Filmmaker lauds Brunei’s wildlife

National 1 minute, 52 seconds


BRUNEI is one of the few places on earth that still has an abundance of wildlife, said a cinematographer for National Geographic.

“It is sad because once upon a time having forests was a very undeveloped thing but I think it is now the sign of a developed country. It is a sign of a country that hasn’t lost (its entire) natural heritage and Brunei is lucky in that regard,” said Dr Paul D Stewart, a freelance cinematographer and zoologist.

Stewart has spent the last three weeks in Brunei with Paul Reddish, a series producer from Free Spirit Films, to shoot and document the different wildlife in the sultanate.

“You live in Brunei so I assume you take for granted the mangroves and the rainforest but actually you’re exceptionally lucky. There are not many other places that have that. You should be proud of the rainforest that you have managed to keep,” said Stewart.

The cinematographer said that Brunei‘s beautiful wildlife makes the country a great eco-tourism destination as the sultanate has protected numerous habitats which can contribute greatly to eco-tourism.

“Eco-tourism is phenomenal... the billions (of people) that come in and it will never stop. Farmland can be exhausted and oil can run out but people are always going to want to travel and they will always want to go somewhere different, somewhere has the best of something,” he said.

However, he said that one of the challenges facing Brunei was the lack of publicity and global awareness as is not a very well known country.

Stewart and Reddish are filming a three part series on the wildlife in Southeast Asia and has recorded footages in Brunei, Indonesia, Malaysia and New Guinea on subjects such as the mangrove forest, nepenthes (pitcher plant) and proboscis monkeys, among others.

The series will cover topics explaining why Southeast Asia is biologically the richest place on earth.

“(The documentary) will be shown on National Geographic round the world, I can’t tell you when exactly as it is National Geographic’s decision but we will deliver the series to them on February next year,” said Reddish who estimated the programme to be shown around September or October next year.

The Brunei Times