Brunei Darussalam yesterday joined the global community to celebrate World Ozone Day 2020 by planting 421 new tree seedlings at the new Recreational Park, Jalan Pusat Persidangan in Berakas.
The event was organised by the Ministry of Development through the Department of Environment, Parks and Recreation (JASTRe) in collaboration with the Department of Agriculture and Agrifood and Department of Forestry, Ministry of Primary Resources and Tourism (MPRT).
World Ozone Day is celebrated on September 16 annually. This year’s theme is ‘Ozone for Life: 35 Years of Ozone Layer Protection’.
The tree-planting event is in line with this year’s World Ozone Day theme where planting trees can reduce the earth’s exposure to UV-B radiation. The event also serves to achieve one of the main strategies of the Brunei Darussalam National Climate Change Policy (BNCCP) launched on July 25 – the target of planting 500,000 new trees by 2035.
Leading the tree planting event were Minister of Primary Resources and Tourism Dato Seri Setia Awang Haji Ali bin Apong, Minister of Development Dato Seri Setia Ir Awang Haji Suhaimi bin Haji Gafar and Minister of Energy Dato Seri Setia Dr Awang Haji Mat Suny bin Haji Mohd Hussein as Co-Chairpersons of the Brunei Darussalam National Council on Climate Change, and Minister of Transport and Infocommunications Dato Seri Setia Awang Abdul Mutalib bin Pehin Orang Kaya Seri Setia Dato Paduka Haji Mohd Yusof.
The ministers planted fruit saplings at designated areas of Recreational Park, Jalan Pusat Persidangan followed by the planting of ornamental and forest trees by other guests.
The ministers toured different tree planting zones. Together with the planted new tree seedlings, the park now has 911 trees.
There are around 15 varieties of trees in the park including Jagus (Anacardium occidentale), Jambu Mawar (Syzygium jambos), Jambu Putat (Syzygium malaccense), Luli (Garcinia hombroniana), Durian Salat ( Annona muricata), Nona (Annona squamosal), Asam Aur-aur (Garcinia forbesii), Sabal telor (Dacroydes macrocarpa, Dacroydes expansa), Sabal besar (Dacroydes macrocarpa, Dacroydes expansa), Durian (Durio graveolens), Tarap (Artocarpus odoratissimus), Ru Runang (Gymnostoma nobile), Yellow Tabebuia (Tabebuia aurea), Pink Tabebuia (Tabebuia impetiginosa), Pink Tabebuia (Tabebuia impetiginosa) and Rain tree (Samanea saman).
Legislative Council member Yang Berhormat Khairunnisa bin Haji Ash’ari, Australian High Commissioner to Brunei Darussalam Tiffany McDonald, High Commissioner of the Republic of Singapore to Brunei Darussalam Lim Hong Huai, Canadian High Commissioner to Brunei Darussalam Jeanette Stovel, permanent secretaries, deputy permanent secretaries, heads of departments and senior officials from the Ministry of Primary Resources and Tourism, Ministry of Development, Ministry of Transport and Infocommunications and Ministry of Energy, Hengyi Industries Sdn Bhd Chief Executive Officer Chen Lian Chai and World Environment Day 2020 Virtual Run participants were also present.
The Australian High Commissioner lauded the Government of His Majesty Sultan Haji Hassanal Bolkiah Mu’izzaddin Waddaulah ibni Al-Marhum Sultan Haji Omar ‘Ali Saifuddien Sa’adul Khairi Waddien, Sultan and Yang Di-Pertuan of Brunei Darussalam’s initiative of tree planting to commemorate World Ozone Day 2020.
“This is a wonderful initiative and it is an honour to be a part of the event. His Majesty also planted a sapling during a visit to Australia. This is a very good symbol of not only contributing to the environment but it also strengthens bilateral relations between both countries,” she said in an interview.
She said she was looking forward to learn more about the BNCCP.
In term of green technology, she added, “I would also continue to explore the opportunity to exchange and share experience.”
The 29-hectare park is managed and maintained by JASTRe in collaboration with the MPRT and other departments. It is planned to be opened to the public once cleaning and maintenance works are completed.