‘Green Bandar’ campaign heralds ‘City in Garden’ project

National 3 minutes, 37 seconds

BANDAR SERI BEGAWAN

THE Municipal Department initiated a "Green Bandar Seri Begawan" campaign that signalled the start of the "City in a Garden" project.

The campaign, a long-term strategic development project, is aimed at promoting a greener environment in the capital city with the planting of trees and eco-friendly landscapes.

The launch of the initiative programme took place at the open area close to the Jame' 'Asr Hassanil Bolkiah in Kiulap yesterday, which saw more than 500 people comprising officials from several government agencies and private sectors as well as students, taking part in the planting of a total of 500 trees in several commercial areas in the capital yesterday.

The campaign was officiated by Pehin Orang Kaya Johan Pahlawan Dato Paduka Seri Setia Hj Adanan Begawan Pehin Siraja Khatib Dato Seri Setia Hj Md Yusof, the Minister of Home Affairs.

During the event, Deputy Chairman of the Bandar Seri Begawan Municipal Board, Mohammad Ramli Hj Zulkifli said that the campaign was initiated to complement the "City in a Garden" concept, with the tree planting exercise marking the first phase of the project.

However, the deputy chairman said that constant littering problems could slow down the pace of the whole project by affecting the overall strategic development project.

"Hence strong cooperation from the public is needed," he urged.

"Even if we have greenery in the city, with littering still happening, our long-term strategic plan (of developing a greener city) will be slowed down by it," Ramli told The Brunei Times.

He added: "Whenever you go into a project that is aimed at promoting a greener and healthier environment, it should be done in a holistic way, meaning to say that every component in the project that goes towards the conservation of environment must be looked into and acted upon, and this includes littering."

He related that as developed major cities in the world are making continuous efforts in reviving their environmental losses by promoting a "greener" environment in their cities, Brunei as a country that is naturally blessed with pristine primary and secondary rainforests should be more grateful with what it has.

"It is hoped that the project would help create public awareness on the importance of the conservation of nature as well as promoting a green environment as it would also in the long run, develop BSB into a "self-sustainable city" that is both people and eco-friendly," he affirmed.

The programme was also initiated in commemoration of the celebration of the 39th anniversary of the renaming of Brunei Town to Bandar Seri Begawan.

The delegation from the Ministry of Home Affairs that was led by the minister himself, also moved to several other places in the city including Sim Kim Huat Trading Co in Kiulap, Baiduri Bank Group in Kiarong, Taib Petrol Station in Beribi, The Mall in Gadong and Universiti Brunei Darussalam (UBD) in Tungku to continue planting trees in the said locations' main areas.

The minister also officiated the Minor Offences Act Chapter 30 signboard that stipulates a $1,000 fine for the first offence and $3,000 with up to three months imprisonment for any subsequent offence of littering.

Also present at the ceremony and following the delegation was Deputy Home Affairs Minister Pehin Orang Kaya Dewa Pahlawan Dato Paduka Hj Dani Hj Ibrahim, permanent secretaries, acting deputy permanent secretary, senior officials at the ministry and several government agencies.

In a recent report, during a meeting of Asean representatives in Bangkok, Thailand last week, it was stated that Asean will be launching a campaign entitled "Cool Asean, Green Capitals" initiative early next year in its effort to tackle climate change. The initiative, which is backed by the Secretary General of Asean, Surin Pitsuwan, will be further discussed with the heads of regional administration such as governors and mayors of major cities in Asean countries.

"This initiative provides a platform for city-led, people-engaged actions on climate change to green city infrastructure, amenities and services, thereby contributing to Asean's efforts to cool the mounting global warming effects of climate change," Surin had said.

He had noted that about 50 per cent of the 583 million over people of Asean now live in cities or urban areas, which is projected to increase to 75 per cent by the year 2050.

The Brunei Times