About Borneo Studies Network

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BSN Secretariat

Secretariat: Institute Asian Studies, Universiti Brunei Darussalam
Governing Council: Heads of BSN Members (Presidents, Vice Chencelor, Rectors)
Chairman: Prof Tong Chee Keong
Director of BSN: Dr Dk Noor Hasharina Binti Pg Hj Hassan
Information Resource Officer: Ms Munirah Zainal Abidin

BSN History

On Monday and Tuesday, 21st and 22nd October 2013, Universiti Brunei Darussalam hosted the inaugural meeting of the Borneo Studies Network. Senior officers from universities and research-active institutions across the whole of Borneo gathered to consider how they can work together in order to produce more and better-quality research outputs.

The Borneo Studies Network (BSN) aims to facilitate research collaboration across many academic disciplines. These include, but are not limited to:
The development of community-centred research methodologies appropriate to Borneo;
Environmental Anthropology;
Border communities;
Poverty studies;
Intangible cultural heritage;
Ethno-religious identity issues;
Decentralization and ‘otonomi daerah’;
Digital library development and digitization of library resources and archives;
Land tenure and land rights issues across Borneo; coexistence of ‘traditional’ customary adat and ‘modern’ legal systems;
Approaches and methods for Borneo indigenous language maintenance;
Natural resource management;
Forest and wildlife conservation;
‘Heart of Borneo’ Health;
Alternative healing services, traditional medicinal usage.
The meeting agreed to the establishment of a Governing Council, and on the wording of a Charter for the Borneo Studies Network.
It was also agreed that UBD would host the Secretariat for an initial period of three years. This will later rotate between the participating institutions. There was also agreement on a list of proposed activities, and on the development of a BSN website to facilitate collaboration.
The Opening Ceremony took place in the Senate Room, Chancellor Hall, on Monday 21st October. The Guest of Honour was UBD Deputy Vice-Chancellor Dr. Hajah Zohrah binti Haji Sulaiman, representing the Vice-Chancellor Dato Paduka Dr. Haji Zulkarnain bin Haji Hanafi. Dr Yabit Alas, Interim Chair of the BSN and AP Dr Noor Azam OKMB Haji-Othman, Dean of FASS, offered their welcoming and opening remarks, followed by a keynote paper from Professor Dr Hans-Dieter Evers of UBD entitled “Living on water in Borneo: A research agenda”.
BSN participants were from UNIMAS Kuching, and UMS Kota Kinabalu, Malaysia, also from the following institutions located in Kalimantan, Indonesia: Universitas Mulawarman (Samarinda), Universitas Lambung Mangkurat (Banjarmasin), Universitas Balikpapan, Universitas Tanjungpura (Pontianak), Institut Dayakologi (Pontianak), Sekolah Tinggi Pastoral Keuskupan Agung (Pontianak) and Mata Enggang Institut (Pontianak). Each of these institutions gave workshop presentations about their current research and about proposed areas for research collaboration under the umbrella of the BSN.
Future plans, as agreed by BSN participants, include the hosting of a Graduate Students’ Workshop at UBD in October 2014, and the second Governing Council meeting scheduled for the same time.
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