Universiti Brunei Darussalam (UBD) and its alumnus Kelvin Pong Ming Onn signed an agreement yesterday, to fund the development, teaching and research of UBD’s Botanical Research Centre (UBDBRC).
Pong, a chartered financial consultant who graduated from UBD with a Master of Business Administration, signed the agreement with UBD Vice-Chancellor Datin Dr Dayang Hajah Anita Binurul Zahrina binti Pehin Orang Kaya Laila Wijaya Dato Seri Setia Haji Awang Abdul Aziz at Simpur Herbal Café at the UBD campus.
In recognition of his contribution, a garden at UBDBRC has been named The Pong Endangered Species Garden.
Since its establishment, UBDBRC has conducted research activities on endangered and rare species in the country. In the last three years, five of the six most endangered tree species, from the family dipterocarpaceae, have been collected from the wild and secured in the garden. This project, in collaboration with four other botanical gardens in Borneo, have secured the protection of the 15 rarest species of dipterocarps on the island.
UBDBRC aims to preserve individuals and genetic diversity for future restoration projects in Brunei. UBDBRC is also a member of the Botanical Garden Conservation International (BGCI), whose members collaborate in data basing and protect rare species to preserve genetic diversity and conduct education activity and awareness campaign on endangered species.
The current collection at UBDBRC also includes traditional edible plant species with medicinal properties.
One of the research studies being carried out is on ginger, specifically the investigation of anti-cancer properties of black ginger (kaemperia piriform).