Reuniting brilliant minds in Belum - BRainS 2018
And that's a wrap!
The second iteration of the Belum Rainforest Summit 2018, or BRainS 2018, officially concluded on 21 September 2018 at the Belum Rainforest Resort on Pulau Banding, Gerik, Perak.
Over 80 delegates, comprising researchers, conservationists, members of local communities and official representatives from government bodies came together to discuss pertinent issues affecting the survival and sustainable use of the Belum-Temengor rainforest complex (BTRC), which at 130 million years -old, is one of the oldest virgin rainforest complexes on Earth.
The Summit was brought to a close by Dr Abdul Aziz Bari, the state of Perak’s education, technology, science and environment committee chairman after four days of discussions, debates, tree-planting sessions and visits to the BTRC.
Dato' Dr Abdul Latiff Mohamad, Chairman of Pulau Banding Foundation
BRainS 2018 was organised by the non-profit Pulau Banding Foundation (PBF), with the assistance of conservation NGOs such as the Malaysian Nature Society (MNS) and the World Wide Fund for Nature Malaysia (WWF-Malaysia); the Perak State Government; the Forest Research Institute Malaysia (FRIM) and EMKAY Group, a sustainable property developer on Pulau Banding.
Delegates from the Voices of Youth
This year’s conference marks a new milestone for BRainS as representatives from both the local government and Federal Government of Malaysia have joined in the discussion. A parallel summit for young people, titled Voices of Youth, was also held in conjunction with BRainS 2018. Its delegates also participated in the main summit and delivered a resolution of their own.
Government agencies present during this year’s summit included the Forestry Department of Peninsular Malaysia, the Department of Wildlife and National Parks of Peninsular Malaysia (PERHILITAN) and FRIM. Joining them were research bodies such as the Institute of Ethnic Studies UKM, Institute of Climate Change UKM and other local universities. Other participating organisations include the Northern Corridor Implementation Authority (NCIA), MNS, WWF-Malaysia and the Management of Ecology of Malaysian Elephants (MEME) of the University of Nottingham.
The main theme for BRainS 2018 was ‘Forest Biodiversity and Community: A Balanced Approach for Sustainable Development’. The emphasis this year was on how to make use of the BTRC’s resources in a sustainable manner that benefits all stakeholders while not neglecting the importance of wildlife conservation.
To that end, topics such as new directions for ecotourism, payment for ecosystem services and REDD+ were among the highlights of discussion. In addition, action plans to combat illegal activities such as poaching were also ranked highly on the agenda as these are serious issues affecting the survivability of the BTRC.
More pictures will be uploaded soon in our gallery!