Tree planting marks Commonwealth Day

Azlan Othman

The inauguration of the Queen’s Commonwealth Canopy (QCC) Plaque and tree planting event took place at Berakas Forest Recreation Park to mark Commonwealth Day yesterday.

Minister of Primary Resources and Tourism Dato Seri Setia Awang Haji Ali bin Apong was the guest of honour.

The event was also attended by Legislative Council member and co-founder of Green Brunei Yang Berhormat Khairunnisa binti Haji Ash’ari, Permanent Secretary at the Ministry of Primary Resources and Tourism (MPRT) Hajah Tutiaty binti Haji Abdul Wahab, Permanent Secretary at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA) Pengiran Norhashimah binti Pengiran Mohd Hassan, deputy permanent secretaries from the MPRT and the MFA.

The inauguration of the Queen’s Commonwealth Canopy Plaque by the minister was followed by the planting of 54 saplings of baru-baru (hibiscus tiliaceus) and panaga laut (calophyllum inophyllum).

The Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) launched the QCC on 2015 as part of the commitment of Commonwealth member states to preserve Earth’s ecosystem to promote awareness on the values of forest, facilitate knowledge exchange, share best practices and create new collaborations for forest conservation, as well as create an ever- lasting legacy from the Queen’s leadership of the Commonwealth.

Minister of Primary Resources and Tourism Dato Seri Setia Awang Haji Ali bin Apong plants a sapling. PHOTO: AZLAN OTHMAN

The Berakas Forest Recreation Park at Berakas Forest Reserve is one of the forests that have been placed under the QCC initiative in 2016, in addition to Ulu Temburong National Park, Batu Apoi Forest Reserve, and Selirong Island Forest Recreation Park.

This year’s Commonwealth Day is themed ‘Delivering a Common Future: Connecting, Innovating and Transforming’, to highlight 54 Commonwealth members working together to achieve a number of goals such as protecting natural resources and increasing trade.

In addition, the planting of 54 saplings, symbolic of total Commonwealth member states is part of the cultivation initiative to support Brunei Darussalam National Climate Change Policy (BNCCP) in achieving the target of having 500,000 new trees planted by 2035.

High commissioners of Commonwealth nations in this country, heads of departments, officers and staff of the MPRT and MFA and the Brunei Climate Change Secretariat from the Ministry of Development were also present.