NGOs seek to learn best green practices at rainforest meet

LOCAL non-governmental organisations are looking to adopt the best green practices from other international and local environmentalists when Brunei plays host to the Asia-Pacific Rainforest Summit that starts tomorrow.

Green Brunei President Khairunnisa Ash’ari said she would be interested to learn about other countries’ green initiatives.

“(In particular) the challenges they are facing with development projects and other issues, policies they have introduced to tackle this as well as success stories in relation to adopting green economy practices.

“From a non-government perspective, we would also want to know how different stakeholders play a role in other countries if there are things we can learn from their experiences,” she added in a recent interview.

The three-day summit, organised by the Ministry of Primary Resources and Tourism with support from the Australian government, will see keynote speakers discussing themes such as biodiversity integration; reducing biodiversity loss from illegal logging; sustainable climate finance and towards a green economy.

Liaw Lin Ji, founder and president of Biodiversity and Natural History Society (BruWILD), said she looks forward to discussions on reducing emissions from deforestation and forest degradation (REDD).

REDD is an initiative that has been under negotiation by the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change since 2005 with the aim of curbing climate change by reducing greenhouse gas emissions through better forest management in developing countries.

She said currently, BruWILD is trying to execute REDD in Brunei through the NGO’s latest initiative dubbed Project Habitat — a collaboration with Heart of Borneo.

“We wish to learn about REDD+ as it is being executed in other countries. We wish to learn from their mistakes and apply the best practices here in Brunei.

“We hope the rainforest summit will be able to provide a learning platform for us to execute our project,” she said.

Another local NGO 1stopwildlife Brunei hoped there will be discussions on wildlife protection during the summit.

The spokesperson from the NGO, who did not want to be named, said he hoped more concrete steps would be taken to protect endangered animals and its illegal trade.

He also wish to learn more about Brunei’s future policies on forest preservation and logging prevention. “We can’t afford to lose our forests as Ulu Tutong has many trees gone especially from Benutan onwards,” he added.

Source: The Brunei Times