Bruneian attends Green Leaders Youth Energy Summit in Manila

GREEN Brunei recently attended the Green Leaders Youth Energy Summit (GLYES) 2013 at the De La Salle University in Manila.

The event was held from February 27 to March 2, with the theme “Towards an Energy Efficient and Sustainable Future”.

Organised by the De La Salle University, Philippine Scholars Alliance (PSA), and the World Youth Alliance Asia Pacific (WYAAP), the summit is a platform for students and young professionals to work and form bonds as they join the pursuit of overcoming today’s challenges in the local and global energy scenario.

Through talks, lectures and interactions, the summit aims to raise awareness on the issues and developments in the key fields in energy: economics, security, environmental impact, efficiency and sustainability.

“Aside from technical knowledge and policy mechanisms, there were a couple of sessions centred on project management itself and leadership,” said Green Brunei Community Engagement Director Khairunnisa Ash’ari, who represented Brunei at the summit.

“I really learned a lot. It was good to hear government representatives and non-government organisations (NGOs) talking about what their respective organisations are doing to curb the issue, such as Feed in Tariffs (FITs), net metering and campaigns, almost similar to what Brunei has introduced,” she added.

Other topics presented at the summit include The Climate Change and Clean Energy Project by United States Agency for International Development (USAID); Promoting Renewable Energy: Regulatory Framework and Policy Direction by the Renewable Energy Association of the Philippines; Essence of Green Designs by Green Architecture Advocacy; and National Framework Strategy on Climate Change by the Climate Change Commission.

“The speakers were all brilliant; we had speakers from the World Wildlife Fund, World Youth Alliance, Asian Development Bank and even some who has done projects in other countries, such as the Sustainable Homes project in New Orleans, a mitigation initiative following the hurricane that destroyed thousands of homes.”

“Another factor that made the event engaging was that most of them are below 40, and more than half were close to the age of the participants, making their experiences more relatable.”

“The talks were definitely relevant for Brunei. The Brunei government has done a lot in regards to climate change mitigation and energy development, but Manila has shown, as population increases drastically, that demand for industrial development rises, and more cars on the road and buildings are built. There are still a lot of areas we should look into to ensure our air stays clean and our environment stays green.”

The trip was funded by Yayasan Sultan Hj Hassanal Bolkiah (YSHHB), who will also help to provide resources for Green Brunei to develop future clean energy-centric projects.

“Brunei is lucky to have a number of government departments and NGOs working on environmental programmes, but we can always do more to see a ‘green-minded society’ become the norm.”

She explained that her organisation, ran “by the youth, for the youth”, is a platform to help spread the information and knowledge gained from the summit through various methods including workshops, advocacy through social media as well as community development projects.

“The latter is directly in line with the mission of YSHHB in promoting community development initiatives,” she added.

The GLYES 2013 is a follow-up to the first youth energy summit held in March 2011.

Source: The Brunei Times