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Article Released Sun-13th-July-2008 14:32 GMT
Contact: Universiti Brunei Darussalam Institution: Universiti Brunei Darussalam
 The Kuala Belalong Field Studies Centre

Brunei: The Kuala Belalong Field Studies Centre was set up by Universiti Brunei Darussalam (UBD) deep in the country's unspoiled jungle as an international focus for research into the threatened rainforests of Borneo.

The Kuala Belalong Field Studies Centre was set up by Universiti Brunei Darussalam (UBD) deep in the country's unspoiled jungle as an international focus for research into the threatened rainforests of Borneo. It is also a teaching and training resource for schools, institutes of higher education in Brunei Darussalam and overseas, and government personnel working on the environment.

It is not an area for ecotourism or a recreation site. People who are allowed to visit the Centre are:

Research scientists with approved short or long term projects/programmes.
Students who follow one of the educational programmes run by the Centre.
Students with approved study proposals.
Approved research assistants.
Government officers with approved environmental programmes.
Government officers and others involved with the future development of the Centre.

Set up in early 1991, the Centre quickly established its international credentials as the headquarters of a 15-month joint UBD-Royal Geographical Society expedition. Some 50 scientists from eight countries took part in more than 33 short-term and nine long-term projects designed to gather background data for the development of the Centre as an important research facility. The vast range of projects included studies of ants, termites, bats, birds, beetles, frogs, woodlice, ferns, rattans and the ethnobotany of forest plants. The project ended in March 1992 with most of the results incorporated into a computerized information system which includes a sophisticated mapping capability.

FACILITIES

Five wooden buildings linked by walkways have been built at the river's edge. These comprise two accommodation blocks for up to 35 visitors, a laboratory, a dining hall and kitchen, and a meeting hall. There is a filtered water supply, electricity from a diesel generator and a sewerage system.

The Centre has a canopy access system provided by portable scaffolding and climbing gear, environmental monitoring programs, research plots and a Geographical Information Sytem (GIS).

LOCATION

The Centre is located in the Temburong District of Brunei Darussalam in the Ulu Temburong National Park. It lies on the west bank of the Belalong River nestling in the 'V' of a steep-sided, heavily forested valley about five kilometres upstream from the roadhead at Batang Duri.

The Centre is surrounded by lowland and ridge Dipterocarp forest with small areas of riverine and heath forest which have never been logged. The terrain is difficult to work in, characterised by steep-sided valleys and sharp ridges. Hunting has been minimal in the area which supports substantial populations of large mammals including Borneon gibbons, langurs, macaques, civets and sun bears. The Centre is 50 metres above sea level but the highest point within the National Park is Gunong Pagon (1850 metres). The upper reaches of the peak support montane forest but there are some montane plant species closer to the Centre on the upper slopes of Bukit Belalong (995 metres).

OBJECTIVES
To provide an opportunity for a direct experience with the natural environment.
To provide knowledge of the natural history of the Brunei rainforest.
To provide an understanding of rainforest ecology and guidance for its conservation.

VISION
To take a leading role in research on primary rainforest ecosystems in Southeast Asia.

MISSION
To carry out research :
on the environmental and physical characteristics of the primary rainforest ecosystem.
on primary rainforest biodiversity.
on primary rainforest dynamics.

GOAL
To contribute to the collection of baseline data and expansion of knowledge of the environmental (biological, chemical, cultural, economic, physical, social) characteristics of the primary rainforest.

Guidelines for Research Proposals
To conduct research at KBFSC, prior approval from the KBFSC Research Advisory Committee is needed. The committee requires a detailed research proposal and résumés for each researcher involved in the project. The research proposal must be submitted at least three months before the proposed visit and needs to contain the following information:

Introduction
brief introduction to the nature of the work and to previous studies
a statement on the importance of this work in the context of existing knowledge
clearly stated objectives
mention of any local collaboration/supervision

Methods
The methods need to be given in detail and include (where applicable):
- sampling design and techniques
- the number of specimens to be collected
- impact of the methods on the target species and any implications for its conservation
- the dates and duration in the field
- where the specimens are going to be deposited
- if any special assistance (equipment, guides or boats) from KBFSC is required

The committee requires a preliminary report on completion of the field trip and copies of any subsequent publications. Other output such as field guides, diagnostic keys, etc. are greatly appreciated. Visiting researchers are also encouraged to submit articles to The Science Bulletin published by the Faculty of Science, Universiti Brunei Darussalam. This is an annual publication, the aim of which is to provide information to the University community and the public about the research activities of the Faculty in an accessible and informal manner.

Telephone : 673-2463001 ext. 1376

FAX: 673-2461502

Postal address

The Director,
Kuala Belalong Field Studies Centre,
Universiti Brunei Darussalam,
Jalan Tungku Link,
BE1410.
BRUNEI DARUSSALAM,
S.E. ASIA

E-mail for general information: kbfsc@ubd.edu.bn
http://www.ubd.edu.bn/services/kbfsc/index.htm

Associated links

Keywords associated to this article: forest, research centre
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