Going Back in Time
Throughout the years, a variety of community outreach projects such as water tanks distribution and medical camps were organized and after bagging a few international ecotourism awards, Borneo Eco Tours decided to set up a legal foundation in 1999 called Sukau Ecotourism Research and Development Centre or SERDC focusing on community and environmental efforts. The set up of the foundation was driven by the increasing threats to biodiversity inhabiting lower Kinabatangan region. Illegal logging and clearing of forests for agriculture particularly large scale oil palm plantations have resulted in habitat loss and increasing incidence of elephants encroachment into plantations.
Additionally, there was a need to conduct more research for better understanding of local culture and attitudes as part of an ecosystem. Tourism in the Kinabatangan region was increasing in popularity and the growing number of tourists may pose a problem to the environment, wildlife and people if no measures and efforts were put in place.
After a series of tree planting programs, medical outreaches and projects to engage the local community, SERDC outgrew its original scope and objectives. In 2007, SERDC stepped into a new chapter where it was given a new name - BEST Society and its vision remodelled to include greater sustainability in future community development projects.
BEST Society have intentionally moved away from its original philosophy of providing services for the welfare of local communities to developing projects to inculcate social entrepreneurship and empowerment. Our hope is to develop and grow local communities so that they can stand independently.