Our story


UBI’s recent history dates back to 2014, beginning life as the Rimba Project, a Living Lab for campus sustainability and urban biodiversity conservation at the University of Malaya (UM). While, like our namesake (ubi = tuber, corm), we are an extension of the Rimba Project, the roots of UBI (no pun intended) in fact go much deeper and further back…

Where it all started – the Rimba Ilmu Botanic Garden, University of Malaya, a National Heritage Site
Photographed by Siti Syuhada Sapno

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Thary Gazi Goh and Benjamin Ong started out as children exploring their backyards of Shah Alam and Cheras, respectively. They met in 2007 as undergraduates in Universiti Malaya’s Ecology & Biodiversity programme. With over a decade of education and nature interpretation experience, they are excited about guiding a new generation of Backyard Explorers into some of Malaysia’s oldest and most well-established botanical and zoological resources.

Like exploring nature? So do we. And we believe there are adventures to be had, right down our doorsteps. We invite you to join us as we explore our urban wilderness together.

This is the drain where Benjamin discovered his first tadpoles. Stare long enough and you see a mighty river flanked by two majestic canyon walls, with forests peeking out over the waters. It’s all a matter of perspective!


Our profile

UBI is managed by UBI Services, a social enterprise established and registered under the Companies Commission of Malaysia.

Find out more about our core team and partners at these links, plus media and resources that chart our journey and portfolio over the last few years.