Few Bruneians ready for climate change, global warming

James Kon

According to a 2018 National Disaster Management Centre (NDMC) survey, only seven per cent of the local community are ready to face climate change and global warming.

This was highlighted by Minister of Home Affairs Pehin Orang Kaya Seri Kerna Dato Seri Setia (Dr) Haji Awang Abu Bakar bin Haji Apong during the opening ceremony for the Forum and Workshop on the Role of Youth in Climate Change Adaptation (CCA) and Disaster Risk Reduction (DRR), at the Youth Centre in the capital yesterday.

The minister said, “We must not be complacent,” while urging the NDMC to implement awareness programmes and projects and activities in support of CCA and DRR.

“Insya Allah, the NDMC hopes to increase the percentage of community preparedness to 50 per cent,” said the minister.

The minister said, “Brunei Darussalam frequently experiences flooding, landslides, strong winds and fires every year, because of climate change. The country is also experiencing the impact of unpredictable weather conditions and long spells of high intensity for unpredictable periods of time.

Minister of Home Affairs Pehin Orang Kaya Seri Kerna Dato Seri Setia (Dr) Haji Awang Abu Bakar bin Haji Apong speaks during the event. PHOTO: JAMES KON

“Climate change poses a challenge which the country must address and test its readiness in facing the impact.

“The forum and workshop will focus on the role of youth before, during and after a disaster.

“Youth involvement is important to promote climate change adaptation and disaster risk reduction through programmes, projects and related activities.

“I hope individuals and non-governmental organisations (NGOs) will understand the importance of implementing programmes, projects and activities in support of Climate Change Adaptation and Disaster Risk Reduction throughout the year and come up with resolutions towards a more resilient society.

“CCA and DRR were discussed within institutions, bodies and organisations at all levels to help countries mitigate the effects of global warming and climate change.

“ASEAN policies on CCA and DRR were integrated with the main programme of the 3rd ASEAN Agreement on Disaster Management and Emergency Response (AADMER) Work Programme 2016-2020, to promote a safe ASEAN Community resilient to disasters and adaptive to climate change, with youth and good governance at the centre.

“Our country will always work to jointly address environmental challenges through climate change mitigation and adaptation.”

He added, “We are blessed because the Government of His Majesty Sultan Haji Hassanal Bolkiah Mu’izzaddin Waddaulah ibni Al-Marhum Sultan Haji Omar ‘Ali Saifuddien Sa’adul Khairi Waddien, Sultan and Yang Di-Pertuan of Brunei Darussalam is always attentive to those affected by disasters, by providing assistance through temporary accommodation, daily necessities, financial contributions and other means of support in order to maintain their wellbeing and welfare.

“With the frequent flooding, the government, through the Ministry of Development, is actively implementing several initiatives and infrastructure projects to reduce the risk of flooding, especially in the Tutong District and the Belait District.”