Wednesday, April 17, 2024
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Brunei Town

Each person has a role in the ecosystem, says BCCS head

James Kon

Each person plays a role in the ecosystem, said Brunei Climate Change Secretariat (BCCS) Head Ahmad Za’iemaddien bin Pehin Datu Lailaraja Major General (Rtd) Dato Paduka Seri Haji Awang Halbi yesterday during a panel at the forum on climate change and sustainability at Pro Chancellor Arts Centre of Universiti Brunei Darussalam.

The forum, organised by the French Bruneian Business Association (FBBA), came to a close yesterday.

The panellists comprised Ahmad Za’iemaddien; Office for Wawasan Brunei 2035 Director Dr Hajah Huraini binti Pehin Orang Kaya Setia Jaya Dato Paduka Haji Hurairah; Singapore, Malaysia and Brunei Schneider Electric Cluster President Kim Yoon Young and TotalEnergies EP (Brunei) BV General Manager and Country Chair Jerome Saniez.

Dr Hajah Huraini said, “The world is in crisis. There are poverty, conflict and climate catastrophe while we are impacted by the pandemic.

“While dealing with today’s problems, we should not lose sight of the future. The education of our children and the state of the economic system cannot wait, neither can comprehensive healthcare, meaningful climate action and biodiversity protection.”

She added that Brunei Vision 2035 and Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) both look towards the future.

“We are making sure to carve a better future by doing our part,” she said, highlighting the concept of stewardship, whereby we are stewards of the Earth and have the collective responsibility in the present and future.”

ABOVE & BELOW: Minister at the Prime Minister’s Office and Minister of Finance and Economy II Dato Seri Setia Dr Awang Haji Mohd Amin Liew bin Abdullah presents a token of appreciation to Head of Brunei Climate Change Secretariat Ahmad Za’iemaddien bin Pehin Datu Lailaraja Awang Haji Halbi; and Brunei Vision 2035 Director Dr Hajah Huraini binti Pehin Orang Kaya Setia Jaya Dato Paduka Haji Hurairah. PHOTO: JAMES KON
The panel in session. PHOTO: JAMES KON

On the SDGs she said, “In 2015, Brunei signed on for the SDG agenda and pledged to become part of the world vision for peace, prosperity, partnership and looking after the planet and people.“

Since the transfer of the Special National Coordination Committee on SDGs to the Prime Minister’s Office in 2020, she said, “We have done a lot of work to fill the data gap and get a feel of where we are in terms of the SDGs.

“We will report voluntary national review in 2023 this July to the United Nations (UN). The first was in 2020.”

Meanwhile, Ahmad Za’iemaddien said, “Last year the climate change portfolio was transferred to the Prime Minister’s Office, demonstrating the importance of national coordination to deliver domestic and global commitment goals for climate change.”

He stressed that communication is very important.

“The BCCS in the short term wants to ensure that we deliver the goal of reducing 20 per cent of our emissions by 2030. We are working hard to make sure that we deliver on this and help to generate opportunities by identifying potential jobs and businesses in the value chain.”

He added, “Climate change is a global problem. Brunei is a small country with a population of around 450,000. Our overall contribution to greenhouse gas emissions is 0.02 per cent. But the reality is that we are also affected by climate change.

“We have limited resources to pull from government and the private sector. “Hence, we are very encouraged by the FFBBA hosting such a forum because we need more support and interest.

“We need more support in term of people who understand the impact of climate change and will take action.”

Ahmad Za’iemaddien added, “People always think that climate change is just about planting trees.

“Climate change is a long-term change of weather pattern and temperature. Planting trees is just one mechanism of solution.”

Dr Hajah Huraini added, “The UN Secretary-General recently said the SDGs are ‘far off-track’ and put five recommendations to rescue the SDGs and accelerate implementation.

“Alhamdulillah, Brunei is making good progress in term of SDGs and we are hitting most of our targets even in the Asia-Pacific region.

“However, there are more to be done, especially after the pandemic, which revealed a lot of pressure points. We learned the importance of measuring data and making informed decisions to ensure that interventions are meaningful and impactful.

“When we look at sustainable development, we see a need for a change in mindset and habits. It starts as what we do as a person, as a community and as a nation.

“We should also look at sustainability as what we can do today to leave a positive impact for the future.”

Kim Yoon Young and Jerome Saniez, meanwhile, emphasised the importance of the whole-of-nation approach in working toward addressing climate change issues.

Prior to the panel, the audience also heard a fire chat session with UN Global Compact Network Malaysia and Brunei Edey Suresh.