Pontianak, 1 March 2024: A collaboration between Universiti Malaysia Sarawak (UNIMAS), Sarawak, Malaysia, and Universitas Tanjungpura (UNTAN), Pontianak, West Kalimantan, Indonesia, had reached an agreement through an international research Matching Grant. The meeting of UNIMAS Vice Chancellor, Professor Dr. Ahmad Hata bin Rasit, with the UNTAN Rector, Professor Dr. Garuda Wiko, S.H., M.Si was also attended by UNIMAS Global Director, Mr. Thian Foong Fatt, CEO of UNIMAS Business School, Professor Dr. Puah Chin Hong, as well as 14 researchers from the Faculty of Resource Science and Technology (FRST), UNIMAS.

Professor Dr. Ramlah binti Zainudin, who is the head researcher from the FRST team, said these research activities aim to form the Borneo Satellite Network (BoSaN), which will digitise all the research findings on one platform in ‘real-time’ and can be accessed by other researchers and the public. In addition, Prof. Dr. Ramlah also emphasize that the UNIMAS research group, with the theme “Zoologists Go Global” will continue to collaborate with several other universities in Borneo, such as Universiti Brunei Darussalam (UBD), and Universiti Malaysia Sabah (UMS) to ensure that they can gather sufficient data from these countries and states within the Borneo Island. More collaborations will be done with Forest Department Sarawak (FDS), Sarawak Forestry Corporation (SFC), Sabah Parks, and Taman Negara Ulu Temburong, Brunei. “We want to ensure that the findings of our research are comprehensive for the whole of Borneo, from the people of Borneo to the benefit of global communities,” she said.

The research that will be carried out revolves around the 3Cs, namely climate change, conservation of biodiversity, and cooperation in partnership, to achieve four (4) sustainable development goals (SDGs), which are the SDG13 Climate Change, the SDG15 Life on Land, the SDG17 Partnerships for the Goals, and the SDG14 Life Below Water.

“Effort from Prof. Dr. Ramlah’s team and other universities in Borneo to get accurate data in real-time, which is in line with my practice to leverage digital technology transformation for future sustainability,” said Prof. Dr. Ahmad Hata in a meeting with the Rector of UNTAN. “It’s indeed better for us to prepare the platform that can be developed, monitored, and information exchanged,” said Prof. Dr. Garuda, as he agreed with the idea of BoSaN.

This “Zoologists Go Global” programme is a component of Strategic Commitment 5 (SC 5) Programme Development resulting from the Workshop on the Road Map of Curricular Review Transition from Animal Resource Science and Management to Zoological Technology Programme conducted in 2023. Hence, the first series was held from 27th of February to 2nd of March 2024, and included several activities such as a collaborative discussion between researchers from FRST, UNIMAS, researchers from the Faculty of Forestry (Fahutan), UNTAN, and the Head of the Bukit Baka Bukit Raya National Park, Kalimantan; for a seminar focused on the wildlife and zoology fields in the Borneo forest ecosystem was also delivered; as well as a workshop on scientific writing skills by the FRST, UNIMAS researchers to students and researchers from Fahutan, UNTAN.

Research site visits were also held around the West Kalimantan region, such as the Mempawah Mangrove Conservation (MMC) Park, the educational mangrove forest at Mempawah Regency. Along the way, heading to the next site, the research team had a coffee break at Sungai Duri, Bengkayang Kepulaun, another mangrove site, and a short visit to Simping Island, Sedau, and Singkawang to see the smallest island in the world, known as Kelapa Dua Island. The final destination is the Centre for Mangrove Forest Restoration and Ecosystem Expansion, Singkawang.

Fahutan, UNTAN Dean, Dr. Farah Diba, S.Hut, M.Si., who is the host of this programme, hopes that this collaboration is not only focused on research but can also be expanded to teaching and learning matters such as student and staff mobilities and the implementation of Dual Degree Programmes by Research (Postgraduate) between FRST, UNIMAS and Fahutan, UNTAN. 

