Sarawak Biodiversity Centre

About Sarawak Biodiversity Centre

In 1997, the Sarawak State Government enacted the Sarawak Biodiversity Centre Ordinance and the Sarawak Biodiversity Centre (SBC) was set up the following year to initiate programmes for the conservation, utilization, protection and sustainable development of biodiversity in the State.

The State Government also enacted the Sarawak Biodiversity Regulations in Year 1998.  Back then, the Centre’s role was primarily inventory and regulatory – often known as the gatekeeper to Sarawak’s rich biodiversity to those who wanted access to and collection of biological resources in the State for research or commercial purposes.

Between the setting up of the Centre in Year 1998 and Year 2003, the State took cognizance of a key potential area in its rich biological resources – the potential for integration of biotechnology-based research and product development from its vault of diverse biological resources.  In December 2003, the State Legislative Assembly passed the Sarawak Biodiversity Centre (Amendment) Ordinance 2003 and passed the amendment of the Sarawak Biodiversity Regulations in Year 2004. The amendment relieved the Centre of its role of conducting general biodiversity inventory and regulating general biodiversity research such as taxonomy which are basic and non-commercial research.

The Centre is now entrusted to lead and promote biotech-based research and development on the State’s biological resources – particularly those that have been utilized by indigenous communities and to facilitate the documentation of the fast-disappearing traditional knowledge of indigenous communities on the utilization of biological resources.

In Year 2014, SBC reached another milestone; the State Legislative Assembly passed the Sarawak Biodiversity Ordinance (Amendment) 2014 to strengthen rules and procedures on Access and Benefit Sharing including the requirement for Prior Informed Consent (PIC) when traditional knowledge belonging to communities and its related biological resources are accessed for research.

Other core functions include propagating indigenous plants, maintaining biological databases, conducting biodiversity and biotechnology awareness programme and regulating biodiversity related research with commercial potential through the Research Permit System.

Through its bio-prospecting programme that benefits from many research collaborations, SBC aims for discoveries with impact that could lead to development of herbal products for downstream use in healthcare and leads in pharmaceutical drugs to address the global needs for wellness, new medicines, and therapies. The programme also aims to discover chemicals and enzymes that could be useful over a broad range of industrial applications including essential oils, bio-composting, fragrances/flavours, dyes, and bio-renewables.

For more information, please contact

For more information, please contact 

Chief Executive Officer

Sarawak Biodiversity Centre 

KM20, Jalan Borneo Heights, Semengoh

93250 Kuching, Sarawak

Tel: +6082-610610   

Fax: +6082-611535 


Email: [email protected]