Universiti Teknologi Brunei (UTB) organised the Net-Peat: Networked ASEAN Peat Swamp Forest Communities for Transboundary Haze Alert, Social Innovation Workshop 2022 via Zoom at the university’s Lecture Theatre 2, Library Complex.
Vice-Chancellor of UTB Professor Dr Hajah Zohrah binti Haji Sulaiman was the guest of honour.
UTB principal officers, researchers and stakeholders in Brunei and abroad were also present.
The event began with a speech from Assistant Professor at UTB Dr Wida Susanty binti Haji Suhaili, who is also the Country Lead SWS Paddy, followed by remarks from Director of National Institute of Information and Communications Technology (NICT) Asia Center Japan Hisanori Nishino.
The project was accepted and funded by the Japanese government through the Asia-Pacific Tele community (APT) under International Collaborative Research 2021. It is a collaborative project with representatives from Malaysia, Indonesia and Japan. The project is a continuation of the ASEAN IVO 2018 Project Networked ASEAN Peatland Communities (NAPC) a project funded by NICT Japan.
The project has managed to attract recognition due to its achievements from representatives, including Certificate of Excellent Contribution from NICT, ASEAN Outstanding Engineering Achievement Award 2021 in CAFEO, Regional and National Finalists for ASEAN-USE Science Prize for Women 2021.
To achieve overall Peatland Project goals, the NAPC project has been expanded to Net Peat.
The event proceeded with remarks by the guest of honour, during which she said she was pleased that the workshop is aligned with the Brunei Darussalam National Council on Climate Change 10 Key Strategies – awareness and education for transforming Brunei Darussalam into a low-carbon, and climate-resilient nation.
Presenters from the government, researchers and industries provided a platform for sharing initiatives from Brunei with collaborators within the region.
The UTB Vice-Chancellor also stated that she recognises the workshop serves as an avenue for academics, research students, policymakers, practitioners, and industries to exchange ideas and discuss issues.
With the theme, ‘Brunei’s Peatland Fire Suppression and Mitigation Practices’, the event aimed to discuss the best way forward in establishing the best practices and use of technology to formulate a Networked ASEAN Peat Swamp Forest Communities for Transboundary Haze Alert.
The workshop brought together experts from local and regional organisations and institutions namely Brunei Fire and Rescue Department, Brunei Darussalam Meteorological Department, Forestry Department, the Department of Environment, Parks and Recreation (JASTRe), Universiti Brunei Darussalam (UBD), National Disaster Management Centre (NDMC), Singapore MIT Alliance for Research and Technology (SMART), Universiti Putra Malaysia (UPM), Ready Affiliate Japan Co Ltd, NiAT Sdn Bhd, Anian Sdn Bhd and UTB to share their expertise in related fields.
The workshop was divided into four sessions: Peatland Governance in Brunei; Peatland Forest Fire Mitigation; Current Monitoring Practices, Fire Suppression and Mitigation Attempts; and the Way Forward.
It gathered speakers representing the many peatland communities in the Sultanate and the region to create awareness and education for each other on synergising the attempts forward.