Climate experts gather in Brunei

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ALTHOUGH blessed with rich biodiversity, Brunei “like the rest of the world” is not exempted from the challenges posed by climate change.

In her speech yesterday to open a workshop on climate change held at the Core, Universiti Brunei Darussalam (UBD), Permanent Secretary of Industry and Primary Resources Hjh Normah Suria Hayati PJDSMDSU (Dr) Hj Awg Mohd Jamil Al-Sufri said, “Animals and plants are the very foundation of all ecosystem services and its condition may affect the availability of most natural resources exploited by human societies.”

“Therefore there is a pressing need to understand how organisms respond to ongoing climate change and how it will affect the ecosystem structures,” she added.

The workshop is designed to draw attention to the threat posed by climate change on natural tropical ecosystems.

Over 30 participants from 13 countries including scientists renowned in the climate change field are in the Sultanate for the four-day workshop themed “Gastropod Thermal Biology and Climate Change in the Tropics”.

In view of the many high profile experts, she expressed her delight and hoped the workshop would produce fruitful discussions on the effects of global warming.

In a separate speech, UBD’s Assistant Vice Chancellor (Global Affairs), Dr Joyce Teo Siew Yean said the workshop was organised by UBD’s Institute for Biodiversity and Environmental Research.

“This underscores UBD’s strong commitment in its role in the International Consortium of Universities for the Study of Biodiversity and the Environment – iCUBE,” she said.

“iCUBE’s mission is to strengthen, create international linkages and promote exchanges among scholars and students of research universities from the globe.”

She added that UBD devolved sizeable resources to organise the workshop and increase UBD’s academic internationalisation.

Six speakers will present during the workshop.

These are Prof Dr David Marshall of UBD and Prof Dr Yunwei Dong of Xiamen University, China.

Professors from Canada are Dr Brett Sinclair of University of Western Ontario and Dr Christopher Harley of University of British Columbia.

From the United States: Dr Brian Helmuth of Northeastern University, Boston, MA and Prof Dr Christopher Willett of University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill.

Workshop participants include Associate Professor Dr Hjh Zohrah Hj Sulaiman, the Acting Vice Chancellor of Institut Teknologi Brunei.

International workshop participants include Dr Paulina Kramarz of Jagiellonian University from Poland.

Today the workshop participants will be making a field visit to mangroves at Bedukang Island.

The Brunei Times