Prepared by the Media Team of Program Kembara Zoologists Go Global 2024

Professor Dr. Ahmad Hata bin Rasit, the Vice Chancellor of UNIMAS, had a discussion with the Rector of UNTAN at Universitas Tanjungpura, Pontianak, Indonesia.

Professor Dr. Garuda Wiko, S.H., M.Si., the Rector of UNTAN, offering positive feedback on the research collaboration and expressing optimism for continued cooperation


The BoSaN map

Day 1- 27 February 2024

The FRST UNIMAS research team just arrived and met with the UNIMAS Vice Chancellor at Pontianak.

Day 2- 28 February 2024

First day to visit the Faculty of Forestry (Fahutan), UNTAN at the old campus. Researchers from UNIMAS and UNTAN took a picture at the front of the old office of the Faculty of Forestry UNTAN also known as Fahutan.

A site visit to Mempawah Mangrove Conservation (MMC) Park at Mempawah Regency.

An interview session between Mr. Raja Fajar Azansyah, the Park Manager of Mempawah Mangrove Conservation (MMC) Park, Prof. Dr Ramlah Zainudin and Dr. Elvy Quatrin Anak Deka from UNIMAS and Dr. Haji. Farah Diba, S. Hut, M.Si. from Faculty of Forestry, UNTAN.

A photo session after having a dinner with Malaysian Consul, Mr. Azizul Zekri Abdul Rahman at the Consulate of Malaysia, Pontianak

Day 2- 29 February 2024

A fruitful discussion between UNIMAS Vice Chancellor, Prof. Dr. Ahmad Hata bin Rasit with UNTAN Rector, Prof. Dr. Garuda Wiki, S.H., Prof. Dr. Ramlah binti Zainudin and Dr. Haji Farah Diba S. Hut at his office.

Agreement has been made to initiate BoSaN by both Universities witnessed by the whole delegation.

Researchers from both universities posed at the Lobby of the UNTAN Rector Office. The UNIMAS Vice Chancellor and the UNTAN Rector were holding the Zoologists Go Global banner while everybody made the C sign which means Congeniality for UNIMAS,  Collaboration for UNTAN, and 3Cs of the BoSaN’s theme.

UNIMAS Vice Chancellor with the Dean of the Faculty of Forestry (Futan), Dr. Haji Farah Diba S. Hut, and the team leader of “Zoologists Go Global” Prof. Dr. Ramlah (far right). From the left side was Dr. Mohamad Hasnul bin Bolhassan who represents the FRST Dean, Prof. Dr. Ir. Haji Dwi Astiani, and Mr. Andi Muhammad Kadhafi, the Head of the Bukit Baka Bukit Raya National Park.

The Dean of the Faculty of Forestry (Futan), Dr. Haji Farah Diba S. Hut gave an opening speech.

Professor Dr. Ramlah Zainudin explained the BoSaN concept in the collaborative discussion with the researchers from UNTAN and Bukit Baka Bukit Raya National Park.

Plaque gift between Prof Dr. Ramlah binti Zainudin to Dr. Haji Farah Diba S. Hut.

Mr. Andi who is the head of Bukit Baka Bukit Raya National Park explained about rules for doing research in any national park in Indonesia and what they can do to assist researchers outside of Indonesia.

Researchers from both universities with the Vice Chancellor of UNIMAS after the officiating ceremony.

One of the Zoologist members gave a talk on his field, Mollusca.

A seminar delivered by UNIMAS FRST researchers was a full house with attendance from students and researchers from UNTAN.

Day 3- 1 March 2024

Further discussion was held with Dr. Haji Farah Diba S. Hut. at Sungai Duri, Bengkayang Regency surrounded by a mangrove forest and with the background of South China Sea, Temaju Island, Lemukutan Island, Big Penata Island, and Small Penata Island, to execute more educational and research activities between the Unimas and UNTAN students.

UNIMAS and UNTAN researchers visited one of the potential site to conduct research at the Centre of Restoration and Ecosystem Expansion of Mangrove Forest Center, Singkawang. They were guided by a local community that was actively involved in the rehabilitation project 7 years ago.

Boats are the only transportation to go to the mangrove forest restoration centre.

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