The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge are visiting Danum Valley Field Centre, part of the Royal Society’s South East Asia Rainforest Research Programme (SEARRP), on Saturday. Their visit is part of their tour of South East Asia and the South Pacific to mark the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee. The royal couple will find out about the ongoing conservation research at the centre, meet British and Malaysian scientists working at the centre and tour the facilities. This will include trekking into the rainforest and climbing up a 50 metre high tree to experience the area’s remarkable biodiversity for themselves. The Duke of Cambridge became a Royal Fellow of the Royal Society during the Royal Society’s 350th anniversary celebrations in 2010.
Professor John Pyle FRS, Chair of the SEARRP Committee, commented:
“The Royal Society is delighted that the Duke and Duchess have chosen to visit the Danum Valley Field Centre, part of the South East Asia Rainforest Research Programme (SEARRP). This scientific research programme is focused on tropical rainforest systems, ecology and dynamics and has been supported by the Royal Society for over 25 years. Since its inception in 1985, the programme has helped to develop effective conservation, management and restoration strategies for these vital ecosystems and environmental research and management capacity in the scientific community of Malaysia.”
“The Sabah Government’s Forestry Department recently announced a significant extension of the network of fully protected forests around the Danum Valley research area, amounting to over 180,000 additional hectares. This reflects how successful the scientific research and conservation at Danum Valley has been."
The Royal Society’s South East Asia Rainforest Research Programme (SEARRP) was established in 1985 in response to mounting concern over the future of South East Asia’s rainforests and through a conviction that by gaining a scientific understanding of tropical rainforest systems, ecology and dynamics a significant contribution could be made to their sustainable management and conservation – particularly in the context of global environmental change. Over the lifetime of the research programme more than 150 PhD and Masters projects have been completed as part of SEARRP and almost 400 research papers published in scientific journals.