Photo exhibition highlights dangers of plastic pollution

Izah Azahari

Her Royal Highness Princess Hajah Masna, Ambassador-at-Large at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, officiated the launch of an underwater photo exhibition by Cecilia Lee at the Embassy of Republic of Turkey in Brunei Darussalam yesterday.

Also in attendance was Yang Amat Mulia Pengiran Lela Cheteria Sahibun Najabah Pengiran Anak Haji Abdul Aziz bin Pengiran Jaya Negara Pengiran Haji Abu Bakar, Chief of Adat Istiadat Negara.

Welcoming Her Royal Highness was Ambassador of the Republic of Turkey to Brunei Darussalam Mehmet Suat Akgun who delivered a welcoming speech prior to the launch. He highlighted that annually 40 per cent of single-use plastic accounts for the entire production, and when disposed in the environment, its lifespan can persist for centuries.

“According to research, 80 per cent of this trash is ending up in nature and the environment, and only about eight to nine per cent of it is recycled,” said the ambassador. “The majority of this trash ends up in the oceans and rivers.”

The ambassador added that it is not only the government’s responsibility, but also for families and individuals, as this problem is creating danger for all living things such as fish and birds. Human beings are not exempted from this problem as plastic breaks up into tiny pieces which are eaten by fishes and by consuming fish an average person eats about 70,000 pieces of micro-plastics a year.

Her Royal Highness Princess Hajah Masna, Ambassador-at-Large at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Yang Amat Mulia Pengiran Lela Cheteria Sahibun Najabah Pengiran Anak Haji Abdul Aziz bin Pengiran Jaya Negara Pengiran Haji Abu Bakar, Chief of Adat Istiadat Negara tour the underwater photo exhibition by Cecilia Lee at the Embassy of Republic of Turkey in Brunei Darussalam
Her Royal Highness Princess Hajah Masna, Ambassador-at-Large at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs listening to Ambassador of the Republic of Turkey to Brunei Darussalam Mehmet Suat Akgun’s speech. PHOTOS: BAHYIAH BAKIR
Her Royal Highness Princess Hajah Masna and Yang Amat Mulia Pengiran Lela Cheteria Sahibun Najabah Pengiran Anak Haji Abdul Aziz bin Pengiran Jaya Negara Pengiran Haji Abu Bakar, Chief of Adat Istiadat Negara tour the exhibition
ABOVE & BELOW: Her Royal Highness Princess Hajah Masna cuts the ribbon to officiate the launching; and Her Royal Highness talks to Cecilia Lee during the exhibition

Following a ribbon-cutting ceremony to officiate the launch of the exhibition, Her Royal Highness Princess Hajah Masna and Yang Amat Mulia Pengiran Lela Cheteria Sahibun Najabah Pengiran Anak Haji Abdul Aziz viewed the underwater photos and videos taken by Cecilia Lee.

Cecilia Lee is a certified commercial diver since 1991, holding certificates for advanced open water dive, master scuba dive, deep dive, cavern dive, and drift dive among others, issued by the Professional Association of Diving Instructors (PADI). The exhibition showcases photos she has taken in the Indian Ocean and Asia-Pacific seas.

During the exhibition, Lee will also hold talks on diving in general sharing her experiences. The exhibition is organised in parallel with several awareness activities on marine and environmental pollution, and in this framework, the relevant Bruneian non-governmental organisations (NGOs) will host educational sessions with different audiences.

In a separate session, some members of the Legislative Council will meet representatives from NGOs as well as representatives of companies involved in the recycling process for an in-depth discussion on related topics.

Meanwhile, a Vegan and Macrobiotic Cook and Health coach Isabel Lopes will join the event for two talk sessions on ‘Macrobiotic Eating for Health and Sustainable Environment’ where she will explain how changes in individuals’ lifestyle can have a positive impact on the environment.

The exhibition is open to the public from February 2-8 at the embassy’s chancery located at No 27, Simpang 52, Kampong Manggis Satu.