South East Asia Rainforest Research Programme


The Royal Society South East Asia Rainforest Research Programme (SEARRP) was established in 1985 in response to mounting concern over the future of SE Asia rainforests and through a conviction that by gaining a scientific understanding of tropical rainforest systems, ecology and dynamics that a significant contribution could be made to their sustainable management and conservation, particularly in the context of an era of climate and land-use change.  Although the scope of the Programme includes all of SE Asia, our efforts are primarily focused on Sabah, Malaysian Borneo.


To enable excellence in collaborative research and training that makes a major contribution to the understanding of rainforests, their conservation and restoration and underpins the sustainable use of natural resources


  • To facilitate world-class, long-term, collaborative research in the rainforests and other natural and modified habitats of Sabah
  • To encourage multi-site, multi-disciplinary research particularly that which adds value to the major projects under SEARRP management (Sabah Biodiversity Experiment, SAFE Project, CTFS 50 ha plot)
  • To maintain and enhance the position of the Danum Valley Field Centre as one of the world’s leading tropical forest research stations
  • To ensure, through strategic partnerships, that research findings are effectively disseminated and influence land-use and conservation planning and sustainable resource management across the SE Asia region
  • To provide opportunities for Malaysia and SE Asian research students and scientists
  • To facilitate and provide a base for university and other graduate-level training courses
  • To continue to build a team of highly trained, skilled and motivated local research assistants
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