NON-GOVERNMENT organisation (NGO) Green Brunei concluded its third Green Leaders Camp on Wednesday with a certificate presentation and closing ceremony at the Marine Biodiversity Centre in Meragang.
Themed ‘Protecting the Marine Ecosystem from the Impacts of Climate Change’, the event was attended by Mahmud Hj Yussof, chief executive officer of the Heart of Borneo Centre and head of the Biodiversity Research and Innovation Centre (BioRIC), as the guest of honour.
He also presented certificates of completion to 31 participants between 17-26 years old from various higher education institutions.
The four-day camp was held from September 20-23 and was sponsored by the Heart of Borneo Centre, which is under the Ministry of Industry and Primary Resources (MIPR), 350.org Singapore, Seri Bumi Consultant, Suci Mas Company and Boustead Sendirian Berhad.
The camp aimed to empower the participants through a variety of talks, sharing sessions, workshops, active discussions, debates and site visits.
Various topics – including volunteerism, leadership, teamwork, project management – were discussed and environmental issues in Brunei were highlighted by invited speakers from government and non-government sectors.
The speakers included representatives from the Department of Environment, Parks and Recreation (JASTRe), Marine Biodiversity Centre, Environmental Youth Envoy (EYE) Brunei, Biodiversity and Natural History Society (BruWILD) and Society for Community Outreach and Training (SCOT).
The camp was held at two venues – Sungai Kebun Sports Complex and Berakas Forest Reserve.
A speaker from the Philippines, Rodne R Galicha from The Climate Reality Project, gave the first talk, which was on climate change and how it impacts plankton and ultimately our ecosystem.
Delwin Keasberry from Projek Brunei shared with the participants three principles to create change. These principles were ‘SWOT Analysis’, ‘Don’t Ask Why, Ask How’, and ‘Committed to the Struggle’.
The final speaker, Iswandy Ahmad, talked about leadership and teamwork.
The participants also toured a mangrove forest and the Marine Biodiversity Centre.
They also attended two workshops during the camp.
The first was on project management facilitated by Firdaus Ismail, the programme manager for environmental education under Green Brunei.
During this session, the participants brainstormed and planned their own projects which will be executed after the camp.
“It was nice to see the participants use some of the facts given during talks and workshops in their group activities such as green debate. We, Green Brunei, really wish the youth to be proactive in environmental conservation, not only during but also beyond the camp,” said Firdaus.
The second workshop was on turtle conservation, facilitated by the Wildlife Division of MIPR.
“It was a good stepping stone for us to be involved with healthy and positive youth activities. Personally, I didn’t know that there are a lot of NGOs in Brunei. This camp has definitely given me more understanding and in-depth knowledge about the environment, especially on the roles of JASTRe,” said one of the participants, Abdul Malik Abdul Aziz.
“I met new people, made new friends and broadened my social network. This camp also gave me the opportunity to share and express my ideas, plans and projects related to the environment,” he said.
Fellow participant Carin Wong Ling said, “The camp opened our eyes to the vital role and importance of marine biodiversity. It has also taught us the skills of leadership. It really built our interest towards establishing an environmental movement, and it’s never too late to make a change as it can still make a huge difference.”
The first GLC was held in 2014. To date, the camp has trained 93 youth on environmental initiatives. The third Green Leaders Camp focused on climate change as a direct follow-up of the ASEAN Power Shift conference, which was attended by Green Brunei in July this year.
Source: The Brunei Times