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Brunei
Sunday, August 14, 2022
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Brunei
Sunday, August 14, 2022
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    Brunei joins efforts to conserve forests, ecosystems

    Azlan Othman

    Brunei Darussalam along with more than 110 countries endorsed the Glasgow Leaders’ Declaration on Forests and Land Use at the 26th Session of the United Nations (UN) Conference on Climate Change (COP26).

    By endorsing the declaration, Brunei has joined in the effort to, among others, conserve forests and other terrestrial ecosystems, facilitate trade and development policies that do not drive deforestation and land degradation, reduce vulnerability, build resilience and enhance rural livelihoods, implement sustainable agriculture, and accelerate the transition to an economy that is resilient and advances forest, sustainable land use, biodiversity and climate goals.

    The United Kingdom (UK) as host and President of the COP26 officiated the event with a two-day World Leaders Summit (WLS) attended by over 120 world leaders. As part of the summit, a Forests and Land Use Event (FLU) was held on November 2, aimed at re-affirming collective commitments to preserve forests and reverse deforestation.

    The event was opened with remarks by UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson, Colombia President Ivan Duque Marquez, and Indonesia President Joko Widodo. The event was also graced by His Royal Highness Prince Charles, The Prince of Wales.

    Brunei has forest coverage of 72 per cent, with a capacity to absorb about 13.9 MtCO2e of carbon emissions annually. The Sultanate will continue to preserve its pristine rainforests by increasing the forest reserves from 41 to 55 per cent of the total land area, and seek to increase the country’s carbon sink further through planting 500,000 new trees by 2035.

    Representing 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 at the World Leaders Summit event on Forests and Land Use was Minister of Foreign Affairs II Dato Seri Setia Awang Haji Erywan bin Pehin Datu Pekerma Jaya Haji Mohd Yusof as representative of ASEAN Chair for 2021, and Permanent Secretary at the Ministry of Energy Haji Azhar bin Haji Yahya, as Brunei Darussalam’s Executive Committee Chair on Climate Change.

    His Royal Highness Prince Charles, The Prince of Wales speaks during the UN Climate Change Conference. PHOTO: AP

    In the Glasgow Leaders’ Declaration on Forests and Land Use, world leaders emphasised the critical and interdependent roles of all types of forests, biodiversity and sustainable land use in enabling the world to meet its sustainable development goals; to help achieve a balance between anthropogenic greenhouse gas emissions and removal by sinks; to adapt to climate change; and to maintain other ecosystem services.

    They also re-affirmed their commitments, collective and individual, to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change and the Paris Agreement, the Convention on Biological Diversity, the UN Convention to Combat Desertification, the Sustainable Development Goals; and other initiatives.

    The leaders also re-affirmed commitments to sustainable land use, and to the conservation, protection, sustainable management and restoration of forests, and other terrestrial ecosystems; recognise that to meet the land use, climate, biodiversity and sustainable development goals, both globally and nationally, will require transformative further action in the interconnected areas of sustainable production and consumption; infrastructure development; trade; finance and investment; and support for smallholders, indigenous people, and local communities, who depend on forests for their livelihoods and have a key role in their stewardship.

    The summit also saw leaders committing to working collectively in halting and reversing forest loss and land degradation by 2030, while delivering sustainable development and promoting an inclusive rural transformation.

    They will strengthen the shared efforts to conserve forests and other terrestrial ecosystems and accelerate their restoration; facilitate trade and development policies, internationally and domestically, that promote sustainable development, and sustainable commodity production and consumption, that work to countries’ mutual benefit, and that do not drive deforestation and land degradation; reduce vulnerability, build resilience and enhance rural livelihoods, including through empowering communities, the development of profitable, sustainable agriculture, and recognition of the multiple values of forests, while recognising the rights of indigenous peoples, as well as local communities, in accordance with national legislation and international instruments.

    They also implement and, if necessary, redesign agricultural policies and programmes to incentivise sustainable agriculture, promote food security, and benefit the environment; re-affirm international financial commitments and significantly increase finance and investment from a wide variety of public and private sources, while also improving its effectiveness and accessibility, to enable sustainable agriculture, sustainable forest management, forest conservation and restoration, and support for indigenous peoples and local communities.

    The leaders also facilitate the alignment of financial flows with international goals to reverse forest loss and degradation, while ensuring robust policies and systems are in place to accelerate the transition to an economy that is resilient and advances forest, sustainable land use, biodiversity and climate goals.

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