Other countries can leverage from Brunei’s forest data: professor

National 1 minute, 41 seconds

BRUNEI-MUARA

BRUNEI’S data on its forest and others related to the environment can be a valuable tool for other countries to validate models to predict future climate scenarios, a senior academic at Universiti Brunei Darussalam (UBD) said on Friday.

Director at the Institute for Biodiversity and Environmental Research (IBER) Associate Professor Dr Kushan Tennakoon told The Brunei Times in an interview that “data on the growth and mortality rates of our trees will be immensely valuable for other countries to validate predictive models”.

Predictive modeling is a process used in predictive analytics to create a statistical model of future behaviour.

“Our forest cover is more than 70 per cent, and it is not only about protecting forests but we are showing real-time data which is very useful from our Kuala Belalong Field Studies Centre and other forests that our researchers get involved in,” he said.

Professor Dr Kushan said UBD has been doing long-term monitoring and has set up a database for the last 10 to 15 years.

 “We have gathered climate and rainfall data, as well as carbon stocks, among others. With this solid data generated from the tropics and our virgin forests, it will be immensely useful for other researchers to validate models to predict future climate scenarios,” he said.

“In that sense, we play a very important role because Brunei has one of the best undisturbed forests in the world,” the IBER director said.

Meanwhile, Professor Dr Kushan thanked His Majesty Sultan Haji Hassanal Bolkiah Mu'izzaddin Waddaulah, the Sultan and Yang Di-Pertuan of Brunei Darussalam, for his prudent policies in protecting Brunei’s forests.

“Once the forest is destroyed, it is very difficult to regrow it as it takes thousands of years. Having our current forest cover resulting in huge carbon sinks, it can show how it can reduce carbon emissions. We have to appreciate His Majesty’s prudent policies of protecting our forests,” he said.

Professor Dr Kushan said destruction to Brunei’s forests have been bare minimal, and that indicates its value.

The Brunei Times