NParks signs MOU with Brunei's Forestry Department on joint botanical survey

Saifulbahri Ismail Channel NewAsia 29 May 13;

SINGAPORE: Researchers from Singapore will now have greater access to study plants and forests in Brunei.

A Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between the National Parks Board (NParks) and Brunei's Forestry Department was signed Wednesday in Bandar Seri Begawan.

With the MOU on a joint botanical survey, Singapore becomes the first ASEAN country to conclude a formal agreement with Brunei in the environment sector.

Deputy Chief Executive Officer of NParks Leong Chee Chiew said the MOU will benefit both countries.

Under the agreement, Singapore will contribute its expertise to conduct a planned and systematic study of the rich flora in Brunei.

Researchers will help to identify and document different species of plants in the Bruneian forests.

Brunei last conducted an inventory of its flora database in 1996.

It is estimated that Brunei is home to around 5,000 plant species.

NParks said it has other collaborative efforts in the region.

Its scientists are involved in studying ginger in Vietnam and orchids in Myanmar.

- CNA/xq