Local markets are culturally important spaces that bring people closer to each other, as well as to diverse range of local plant species, according to a recent study published in the Journal of Ethnobiology and Ethnomedicine of Universiti Brunei Darussalam, UBD. The plant species in the environment are disappearing at an alarming rate. While this is a tragedy of the times, an even more appalling situation is where humans are unable to recognise the plant species existing in the environment. Scientist refer to this condition as Plant Blindness, which is believed to be the precursor for the eventual disappearance of the under-appreciated species.
In a research conducted by researchers team of UBD lead by Dr Merlin Franco of the Institute of Asian Studies and his team said that local markets such as Tamu Kianggeh could help in mitigating plant blindness. According to him, getting people interested in the local edible plant species is the first step to attract people towards local plants and plant culture. The researchers also added policy makers should consider local markets as a platform for conducting activities such as exhibitions that highlight the economic, cultural and conservation values of plants.
The Government of His Majesty has provide a continuous support to the local markets in the country, and the study's findings indicate that such investment has made tangible impacts in bringing people closer to each other, as well as with the local plant species.