In view of climate change

Fadley Faisal

The 2nd Eco-Festival recently hosted by the Future Energy Lions (FEL) was designed to bring about discussions on the environment.

Established in 2018, FEL aims to be a catalyst for sustainable solutions for Brunei Shell Petroleum Company Sdn Bhd (BSP) and Brunei, targetting BSP employees who want to connect and contribute alternative energies and sustainable solutions for BSP.

As BSP Managing Director Agnete Johnsgaard-Lewis underlined at the event, held on December 20, 2020, the festival is an important initiative in bringing people together, to exchange ideas and find new solutions together.

The BSP Managing Director also lauded participation at the event, and the discussions, as she pointed out, involved “dynamic, innovative youth”, as in addressing environmental challenges, promoting sustainable lifestyles and actively taking part in the climate dialogues”.

The talks brought about ways to minimise the waste generated, further reduce carbon footprint, and live more sustainably.

BSP Managing Director Agnete Johnsgaard-Lewis sharing her view during a panel discussion of the 2nd recent Eco-Festival. PHOTO: FADLEY FAISAL

A panel discussion was held between attendees and the FEL sponsor (the BSP Managing Director), FEL President Jenna Anand, BSP Energy Transition Head Shirley Sikun, Department of Environment, Parks and Recreation (JASTRe) Environment Officer Mohd Akmal Fikry bin Yusra and Brunei Climate Change Secretariat (BCCS) Head Noor Dina Zharina binti Haji Yahya, moderated by David Liew of FEL.

The panellists shared their individual experiences and approaches to sustainability. One of the many ways, they agreed, was by refusing – with an example being that of refusing single use plastic bags, containers and bottles – and reusing.

The dialogue between the public and the panellists also saw discussions on composting, where one of the speakers shared the best ways of composting modelled from a friend.

Another suggestion from the panel was to attain information from the JASTRe website which provides information on composting in the form of a 123 handbook.

More questions from the public gallery led the panellists to suggest a whole-of-nation approach.

Like the ‘No Plastic Bag’ initiative implemented by the government, it is still a voluntary action that needs public and business participation and full cooperation.

Another example mentioned during the discussion was that of BSP’s tell-a-friend campaign to encourage the community and the public-at-large to remind each other to wear safety belts while driving.

It was shared that after the campaign began over 10 years ago, not much is seen today of drivers flouting their own safety, which goes to show that the campaign has promoted participation and awareness.

Panellists also reminded that the national climate change policy aims to reduce municipal and household waste, which also reduces greenhouse gas emissions as landfills, where the national household garbage eventually ends up, emit methane gas which is harmful to the atmosphere.

Education has been the main strategy by government organisations in addressing environmental issues.

Permanent Secretary (Higher Education) at the Ministry of Education (MoE) Dr Haji Azman bin Ahmad said last September at the Brunei Darussalam National Climate Change Policy (BNCCP) Operational Document Taskforce (ODTF) workshop, the point was made to increase awareness and educate the public in the response to climate change.

He said that it will help to create understanding within the society on the cause and effect as well as the impact of climate change.

He also stressed that one of the major tasks in preparing the community for climate change is to ensure a change in behaviour and attitude.

Brunei Darussalam recently submitted its Voluntary National Review (VNR) to the 2020 United Nations (UN) High Level Political Forum, a global platform that encourages governments to respect their pledges towards the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).