| Hakim Hayat |
THE Asean Environment Day (AED) launched last evening saw the presentation of awards to Asean cities that achieved sustainable and clean status.
Ministers responsible for environment from all 10 Asean member countries jointly launched the AED, which is a revamp from the Asean Environment Year, celebrated every three years to highlight the region’s achievements and commitment to environmental protection, as part of the bloc’s efforts in promoting environmental awareness among its citizens.
The launching was part of an outcome of 2015’s 12th Asean Ministerial Meeting on Environment in Hanoi, Vietnam, where ministers agreed to redesign the Asean Environment Year into the AED.
Brunei Darussalam was represented by the Minister of Development, Dato Seri Setia Awang Haji Bahrin bin Abdullah in the event held at the Tarindak D’Seni in the capital.
The minister also presented awards to representatives of recipient countries for the 4th Asean Environmentally Sustainable Cities (ESC) and the 3rd Certificate of Recognition Awards for Clean Air, Water and Land.
Bandar Seri Begawan, Brunei Darussalam; Kep City, Cambodia; Tulung Agung, Indonesia; Luang Prabang, Lao PDR; Putrajaya, Malaysia; Nay Pyi Taw, Myanmar; San Carlos, the Philippines; North-West District, Singapore; Nan Municipality, Thailand; and Da Lat, Vietnam were the 10 Asean cities awarded with the ESC.
In the big city category for the 3rd Certificate of Recognition Awards, both Bandung, Indonesia, and Can Tho, Vietnam, received the awards for clean air. The Malay City, Indonesia, received the clean water award. The award for clean land went to Makassar, Indonesia.
In the small city category for the 3rd Certificate of Recognition Awards, both Malacca Historial City, Malaysia, and Khonkaen, Thailand, received the clean air awards. The City of Phuket, Thailand, and Pursat, Cambodia, were awarded for their clean water. Ampang Jaya, Malaysia, and Kalasin, Thailand, got the clean land awards.
The Asean ESC Award was incepted in 2008 and is categorised for small cities of 20,000 to 750,000 inhabitants and big cities of populations over 750,000 to one million. The award serves to initiate and encourage the partnership and participation of various agencies including the community for the sustainable improvement of their own city through various partnerships towards the goal of better environmental awareness and knowledge among communities and eventually create and promote best-practices, innovation and new technologies in environmental sustainability.
Permanent Secretary (Administration and Finance) at the Ministry of Development, Haji Muhammad Lutfi bin Abdullah in his opening remarks touched on Brunei’s commitment to continue promoting a secure and sustainable environment as well as promoting environmental awareness at all levels of society. “The existing good ties and closer partnership between Asean member countries through international cooperation is needed in addressing environmental challenges in the region and promote awareness on environmental issues,” he stressed.