Brunei’s green initiatives highlighted at forum

|     James Kon     |

BRUNEI Darussalam’s initiatives toward environmental sustainability and green economy were highlighted by Minister of Development Dato Setia Awang Haji Suhaimi bin Haji Gafar at the Third Forum of Ministers and Environment Authorities of Asia and the Pacific in Singapore yesterday.

The Minister of Development outlined the Sultanate’s initiatives that included the implementation of ‘No Plastic Bag Every Day’ drive that commenced on January 1 this year.

He also focussed on Brunei’s mitigation strategies to meet the national climate change target in line with the objectives of the Paris Agreement such as the Introduction of Standards and Labelling Regulation, the Introduction of Fuel Economy Regulation, and the Expansion of the EEC Building Guidelines 2015 for Government and Commercial Buildings.

The minister noted how Brunei had increased its forest reserves from 41 per cent to 55 per cent of the country’s total land area, covering all types of forest including peat swamp forests.

Dato Seri Setia Awang Haji Suhaimi’s delegation included the Permanent Secretary at the Ministry of Development Dr Nor Imtihan binti Haji Abdul Razak, Department of Environment, Parks and Recreation (JASTRe) Acting Director Martinah Haji Tamit and senior officials from the JASTRe.

Minister of Development Dato Seri Paduka Ir Awang Haji Suhaimi bin Haji Gafar with Singapore’s Deputy Prime Minister Teo Chee Hean. – MINISTRY OF DEVELOPMENT

The ministerial segment was opened with a welcoming address by Singapore’s Minister for the Environment and Water Resources Masagos Zulkifli bin Masagos Mohamad followed by keynote addresses by Singapore’s Deputy Prime Minister Teo Chee Hean, Sri Lanka’s President Maithripala Sirisena who is also Minister of Mahaweli Development and Environment, and Tuvalu’s Prime Minister Enele Sosene Sopoaga.

Prior to the ministers’ forum, a senior officials meeting was held.

The objective of the forum was for ministers in the Asia-Pacific region to discuss strategies and policies, exchange views and share experiences.

At the end of the forum, a ministerial outcome (chair’s summary) was adopted that reflected policy perspectives and commitments in Asia-Pacific to address the theme of the Fourth UN Environment Assembly (UN EA-4) ‘Innovative Solutions for Environmental Challenges and Sustainable Consumption and Production’.

While in Singapore, Dato Seri Setia Awang Haji Suhaimi had two separate bilateral meetings with Malaysia’s Minister of Energy, Science, Technology, Environment and Climate Change Yeo Bee Yin and Indonesian Ministry of Environment and Forestry’s Watershed and Protection Forest Management Director General Putera Parthama.

They discussed issues on common concern and possible areas of cooperation that benefit both countries with respect to the environment.

The UN Environment Assembly is the world’s highest-level decision-making body on the environment that meets biennially to set priorities for global environmental policies and develop international environmental law.

The UN EA-4 meeting will be held on March 11-14 this year in Nairobi.