The people of Brunei Darussalam have shown involvement in response with the government and other first-responder organisations to reach the country’s vision towards achieving United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (UN SDGs).
This was the scene at an event organised by Bank Islam Brunei Darussalam (BIBD) recently – the BIBD Eco-Alam Festival.
Held as part of the Sustainable Nation Campaign, under the SME360 Series, the Eco-Alam Festival is part of BIBD’s commitment under the bank’s Sustainability Framework that aligns with Brunei Vision 2035 goals as well as the UN SDGs.
Aside from featuring local food vendors, the Eco-Alam Festival saw panel discussions and dialogues centred around the theme of food security, food sciences, food eco-system and food waste management with speakers representing government departments, higher learning institutions, local non-governmental organisations (NGOs), businesses, and youth advocates.
The Eco-Alam Festival’s series of panel discussions featured prominent speakers from the government sector, local businesses as well as education institutions who will be discussing issues surrounding food security and food waste management from a holistic perspective.
Titled ‘Environmentally Friendly Packaging Solutions’, a discussion was held between McDonald’s Brunei Marketing Lead Noor Hafilah binti Mohamed Salleh, Ideal Food Industries Sdn Bhd General Manager Hajah Norizmah binti Haji Ahmad Morshidi, EnEvo Sdn Bhd Co-Founder Siti Norasyidah binti Haji Kariya and BIBD Corporate Banking Digital Manager Frederick Chon Shian Foo.
Meanwhile, a panel made up of Universiti Brunei Darussalam (UBD) Institute for Biodiversity and Environmental Research Associate Professor Dr Rahayu Sukmaria binti Haji Shukri, BIBD Chief Marketing Officer and Sustainablity Transformation Group Chair Hajah Nurul Akmar binti Haji Mohd Jaafar and Universiti Teknologi Brunei’s (UTB) Faculty of Engineering Academic Researcher Pengiran Dr Rafidah binti Pengiran Haji Petra, moderated by Jerudong International School Education for Sustainable Development Coordinator Jazie Zaini discussed ‘Paving the Way for a Circular Economy’.
Biofield Solutions CEO Dr Vanessa Teo, Tree Lane Farm and Eco-Agro Farm Manager Alwi Sufian and Crop Culture CEO Muhd Bukhari bin Mohd Ridzuan spoke on food, sustainability and its future.
In addition, a group of five individuals had a dialogue on finding simple solutions to sustainability. They were Head of Brunei Climate Change Secretariat Ir Ahmad Zaiemaddien bin Pehin Datu Lailaraja Major General (Rtd) Dato Paduka Seri Haji Awang Halbi, Sekretariat Tetap Wawasan Brunei 2035 Acting Senior Special Duties Officer Mohammad Yusri Yahya, Environment officer of the Environmental Planning and Management Division at the Department of Environment, Parks and Recreation (JASTRe) Rodziah binti Haji Adanan, Kaimana Co-Founder Trish Lai and BIBD CFO Tan Pheng Leong.
In addition to supporting local vendors, BIBD prioritised minimising impact on the environment by adopting cashless payments during the event, reducing plastic usage by making use of eco-friendly packaging and encouraging visitors to bring their own reusables, as well as eliminating food waste.
BIBD is working closely with local companies such as Biofield Brunei, Tebalik Plastik and Shaliz Waste Recycling Sdn Bhd who are offering solutions to the issues of food waste.
Shaliz Waste Recycling is the first in Brunei to collect used cooking oil wastes for recycling.
Having started in 2013 with the support of JASTRe, the used cooking oil wastes they collect are processed and then exported overseas, including Malaysia.
The team at Shaliz aims to ensure convenient access for the public to recycling and managing used cooking oil wastes. They are focussed towards the responsible recycling and sustainable used cooking oil waste management.
So far in operations, they collect used cooking oil wastes from restaurants and homes to reduce used cooking oil contamination in waterways and the environment in general.
They have also participated in local institutions’ green actions and SDGs 2030.
Meanwhile, Tebalik Plastik’s sustainable solution offers plastic collection for its recycling in their studio. They are a plastic recycling startup inspired by Precious Plastic to tackle the problem in Brunei.
They collect types 2 and 5 plastics from the community to make other things out of them, with one example being their “Imperfect Coaster”, where recycled plastic is made into a drink container or cup coaster with an irregular edge shaped circle.
Biofield Brunei is committed towards a zero food waste. One example of their work is that they use food waste and turn it into compost fertiliser. These fertiliser enrich soils by helping to retain moisture and suppress plant diseases and pests.
They sell organic composts that boost plant growth, improve soil health and reduce acidity while improving efficiency of nutrient use by plants as it is high in organic matter and full of healthy microbes.
The Eco-Alam Festival was organised in collaboration with Big BWN Project and endorsed by the Prime Minister’s Office, the Ministry of Culture, Youth and Sports and the Ministry of Development with event partners Crop Culture, Tebalik Plastik, Shaliz Waste Recycling, Biofield Solutions, EnEvo and Aloha Nature House Brunei.