Brunei’s ASEAN chairmanship prioritises care, prosperity

Brunei Darussalam’s ASEAN chairmanship priorities and deliverables for this year are under the theme ‘We Care, We Prepare, We Prosper’, which will focus on harnessing the caring nature of people in the region, preparing ASEAN for the future, and enabling sustainable prosperity in a resilient region.

This was highlighted by Minister of Development Dato Seri Setia Ir Awang Haji Suhaimi bin Haji Gafar, during the G20 Environment Ministerial Meeting on July 22.

Brunei Darussalam, as the ASEAN Chair for 2021, was invited as the guest of the chair by the G20 Italian presidency.

The meeting, held in a hybrid format, was chaired by Minister for the Ecological Transition of the Republic of Italy Roberto Cingolani; and attended by ministers and representatives from the G20 member countries, guest countries, as well as regional and international organisations.

Discussions were held under two main topics: A Natural Capital to Protect and Manage focusses on the promotion of nature-based solutions and ecosystem-based approaches to protect and restore ecosystems, and to halt biodiversity loss and reverse land degradation; and Joint Efforts for Sustainable and Circular Resource Use focusses on combatting marine litter and plastic waste, and efforts towards circular economy.

Minister of Development Dato Seri Setia Ir Awang Haji Suhaimi bin Haji Gafar. PHOTO: MOD

Dato Seri Setia Ir Awang Haji Suhaimi also highlighted some of ASEAN’s initiatives in protecting and managing its natural capital and biodiversity, as well as regional cooperation in tackling marine debris and plastic, which, amongst others were: Potential development of an ASEAN Natural Capital Roadmap that aims to further enhance collaboration among different sectors in integrating natural capital valuation to regional and national programmes and policies; the ASEAN Green Initiative (AGI) that aims to plant 10 million trees throughout the ASEAN region over a period of 10 years beginning this year, which is also ASEAN’s contribution to the United Nations (UN) Decade on Ecosystem Restoration; the ASEAN Comprehensive Recovery Framework (ACRF) and its Implementation Plan that identifies mainstreaming biodiversity across relevant sectors as one of the key priorities towards attaining a more sustainable and resilient future; and the recent launching of the ASEAN Regional Action Plan for Combatting Marine Debris in the ASEAN Member States (2021-2025 which includes 14 regional actions across four pillars: policy support and planning; research, innovation and capacity building; public awareness, education and outreach; and private sector engagement.

The G20 Environment Ministerial Meeting also adopted the G20 Environment Communiqué.

Also in attendance were Permanent Secretary (Planning, Land Use and Environment) at the Ministry of Development Dr Nor Imtihan binti Haji Abdul Razak; Acting Director of the Environment, Parks and Recreation (JASTRe) Martinah binti Haji Tamit; and senior officials
from JASTRe.