Nationwide cooperation needed for green goals

The whole-of-nation approach is needed to achieve a low carbon and climate-resilient Brunei Darussalam, which requires policy adoption across different sectors, and commitment by all stakeholders through careful planning and implementation.

This was said by Minister of Development Dato Seri Setia Ir Awang Haji Suhaimi bin Haji Gafar during the launch of Environmental Education Tour Project yesterday.

The programme included speeches by Mitsubishi Corporation (Brunei Liaison Office) Country Representative Tadashi Hara and Embassy of Japan in Brunei Darussalam Counsellor and Deputy Chief of Mission, Atsushi Suda.

Hara said, “Currently, physical touring needs to be postponed to another date due to the unexpected pandemic situation. Therefore, all the stakeholders will keep discussing to find an alternative solution to carry out this project despite the current situation, in order to maintain our prime objective to spread awareness and provide opportunity to think about climate change and energy transition.”

Suda said, “I would like to express my gratitude to Green Brunei and Mitsubishi Corporation for their dedication in encouraging the young generation to venture into renewable energy and instilling urgent awareness of climate change. Japan will continue to collaborate with Brunei Darussalam in the latter’s efforts to diversify its economy and become a green society.”

The Environmental Education Tour Project is organised by Green Brunei, in collaboration with Mitsubishi Corporation, and is the second time it was initiated following a successful implementation of the project last year that brought 1,322 visitors mainly consisting of students from secondary and tertiary institutions to Tenaga Suria Brunei to learn about the importance of understanding climate change and creating awareness on energy transition to solar energy, and the environment.

Legislative Council member Yang Berhormat Khairunnisa binti Haji Ash’ari, who is also Co-Founder of Green Brunei, in her speech shared that the lack of awareness and knowledge can limit people’s participation in environmental activities and initiatives adding that to drive technological and behavioural shifts to improve climate adaptation and resilience will require investments in climate education to produce well-educated, climate-literate citizens are needed.

The project is part of a multi-sectoral educational awareness programme to support the national climate change mitigation plans under the Brunei Darussalam National Climate Change Policy (BNCCP) on four key strategies: electric vehicles; renewable energy; forest cover; and awareness and education. It aims to integrate education as an important tool in raising awareness on climate change, renewable energy and electric vehicles under the BNCCP Strategies.

This year, the project will be organised with the support of Brunei Shell Petroleum Co Sdn Bhd (BSP), where participants will visit Seria Energy Lab as well as view the 3.3MW BSP Flagship Solar PV Plant. Both projects demonstrate BSP’s commitment towards sustainable development, balancing short- and long-term interests and integrating economic, environmental and social considerations into its decision making. BSP’s social investment initiative of Seria Energy Lab (SEL) and BSP solar flagship project directly supports the BNCCP strategy number 10 (Education and Awareness).

Two group tours were conducted when the project was first initiated in August, before the physical trips were postponed following the news of the second wave outbreak.

The remaining tours will be scheduled on a later date, subject to COVID-19 restrictions.

As part of the programme, an art competition is also organised by the Department of Co-Curriculum Education, Ministry of Education. The competition is open to Year 4 to Year 6, with the theme of ‘climate change’.

In addition, tree saplings and educational books about climate change and renewable energy in Brunei Darussalam will be distributed to participating schools and individuals.

The Environmental Education Tour Project is also supported by the Ministry of Development, Ministry of Energy, Ministry of Education, Ministry of Primary Resources and Tourism and Ministry of Transport and Infocommunications.

BSP Managing Director and Shell Country Chair in Brunei Agnete Johnsgaard-Lewis, permanent secretaries and other senior officials were also present.

Credit : Borneo Bulletin