Making ‘green’ choices in daily life

Posted on  18/04/2011  |  Media Centre

Ying Chia
Monday, April 18, 2011
Published on

RECOGNISING that there has been a marked improvement in the way green issues are addressed at present compared to a few years ago, a representative from the organiser of the National Environment Conference believed that a sense of urgency is still needed to effect permanent change.

In an exclusive interview with The Brunei Times, the general manager of Asia Inc Forum, said he hopes the organiser will be able to build on from last year’s conference, in terms of creating real changes from the grassroots level. It’s ultimate goal, said Andrew Dy, is to “make a difference with real results”.

“As with our past National Environment Conferences, Asia Inc Forum and its corporate partners aim to continuously provide a platform to stimulate thinking and create dialogue between business, government and other stakeholders on issues of economic and environmental sustainability. What we aspire to achieve this year is concrete action. Last year we believe we heightened the sense of awareness and urgency on the environment and that the country’s drive for economic growth can be balanced with a sustainable future,” he explained.

As part of this ongoing commitment, said Andrew, “we are proposing to prepare a white paper from key points raised at the conference” but is encouraging attendees to be involved and voice their views to create positive change.

He added that the key findings from last year’s conference were mainly within the role of various initiatives to incite changes such as incentives, education and institutional arrangement. Developing a national measure on sustainability was also a key finding from NEC 2010..

With this year’s theme “Saving the World, Saving the Future”, Andrew said that the threats of “climate change, loss of biodiversity and pollution are among the most urgent threats to the environment”.

“These problems threaten our livelihood and also the livelihood of the future generation. Therefore, these challenges have to be tackled with a holistic grassroots approach,” he said.

The first way, is through education and advocacy targeting the young generation and “as the voices of the future, they have a special talent for invention and development hence, need to be engaged in new forms of action and activism that will generate effective responses to our environmental challenges”, he added.

Andrew said that in Brunei, recycling, waste reduction and energy conservation are all things that can be dealt with now. With the implementation of proper waste management by the Department of Environment, Parks and Recreation (JASTRE) back in late 2008 or early 2009, he said, “we have been seeing escalating alteration in the way waste is dealt – we are gradually seeing businesses following suit and embracing a more environmentally sustainable practices”.

Brunei is also seeing schools involved in various environmental initiatives such as recycling, energy conservation and preserving the environment through various means, he said. Nonetheless, he noted, there “really needs to be a sense of urgency in order to influence permanent change”.

As a dialogue facilitator, Asia Inc Forums role is to stimulate thought around key issues with the view to cultivate tangible results in support of the vision of the government of Brunei Darussalam, in partnership with leading organisations Alcoa, Butra HeidelbergCement, Total and HSBC, he added. The fourth NEC will take place on June 8 this year with the theme, “Green Brunei: New Ideas for a Sustainable Country”.

The Brunei Times

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