Monday, May 27, 2024
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Brunei, Singapore committed to climate change fight

James Kon

The Ministry of Development of Brunei Darussalam and the Ministry of Sustainability and Environment of Singapore yesterday adopted a revised memorandum of understanding (MoU) on bilateral cooperation in environmental affairs and climate change, following a signing ceremony at the 15th Brunei-Singapore Annual Exchange of Visits on the Environment (BSAEV) in Singapore.

The MoU underscores the commitment by both sides to expand cooperation to include climate change as part of efforts to further progress and deepen cooperation on sustainability and environmental protection.

Minister of Development Dato Seri Setia Awang Haji Muhammad Juanda bin Haji Abdul Rashid inked the MoU with Singapore’s Minister of Sustainability and Environment Grace Fu.

The ministers noted the steady progress of existing projects and programmes by both sides in the areas of solid waste management, air quality management, water resources management, environmental youth programmes and climate change.

They endorsed the continued efforts in solid waste management, notably Brunei Darussalam’s latest initiative of installing a surveillance camera system to monitor illegal dumping hotspots, improvements to the Brunei River clean-up initiative and the nationwide beach clean-up initiative to establish baseline data on marine debris washed onto the coastal areas; and the Singapore Green Plan 2030, its upcoming TuasOne Waste-to-Energy Plant and Integrated Waste Management Facility.

On the air quality management front, the pair exchanged information on monitoring and management measures including Brunei’s recently launched electric vehicle pilot project.

The ministers noted efforts in youth environmental programmes and activities – such as the Sultanate’s World Environment Day campaign and Singapore’s ‘Youth for Environmental Sustainability (YES) programme.

Minister of Development Dato Seri Setia Awang Haji Muhammad Juanda bin Haji Abdul Rashid with Singapore’s Minister of Sustainability and Environment Grace Fu. PHOTO: MINISTRY OF DEVELOPMENT

On water resources management, the two sides exchanged updates on new measures such as the implementation of SMART projects for flood management in Brunei, and the deployment of one of the world’s largest inland floating solar photovoltaic (PV) system at Tengeh Reservoir in Singapore.

On climate change, Singapore reaffirmed support for Brunei Darussalam’s ASEAN initiatives, particularly the ASEAN Centre for Climate Change and the ASEAN Youth on Climate Action (ASEANyouCAN).

The inaugural ASEANyouCAN dialogue involving all ASEAN member states was conducted in conjunction with the ASEAN Ministerial Meeting on the Environment in October 2021, with ASEANyouCAN youth delegates issuing the Bandar Seri Begawan Declaration on Youth for Climate Action, which highlighted ASEAN youths’ concerns and recommendations to strengthen regional climate action.

The two ministers reiterated the importance of combatting climate change, and agreed that both sides should enhance collaboration through technical exchanges on climate change related topics such as climate science, climate adaptation and coastal protection.

The ministers also agreed to enhance collaboration in water resources management, such as integrated water quality management and alert system. This entails water quality policy framework as well as flood control management, including drainage policy and enforcement strategy for climate change adaptation.

The two countries reiterated their commitment to cooperate with other ASEAN member states to advance regional environmental interests to achieve sustainable development and provide a healthy and clean-living environment for the people despite the unprecedented situation of COVID-19.

Brunei Darussalam will host the 16th BSAEV in 2023.

The Brunei delegation comprised Permanent Secretary (Planning, Land Use and Environment) at the Ministry of Development Dr Nor Imtihan binti Haji Abdul Razak and officials from the Public Works Department and Department of Environment, Parks and Recreation, while the Singapore delegation consisted of Permanent Secretary of Ministry of Sustainability and Environment Stanley Loh and officials from the national environment agency and national water agency of Singapore.