Bruneian wins seed grant for environmental app

National 2 minutes, 32 seconds

BANDAR SERI BEGAWAN

TWO Bruneians recently joined some 70 young ASEAN leaders in Cambodia for a workshop aimed at promoting environment advocacy and exchange of ideas among youth leaders.

The Bruneian duo, Ak Md Dinie Hafizuddin Pg Azman and Dk Mas Dino Pg Radin, participated in the four-day ‘Young Southeast Asian Leaders Initiative (YSEALI) Generation: EARTH’ workshop from April 22-25.

During the workshop, Ak Md Dinie, an 18-year-old Brunei Maritime Academy student, and his team won US$1,250 seed grant to implement their action plans after proposing a mobile app called ‘Log This’ to tackle deforestation issues in ASEAN member countries.

“Log simply means enter, which also has the same meaning connecting to logging trees. The app similar to Instagram where people can share pictures and locations (of deforested areas) to raise public awareness on deforestation.

“We chose to create an app because we believe that technology is currently the most powerful thing and people use their mobile phones everywhere they go. We hope to create an app to focus on educating the public about deforestation and to help make a difference,” he added.

He further said the project will be initiated in Brunei as agreed by the whole group.

“This is because Brunei has relatively better Internet access and the public are fairly educated. The introduction of this app can be made easier and hopefully be accepted by the public with good response. This project will also involve outside stakeholders where we will focus on gathering help from local IT students to be involved in developing this app.”

The team was voted as having the top plan, earning them the opportunity to travel to the United States and take part in the YSEALI Environmental Leadership US Study Tour later this year.

Ak Md Dinie hoped the trip would enable him to gain more knowledge and skills to take his proposed project to the next level.

Dk Mas Dino, a final-year undergraduate from Universiti Brunei Darussalam, was one of the ASEAN leader mentors selected to share her experiences during the workshop.

“The environmental issues specifically focused on the ASEAN region. My responsibility as the leader mentor was to carry out one of the workshop sessions to teach the participants on how best to carry out their action plans. My session was on stakeholder engagement in natural resources management. Each ASEAN mentor was also paired with an American counterpart.”

Dk Mas Dino said her next plan included leading, assisting and guiding her group to carry out their action plan. “We’re also going to aim to get the YSEALI seed grant. It’s called YSEALI Seeds for the Future, aimed to implement innovative ideas for regional challenges.”

The workshop was held to observe International Earth Day and focused on fostering a deeper understanding of environmental challenges facing the Southeast Asian region and beyond.

YSEALI was introduced by US President Barack Obama in 2013 to strengthen leadership development across ASEAN, deepen engagement with young leaders on regional and global challenges, and strengthen people-to-people ties between the US and Southeast Asia.

The Brunei Times