people, perfected over a period of time is known as traditional knowledge.


    While many of the older generation in these communities still retain traditional knowledge, there is a concern about the loss of knowledge as a result of changing lifestyles, priorities, the availability of modern amenities and the diminishing dependence of indigenous communities on natural resources. This has made it increasingly important that Traditional Knowledge is documented by the respective indigenous communities and retained as heritage so that it will not be lost.

    With the rush for natural products development and bioprospecting from the world’s natural resources, it has become even more important to document Traditional Knowledge to ensure that the indigenous communities who have practiced such knowledge over the centuries are duly acknowledged should their knowledge be used in the development of natural products or bioprospecting.

    The main objective of the Traditional Knowledge Documentation Programme carried out by the Sarawak Biodiversity Centre is to facilitate the local indigenous communities in the State in preserving their Traditional Knowledge through proper recording or documenting techniques.  Such efforts are carried out through capacity building workshops that provide the local communities with necessary skills such as documentation techniques, propagation, and management of useful indigenous plants.

    The project also encourages local indigenous communities to cultivate useful indigenous plants for their own uses, as landscape for their surroundings and for awareness and appreciation purposes.

    Summary of Plants Collected by Communities

    Community No. of Plants Documented
    Bidayuh (9 Sites) 1,167
    Iban (25 Sites) 1,353
    Kelabit (3 Sites) 478
    Lun Bawang (6 Sites) 583
    Penan (6 Sites) 1,094
    Kayan (4 Sites) 232
    Kenyah (4 Sites) 212
    Melanau (5 Sites) 215
    Selako (1 Site) 112
    Kedayan (Mixed with Iban & Lun Bawang - 1 Site) 85
    Tabun (1 Site) 51
    Bisaya (1 Site) 30
    Punan (1 Site) 39
    Malay (7 Sites) 156
    Beketan (1 Site) 19
    Sa'ban (1 Site) 65
    Sekapan (3 Sites) 33
    Total 5,924



Chief Executive Officer
KM20, Jalan Borneo Heights, Semengoh
Locked Bag No.3032, 93990 Kuching,
Sarawak, Malaysia.

Tel: +6 082 610610  |  Fax: +6 082 611535
Email: biosar[at]sbc[dot]org[dot]my

Visitors Counter

This WeekThis Week2138
This MonthThis Month30281
All DaysAll Days514135

Our responsive website design technology dynamically adapt to any screen sizes to give you the best web navigation experience.

Talikhidmat App

Follow us