Interests and policies of the state of Sarawak, Malaysia regarding intellectual property rights for plant derived drugs.


Sarawak, on the island of Borneo, is known internationally for its rich rain forests, flora and fauna. Its rain forests, occupying two-thirds of its geographical area shelters 2500 tree species, 5500 flowering plants and over 20 000 different kinds of animals and insects. Such abundance of plants, and in particular, in the variety thereof, have attracted the attention of scientists involved in the field of research into their potential medicinal value. Recent discovery that two species of Calophyllum tree in the rain forests of Sarawak produce active anti-HIV agents, has, no doubt, intensified interest in the State's plant resources for scientific research.