UBD club to intensify green plans

National 2 minutes, 21 seconds

BANDAR SERI BEGAWAN

YOUNG environmentalists from Universiti Brunei Darussalam (UBD) Wildlife Club are planning more awareness programmes this year to educate Bruneians on the importance of preserving Brunei’s flora and fauna.

Speaking to The Brunei Times, Wildlife Club founder and adviser, Shavez Cheema, said the club is going to be more organised as it enters its second year of establishment.

“We will have more education awareness such as talks, posters of endangered animals and more. We will also be conducting wildlife survey trips and organising community service activities at the same time,” he said.

The club also plans to compile cooking styles of Brunei’s ethnic tribes in a mini book. The new semester will also see fresh undergraduates looking for clubs to join as extra-curricular activity.

Club President Amiratul Akmal called for more participation from UBD students, saying members would experience and learn a lot by joining the club’s activities.

“Many people don’t see wildlife as part of our precious ecosystem (chain). Hence, it is our responsibility to make a difference, to change our lifestyle and be a more eco-friendly community,” said Amiratul.

One of the club’s plans this year included a boat trip to Berambang island and a hike to Wong Kadir Wasai in Ulu Belait to observe local flora and fauna, shared Maz’ Irene Noor Azam, treasurer of the club.

“This month alone, we’re planning to renew some signboards and posters in Ulu Belait as some of them have faded and were eaten by termites.

“We will also include some environmental messages in these posters and tips on how visitors can maximise their enjoyment in nature. This is definitely (needed to) raise awareness to the public,” added Irene.

She said building bird nests at UBD was also in the pipeline.

There was also a proposal to organise Green Day in UBD to encourage students to ride bicycles around campus and raise environmental awareness.

Irene said the club hoped for more followers on their social media accounts, with 2,000 followers targeted on Instagram as part of its awareness campaign.

Shavez, who is also the founder and president of 1stopbrunei Wildlife Club, planned to set up more sister clubs in secondary schools throughout Brunei.

“I am happy that members of the club are actively sharing pictures of our visits and field outings via their social media and family. I think this way the awareness is more effective,” Shavez said.

“I remember when I first founded the club, we relied heavily on self-funding. However, we were happy to receive financial aid from the Brunei Nature Society for six months. Nonetheless, we always appreciate and welcome public support and assistance.”

Last year, the club rescued endangered animals from alleged poachers, such as a leopard cat, three slow lorises, three pangolins and a juvenile silver leaf monkey.

The Brunei Times