Brunei remains committed to celebrate Earth Day

James Kon

Minister of Development Dato Seri Setia Ir Awang Haji Suhaimi bin Haji Gafar, in his message for Earth Day 2021 yesterday, reaffirmed Brunei Darussalam’s commitment to stand united with the global community to commemorate the celebration of Earth Day, a platform for cultivating environmental awareness and promoting actions to protect the environment.

Explaining the theme of this year’s celebration, Dato Seri Setia Ir Awang Haji Suhaimi said, “’Restore Our Earth’ is a theme that focusses on restoring the Earth through reduction and adaptation to the effects of environmental damage and pollution, as well as climate change.

“This theme coincides with the COVID-19 pandemic situation that hit the entire world over a year ago. The effects of this pandemic have clearly illustrated that the Earth is facing two closely related crises – the deterioration of the global environment and human health.”

The minister also pointed out that environmental damage and pollution are results of human activities such as unsustainable development, illegal trafficking and poaching, unsustainable deforestation, uncontrolled fishing or overfishing, and effects of climate change, which would lead to global economic deterioration.

He also stated, “We are aware that the human health and life is heavily dependent on the natural services of biodiversity, which are made up of many different types and ecosystems. As we develop a sustainable Brunei Darussalam, we recognise that we need to have a stable healthy biosphere that supports healthy human society. A balanced ecosystem can be maintained through a variety of means and methods, including the adoption of green technologies, good agricultural practices, wildlife restoration and ocean protection.”

“This year, the Ministry of Development through the Department of Environment, Parks and Recreation is running a social media campaign, as a continuation of the ‘Take Your Action, Make a Difference’ campaign that was introduced on the 50th anniversary of the Earth Day celebration last year. This social media movement will pay special attention to the months of Ramadhan and Syawal, to raise environmental awareness, as well as to encourage the public to kick-start eco-friendly habits.

“Various information will be shared in the form of infographics, videos, interactive quizzes, pantun exchanges, as well as tips on how to start practising green habits.

“The campaign will extend until June 2021, to commemorate World Environment Day, where several other activities are also in line including the expansion of the No Plastic Bag Everyday Initiative to convenience stores, restaurants and food stalls; an environmental roadshow; and the announcement of the winners of the Floating Waste Collector Conceptual Design Competition that was open to the tertiary institutions last year. More information on the campaign and updates of the activities will be made available at @jastre.bn Instagram account.”

Before concluding, the minister said, “It is hoped that this approach can provide some inspiration for all to rethink our lifestyles and develop and cultivate new sustainable habits, especially in this blessed month of Ramadhan, to make a change for the better, towards caring and safeguarding the Earth that we all care for and cherish.”