Sustainability is key focus of Green Brunei

|     Danial Norjidi     |

GREEN Brunei is focussed on promoting environmental sustainability through youth-led initiatives in the fields of education, conservation and advocacy, said a member of the Legislative Council and Co-founder and Community Engagement Director of the eco-conservation group Yang Berhormat Khairunnisa binti Haji Ash’ari.

For the rest of the year, the organisation is looking at strengthening its activities relating to cleanliness, including getting involved with the ‘No Plastic Bag Weekend’ campaign, reducing the use of single-use plastics and promoting community-based recycling, she shared in a recent interview with the Sunday Bulletin.

Elaborating Green Brunei’s recent activities, she said, “We have always been focussing on education and conservation, so we are maintaining that. However, this year we are concentrating on cleanliness issues and recycling,” she said.

“We organised a few clean-up activities, participated in exhibitions and conducted camp and field trips. We also worked with the British High Commission in Brunei Darussalam (with the support of Forestry Department and sponsored by International School Brunei (ISB) and Standard Chartered Brunei) to plant 400 trees along the coastline on Berakas Forest Reserve. In addition, we are also looking into producing and selling upcycled products as part of promoting the 3R (Reuse, Reduce, Recycle) and raising funds for our activities.”

She noted that last year, they organised the annual Green Leaders Camp and clean-up activities under the Day of Action campaign.

“The highlight for us was the appointment as a committee on the Jawatankuasa Induk Isu-Isu Kebersihan, which gave us an opportunity to work closely with the government and private sector in maintaining cleanliness of the country,” she said.

File photo of Yang Berhormat Khairunnisa binti Haji Ash’ari. – AZROL AZMI
One of Green Brunei’s clean-up activities. – GREEN BRUNEI

“Our first involvement under the committee was to assist the Ministry of Home Affairs and Ministry of Development on the clean-up of the Eco Corridor during its launching.

“We are also in discussions to work on the cleaning up of Kampong Ayer which will be a long-term project involving multiple agencies,” she added.

Yang Berhormat Khairunnisa also shared her thoughts on where Green Brunei is now in terms of its development since it was established in August 2012.

“Things have definitely changed a lot since 2012. When we first started, we focussed mostly on delivering online content – writing features and articles about various environmental initiatives and promoting green businesses in the region.

“However, we found our strength in conducting community activities, things that create an impact on society. It enables us to engage various stakeholders and encourage youth to become leaders in promoting environmental initiatives.”

She said that Green Brunei currently has five members in its core team, but it recruits around 10-20 people as project team members from its pool of alumni, volunteers and also interns – depending on the number of projects.

“We keep the numbers low, so we can concentrate on their individual development,” she explained.

Yang Berhormat Khairunnisa also elaborated on Green Brunei’s plans for 2018. “For the rest of the year we are looking at strengthening our activities relating to cleanliness. This includes getting involved with the ‘No Plastic Bag Weekend’ campaign, reducing the use of single-use plastics and promoting community-based recycling. At the same time we also have plans to organise trips to various sites around Brunei and selling T-shirts to raise funds for our activities.”

Highlighting the objective of Green Brunei, she said, “Our aim is to promote environmental sustainability through youth-led initiatives in the fields of education, conservation and advocacy. It’s definitely our focus. We are continuously evaluating our projects to ensure we are moving in the right direction.”

She added, “All the work that we have done so far would not have been possible without the contributions of our volunteers, sponsors and supporters. It takes a whole-of-nation approach to ensure positive changes are achieved.”