The biodiversity-rich Malaysian state of Sabah, on the island of Borneo, is going to require non-governmental organisations to get approval from the state authorities before conducting any research there.
The move was agreed after a discussion held by officials from state ministries in August 2004. It is intended to stop biopiracy — the act of gaining benefit from a country's biological resources without fair compensation.
The decision means that all applications to do research in Sabah will first have to be approved by the State Economic Planning Unit. The Research and Internal Affairs Office of Sabah's chief minister's department will then assess applications for final approval.