Thursday, July 18, 2024
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Brunei Town

A time for reflection and honouring the planet

Rizal Faisal

Earth Day is celebrated annually on April 22 by countries, governments and organisations all over the world to address pressing environmental issues and, of late, climate change.

Governments usually observe the annual occasion by addressing climate change in strategic national policies on the larger scale, while activities such as planting trees and awareness discussions can be seen among smaller organisations.

This year, Alliance Française (AF) de Brunei Darussalam joined in with the Earth Day celebrations around the world, to honour the planet with a tree-planting activity and reflecting on what they could do at their level to contribute as a local organisation.

A discussion held on April 22 at AF de Brunei Darussalam in Tungku, was participated by its staff, students and members.

President of AF de Brunei Darussalam Pehin Orang Kaya Pekerma Laila Diraja Dato Seri Setia Haji Hazair bin Haji Abdullah and French Ambassador-Designate to Brunei Darussalam Bernard Regnauld-Fabre joined in the afternoon at the outdoor area of AF’s premises to plant a Phoenix Roebelenii (a dwarf evergreen palm tree) and an Eugenia Oleina (an evergreen shrub). Indoor and outdoor plants were also available for repotting by children.

A group photo during the event. PHOTOS: RIZAL FAISAL & ALLIANCE FRANÇAISE DE BRUNEI DARUSSALAM
Pehin Orang Kaya Pekerma Laila Diraja Dato Seri Setia Haji Hazair bin Haji Abdullah plants a sapling

During the discussion, 52 tips from the Earth Day website were highlighted to provide topics and ideas, which AF de Brunei Darussalam are looking to put into practice in the next few months.

The gathering aimed to provide a kick-start of things to come in terms of creating awareness, with the hope to expand activities and have a broader coverage.

The discussion also covered ways to start the journey towards a greener way of life.

Specifically mentioned were: composting; the 3Rs (reuse, reduce, recycle); sustainable food; waste management; solar power, one home at a time; as well as cleaning campaigns done either solo or in groups to remove trash from neighbourhoods, beaches, rivers, lakes, trails and parks, to name a few.

Reducing waste and plastic pollution, improving habitats and preventing harm to wildlife and humans were also discussed.

In addition, the idea of hosting talks and events to showcase ideas in sustainable and nature-based products was laid out on the table, along with an idea for sustainable fashion.

AF de Brunei Darussalam encourages the public to follow their efforts by logging on to their website and social media.

AF is an international organisation founded in 1883 to promote and disseminate the French language and Francophone (French speaking) cultures around the world through its 832 centres in 131 countries.

Since its establishment in 1986, AF de Brunei Darussalam has been fostering the French language and culture among Bruneians. Based in Kampong Tungku, it provides classes to the public, schools, universities, corporates and official translations.

It also holds multiple cultural events such as conferences, special events, cooking classes as well as two major annual events, namely Francophonie, an international celebration of French language and culture, and the French Film Festival, which celebrates French films to discover or rediscover masterpieces of French cinema.

AF de Brunei Darussalam is also an examination centre for Brunei and the Borneo region for the official French language proficiency diplomas DELF (French Studies Diploma) and DALF (Advanced French Studies Diploma), issued by the French Ministry of Education.

Under the patronage of the French Embassy and of the French Ambassador to Brunei Darussalam, and under the presidency of former Minister of Culture, Youth and Sports Pehin Orang Kaya Pekerma Laila Diraja Dato Seri Setia Haji Hazair, AF de Brunei Darussalam is a French-Bruneian non-profit organisation aiming to play an important role as a conduit in linking both cultures.

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