Minister of Development Dato Seri Setia Ir Awang Haji Suhaimi bin Haji Gafar and Australian High Commissioner to Brunei Darussalam Tiffany McDonald yesterday unveiled a plaque to commemorate a collaborative tree planting at Jalan Pusat Persidangan Berakas Recreational Park.
The plaque celebrated the combined efforts of the Australian expatriate community, the Australian High Commission, the Forestry Department and Brunei Climate Change Secretariat (BCCS) to plant 45 yellow tabebuia trees earlier this year.
Under Brunei Darussalam National Council on Climate Change (BNCCC), Brunei sought to increase its carbon sink by planting 500,000 new trees by 2035. Dato Seri Setia Ir Awang Haji Suhaimi is the co-chair of the BNCCC. Also present was head of the BCCS Dina Yahya.
McDonald said the plaque is a lasting memento to acknowledge the Australian Government’s contribution to Brunei’s efforts to sustain its environment and address climate change.
“Australia’s climate action includes collaborating with international partners, such as Brunei, and supporting neighbours in the Indo-Pacific in managing the environment through various initiatives”, said the high commissioner said.
She added, “As I said when we initially planted the trees, I look forward to seeing the yellow flowers of the tabebuia trees blossom, just as our bilateral relationship continues to flourish.
“Australia is ASEAN’s oldest dialogue partner and has recently become ASEAN’s first comprehensive strategic partner.
“This provides Australia with opportunities to continue to strengthen our relationship with region and work together on areas of mutual interest such as climate change.”
As one of her final activities in the country, the high commissioner said she looked forward to returning at a later stage to see how – like the countries’ bilateral relationship – the trees have grown.