Ministries committed to tackling climate change: Minister

Lyna Mohamad

The Ministry of Development (MoD) have planted 560 saplings around the ministry’s premises since the beginning of the year, with the aim of reaching 2,000 tress by the second quarter, said Minister of Development Dato Seri Setia Ir Awang Haji Suhaimi bin Haji Gafar.

He added that the Ministry of Primary Resources and Tourism (MPRT) planted some 200 saplings on December 31, which he hopes has motivated other ministries to follow suit.

The minister, in his capacity as the Co-Chairman of the Brunei Darussalam National Council on Climate Change (BNCCC) at a tree planting ceremony yesterday, believes that climate action is about stepping up, working together and putting the interests of future generations.

Dato Seri Setia Ir Awang Haji Suhaimi said last year was a defining year.

“The Brunei Darussalam National Council on Climate Change launched the country’s first climate change policy, outlining 10 key strategies to transition Brunei Darussalam into a low carbon and climate-resilient nation.

Minister of Development Dato Seri Setia Ir Awang Haji Suhaimi bin Haji Gafar and Minister of Energy Dato Seri Setia Dr Awang Haji Mat Suny bin Haji Mohd Hussien launch the Protokol Hijau. PHOTOS: LYNA MOHAMAD
Minister of Culture, Youth and Sports Major General (Rtd) Dato Paduka Seri Haji Aminuddin Ihsan bin Pehin Orang Kaya Saiful Mulok Dato Seri Paduka Haji Abidin planting a sapling
Minister of Transport and Infocommunications Dato Seri Setia Awang Abdul Mutalib bin Pehin Orang Kaya Seri Setia Dato Paduka Haji Mohd Yusof

“We then closed the year by submitting an international pledge to reduce 20 per cent of our total greenhouse gas emissions from the business-as-usual level by 2030 under the Paris Agreement.”

He shared that the global community has agreed to major emission reduction programmes with reforestation complementing the emissions reduction strategies.

“With the Paris Agreement, not only the Brunei Government, but governments around the world, are committed to reducing emissions by adopting low-carbon pathways in accordance with nationally determined contributions (NDCs),” he said.

This year, the minister said, sets the course for the country’s climate action to move forward for many years to come.

“This is the year we kick-start the implementation of the Brunei Darussalam National Climate Change Policy (BNCCP). This year marks the Year of Action for Brunei starting with the launch of Protokol Hijau.”

The Green Protocol is a guideline for the government sector to implement the BNCCP. It outlines areas with green practice opportunities in daily operations, such as energy and water consumption, waste management and paper use, as well as the incorporation of green practices in organising national events and the handling of compromised trees as a result of government projects, Dato Seri Setia Ir Awang Haji Suhaimi said.

The goals of the Green Protocol are: turning government premises into a free plastic bottle zone; and for all ministries to plant trees throughout the year to reach of 26,000 trees by the end of 2021.

The planting of saplings yesterday by all ministers marked the implementation of the protocol.

“One of the biggest and cheapest ways of taking carbon dioxide out of the atmosphere to tackle the climate crisis is by planting billions of trees around the globe,” the minister said.

Protokol Hijau is a testament to the strong commitment by the government sector in taking the lead on climate action and influencing change by example; and the presence of all Cabinet Ministers at yesterday’s event affirmed it, he said, adding that “the location we picked for this occasion is very meaningful. The Sultan Haji Omar ‘Ali Saifuddien Bridge connects all four districts and today we have re-greened some areas affected by its construction.”