How digitalization unleashes the potential of bioresource and traditional knowledge
June 30, 2022
Clara Yan Yi Wei, Partnership Coordinator, United Nations Development Programme Malaysia, Singapore and Brunei Darussalam
Margarita Naming, Senior Research Officer, Sarawak Biodiversity Centre
Cynthia Seta, Research Officer, Sarawak Biodiversity Centre
Jovita Elderson Ripen, Research Officer, Sarawak Biodiversity Centre
Mohammad Farhan Darin Bin Azri, Research Officer, Sarawak Biodiversity Centre
Albert Rengga, Research Officer, Sarawak Biodiversity Centre
The COVID-19 pandemic caused significant disruption and is likely to have long-term consequences on economies around the world. Sarawak’s Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) are not spared from the adverse effect of the pandemic. This has caused financial fragility of many small rural businesses which are already facing challenges due to remote locality factors and underdeveloped commercial markets.
As an initiative to improve the livelihood of affected communities, Sarawak Biodiversity Centre (SBC) in collaboration with United Nations Development programme (UNDP) has implemented a project which aimed to empower community-based businesses by enhancing their digital and marketing skills to improve the economic resilience of the rural community. The community are exposed to the importance of digitisation and online business in post COVID-19 period which may improve efficiency and competitiveness to increase sales of bio-products from the forests while preserving the knowledge and resources. The project is in line with the Post COVID-19 Development Strategy (PCDS) 2030 whereby Sarawak aspires to be a thriving society driven by data and innovation to enjoy economic prosperity, social inclusivity, and sustainable environment.
Communities and their Bio-products
A total of six villages across Sarawak was selected to participate in a digital on-boarding programme based on the bio-product that the community have uniquely produced. These villages include Rumah Bajau (Julau), Rumah Janang (Selangau), Rumah Emak (Kapit), Kuala Medalam (Nanga Medamit, Limbang), and Rumah Machup (Roban), which produce Engkabang butter while Kampung Jemoreng (Matu) produces Sekiu oil.