Brunei Has To Create New Engines Of Growth To Move Ahead

Posted on  01/07/2011  |  Media Centre

1st July 2011

Bandar Seri Begawan – The National Environment Conference attended by over 250 participants from the private and public sectors as well as the business, academe and civil society three weeks ago recognised that for Brunei to move ahead sustainably, it has to create new engines of growth before letting go of its dependence of oil and gas, according to a press release from the Asia Inc Forum.
As such, the conference acknowledged that adopting a sustainable development approach would allow Brunei to accept greater responsibility without negatively impacting growth.

Mr Stuart Kemp, Executive Director of Asia Inc Forum said, “We were delighted by the level of passion and commitment shown by the conference delegates to make a real difference to the environmental sustainability of Brunei.

The conference, including some notable contributions from inspiring youths of Brunei, developed a number of excellent suggestions and we wanted to share these as part of the baseline and targets discussed by the Minister of Development.

This is a start and we look forward to working with all stakeholders to make a real difference in the coming year.”

The conference developed a number of ideas and recommendations for a Green Brunei. One of those suggestions is for Brunei to be a part of the global green building movement.

This move would encourage the construction industry and existing buildings to increasingly consider sustainable development by complying with a set of international policies and strategies set by the global green building councils and thereby capitalise on the global network for best practices.

On the issue of companies adopting more sustainable practices, Brunei should look at developing legislation to facilitate improvements in environmental performance, whilst acting as a framework for identifying and addressing the long-term impacts of a company’s activities.

The suggestion was followed by comments from the floor for key stakeholders to have a holistic understanding of Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) that will encompass social and health considerations in addition to the environmental aspects of a project or development.

The Minister of Development in his opening keynote address announced the drafting of an Environmental Impact Assessment Order that will require a project or development to undergo an EIA before getting approval. He advised that a baseline and targets are essential to chart the journey towards success and that for Brunei to plan its journey towards sustainability; it needs to know where it currently stands so that it can tell how far it has travelled.

Other suggestions from the conference included the development of increased stakeholder engagement, the empowerment of Brunei’s youths to take lead, the creation of a collaborative platform for youths, the development of measures for sustainable actions and the creation of effective subsidies for green products.

“We are compelled to attain holistic sustainability in order to push our long term agenda development goal under Vision 2035,” Pehin Orang Kaya Indera Pahlawan Dato Seri Setia Awang Haji Suyoi bin Haji Osman, the Minister of Development said at the National Environment Conference 2011.

The summary is available for download at– Courtesy of Borneo Bulletin

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