Tuesday, August 4

Community gardens can be tourist pull – Ose


SYMBOLIC: Ose hits the gong to mark the opening of the Traditional Knowledge Documentation Seminar as Dr Rita (right) and other guests look on.

KUCHING: Community gardens advocated by Sarawak Biodiversity Centre (SBC) have the potential to be tourist attractions apart from accomplishing SBC’s mission of preserving traditional knowledge of plants among the indigenous people.

Deputy State Secretary Datu Ose Murang yesterday said India’s success story where a similar concept had been well applied could be the role model for the state’s community gardens.

He believed that making the gardens into tourism spots would also benefit the communities involved economically.

“The Bio Valley in India is a tourist attraction. Many tourists are attracted by the rich and diverse plants there. It can be an example for the communities here to emulate,” he said at the opening of the Traditional Knowledge Documentation Seminar 2011 at a hotel here.

Ose was representing State Secretary Datuk Amar Mohd Morshidi Abd Ghani.

Some 27 villages from seven communities namely Bidayuh, Iban, Penan, Kelabit, Lun Bawang, Kayan, Kenyah and Melanau participated in the programme organised by SBC.

Ose acknowledged SBC’s effort in setting up the community gardens as a way to better record traditional knowledge which had played and would continue to play a vital role in the socio- economic development of the state.

As such, he said the effort must be continued, adding that all related data should be consolidated for greater usage such as for the pharmaceutical industry.

“Besides, such documentation effort will help to empower a community. Once they are empowered, it would enhance their sense of ownership. This is important as it will help to sustain our endeavour in conserving and preserving our nature,” he reasoned.

Forty participants are taking part in the two-day seminar which ends today.

SBC acting chief executive officer Dr Rita Manurung said the objective of the seminar was to improve the knowledge of participants especially those who manage the gardens.

She said the seminar would also help the communities involved to review the status of the gardens and find ways to improve them apart from strengthening networking among themselves.

Participants will be taken on a site visit to G1-Biotech, a gaharu nursery and farm and Ceria Group Farm in Bau on Nov 26 to expose them to various efforts that have been taken for large scale farming of herbal plants.