Friday, April 12, 2024
30 C
Brunei Town

Protecting the future

James Kon

Climate change represents an existential threat to humanity, with Brunei not immune to its impacts. The Sultanate faces unique challenges in terms of vulnerability to rising sea levels, extreme weather events, and disruptions to key sectors of its economy. However, these challenges also present opportunities for sustainable development while positioning Brunei as a leader in combatting climate change.

The Climate Change and Sustainability Week organised by the French Bruneian Business Association (FBBA) and sponsored by TotalEnergies EP (Brunei) BV (TEPB) was hosted by Universiti Brunei Darussalam (UBD) raising awareness on climate change and sustainability topics in line with Brunei Vision 2035 whole-of-nation approach.

The event was supported and had participation from Brunei Climate Change Secretariat and Special National Coordination Committee on Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) and government representatives from the Prime Minister’s Office, Department of Energy.

The Climate Change and Sustainability Week programme featured Climate Fresk – a non-profit organisation (NGO) based in Singapore aiming to raise public awareness about climate change through a collaborative serious game based on 42 cards. The participants draw a fresco which summarising the work on climate change and its global challenges and solutions.

The one-week event began with a ‘Train the Facilitators’ programme with Climate Fresk training 33 participants from the government, local NGOs and education institutions. It also saw the participation of 16 youth representatives. The programme allow facilitators to be future advocates certified to conduct the Climate Fresk game among the public.

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 with panelists as well as executive members of FBBA and trainees of Train the Facilitator in a group photo. PHOTO: JAMES KON
ABOVE & BELOW: Participants of the Train the Facilitators programme testing their knowledge through first-hand experience of the game; and Climate Fresk facilitator Thibaut Regnauld Fabre during the training session. PHOTO: JAMES KON

The trained participants were selected to facilitate and assist four sessions of the Climate Fresk game with 128 participants including from different disciplines of students and also from the government, and private sector.

This Climate Change and Sustainability Week was supported by TEPB as part of its sustainability action plan and through its Youth Inclusion programme.

Students from schools and higher education institutions including UBD, Universiti Teknologi Brunei (UTB), Institute of Brunei Technical Education (IBTE) and Politeknik Brunei were selected to be TEPB’s Youth ambassadors. They were given the opportunity to facilitate workshops with participants from different levels of representatives from government actors, business and industry bodies and student representatives from education institutions.

TEPB invited delegates from the Wawasan Brunei Office at the Prime Minister’s Office to deliver a workshop on Sustainability in Vision Brunei 2035 during their ‘Sustainability’ session.

The event saw Director Johor State from the United Nations’ (UN) Global Compact Network Malaysia and Brunei (UNGCMYB) Edey Suresh address a workshop on UN Global Compact and its roles towards achieving the UNSGD.

The workshop presented the 10 principles of the UN Global Compact and the 17 UNSDG. The participants were informed on the action taken through engagement opportunities and analysis tools to measure SDG Actions and training opportunities.

The workshop also shared information surrounding topics on climate crisis by the measure of greenhouse gas emissions and proposed actions at an individual level which involved activities to participants on how to calculate the carbon footprint.

The Climate Change and Sustainability Week ended with a forum held at the Pro Chancellor Arts Centre Performance theatre recently. The week ended with a panel discussion forum with Head of Brunei Climate Change Secretariat Ahmad Za’iemuddien bin Pehin Datu Lailaraja Awang Haji Halbi; Director of Office for Vision Brunei 2035 Dr Hajah Huraini binti Pehin Orang Kaya Setia Jaya Dato Paduka Haji Hurairah; UNGCMYB Edey Suresh; Cluster President Schneider Electric Singapore, Malaysia and Brunei Kim Yoon Young and General Manager and Country Chair TEPB Jerome Saniez.

The knowledge exchange forum focussed on current local, regional, and global topics aimed to enhance dialogue, understanding and exchange knowledge.

The week’s closing programme for the week featured keynote address by Minister at the Prime Minister’s Office and Minister of Finance and Economy ll Dato Seri Setia Dr Awang Haji Mohd Amin Liew bin Abdullah as guest of honour.

He highlighted that representatives from government, industries and education institutions should play an active role in combat climate change and sustainability efforts in moving towards achieving UNSDG and Brunei Vision 2035.

Climate change awareness is not a luxury but a necessity for Brunei. By understanding the specific vulnerabilities and risks the nation faces, Brunei can develop targetted strategies to adapt to and mitigate the impacts of climate change.

Through concerted efforts to raise awareness and engage the public, Brunei can foster a more resilient and sustainable future.

The time for collective action is now, and by prioritising climate change awareness, Brunei can protect its environment, preserve its cultural heritage, safeguard its economy, and secure the well-being of its people for the future generations.