Project Habitat eyes solar power

National 2 minutes, 8 seconds

BANDAR SERI BEGAWAN

PROJECT Habitat is turning to solar power to help it achieve its goal of utilising sustainable practices to conserve energy.

One of its organisers, the Biodiversity and Natural History Society (BruWILD), plans to replace the generator for the office building and briefing hall at the project site in Kg Kiudang with solar panels.

“We have engaged a few construction companies and are having discussions with solar panel experts about our plans,” said BruWILD’s president, Liaw Lin Ji.

“We also plan to harvest water for the site’s use,” she added.

She said the plans are still under discussion and will be implemented in phase two.

Project Habitat, which is under the Heart of Borneo (HoB) initiative, hopes to improve the livelihood of the community, conserve biodiversity, increase education on biodiversity and environmental protection, boost environmental awareness and promote eco-tourism.

The project will be officially launched in the middle of this year.

Under phase one, the focus is currently on building infrastructure and mobilising the community to help carry out the project.

The second phase, which will be implemented from July onwards, will mainly focus on marketing and advertising for the project while the third phase will focus on the site’s operation and maintenance, she said.

The project is an example of a private, social and public partnership, she said.

It is being spearheaded by a local community of 59 farmers under the Meriuk Suburban Agricultural Development Farms (KPLB) in Kg Kiudang, BruWILD and Singapore’s Avelife.

BruWILD is a non-governmental organisation formed by a group of trained biologists and conservationists who are working toward the conservation and preservation of Brunei’s flora and fauna. Avelife is an environmental charity in Singapore. It is also the largest environmental movement in Asia and a United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) education partner.

Liaw noted that the area has a variety of mammals, amphibians and reptiles.

“If we secure this project area, it will allow us to ensure a proper level of protection because of poaching,” she said, without elaborating.

The team is also currently establishing educational and eco-tourism packages for locals and overseas visitors, she said.

“The packages will help us gain some money to help us build the infrastructure here,” she said.

The site will be open to tour operators to bring in tourists and visitors.

The eco-tourism packages will also incorporate the Kg Kiudang Village Consultative Council’s local product, 3MPK Herbal Tea. The tea, launched in 2010, is made from dried sambah bagangan leaves and comes in original, lemongrass, ginger and lemon flavours.

The Brunei Times