Minister underpins Asean achievement in environmental protection

|     Azlan Othman     |

ASEAN Member State (AMS) environment ministers held their 14th Asean Ministerial Meeting on the Environment (14th AMME) at the International Convention Centre (ICC) in Berakas yesterday.

Around 100 AMS delegations and representatives from the Asean Secretariat convened in a meeting at Musyawarah Hall, discussing and focusing on streamlining Asean member countries’ collective efforts and endeavours in the conservation, management and protection of the environment.

The meeting was chaired by Minister of Development, Dato Seri Setia Awang Haji Bahrin bin Abdullah.

In his speech, the minister noted that “together, under Asean, we have witnessed many encouraging and positive developments in the field of environmental cooperation over the years. These achievements have been underpinned by the great importance each of us attaches to the necessity of proper management of the environment towards environmental sustainability.

“This is in spite of the varying circumstances and challenges facing each country, as manifested in the different levels of capacity and resources each individual country could put up to tackle environmental issues, both local and regional”.

Dato Seri Setia Awang Haji Bahrin bin Abdullah, Minister of Development, at the event with other officials. – AZLAN OTHMAN

The minister added, “Having achieved our objectives under the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), Asean member countries now join other nations in adopting and working towards achieving the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

“Our environmental accomplishments under the ambit of the Asean Environment Sector, amongst others, so far include the successful realisation of the Asean Biodiversity Heroes, the publication of the Asean State of Environment Reports, the Asean Youth Environment Forums, the Asean Sustainable Cities Award and Certificate of Recognition, the Asean Biodiversity Outlook, as well as cooperation with our dialogue partners that has gone from strength to strength, to mention but a few.

“As we embark on our journey towards Asean Economic Community (AEC) and to realise the Asean Community Vision 2025, we will likely continue to encounter a rapidly changing regional and global landscape which will present many opportunities but also pose many challenges.

“With our ability to work collectively and pragmatically for mutual benefit, however, and harnessing the Asean spirit of cooperation and solidarity, I am confident we will be able to continue our path of progress in the field of environment cooperation under the Asean framework.”

Brunei Darussalam’s delegations were led by Deputy Minister of Development Dato Seri Paduka Awang Haji Suhaimi bin Haji Gafar.

A wide range of environmental issues and matters are covered in the environment sector. Among these are Nature Conservation and Biodiversity, Coastal and Marine Environment, Water Resources Management, Environmentally Sustainable Cities, Climate Change, Chemicals and Waste, Environmental Education, Environmentally Sound Technology, and Sustainable Consumption and Production.