Trees take centre stage for Earth Day 2016
BANDAR SERI BEGAWAN
THE Department of Environment, Parks and Recreation (JASTRe) has introduced a mini-programme in conjunction with today’s Earth Day celebrations where people have adopted and are caring for tree saplings in line with this year’s theme of ‘Trees for the Earth’.
Earth Day is celebrated every April 22 with green events held worldwide in a show of support for protection of the environment.
This year’s global theme by the Earth Day Network, which started the initiative in 1970, places an emphasis on trees. According to its website, trees are seen as an important component in combating climate change, regulating clean air and helping communities as trees can help achieve long-term economic and environmental sustainability while providing food, energy and income.
JASTRe, whose core business is maintaining and improving the environmental landscape in Brunei, will be aligning this year’s Earth Day celebration with World Environment Day in June through their ‘adopt-a-tree’ initiative.
According to the department, tree saplings were distributed to invitees during the department’s thanksgiving and congregational Asar prayers yesterday.
“The invitees will be required to adopt and take care of the saplings temporarily until the World Environment Day celebration on June 5, where they will plant them in designated areas,” said the department in an emailed response to The Brunei Times.
“In commemoration of the Earth Day celebrations for the past two years, the department has planted about 665 trees,” said the department, adding that awareness on the importance of trees has shown ‘respectable improvement’.
The department will remain active in initiating tree-planting activities to commemorate environmental events and those with related parties such as non-governmental organisations like Green Brunei as well as Brunei Environmental Youth Envoys, school eco-clubs under the department and government agencies.
While awareness continues to improve, the department also expressed concern over public awareness on open-burning activities, especially during the haze, dry seasons and droughts, noting that such activities can be punishable with a fine of up to $100,000.
Those found engaging in activities that pollute the atmosphere or endanger human life or property can also be fined an unlimited amount and/or imprisoned for up to five years, said the department.
The Beach Bunch is organising a beach clean-up and tree-planting at the Berakas Forest Reserve today with at least 200 volunteers taking part.
The Brunei Times