‘HoB initiatives should support economic growth’

National 2 minutes, 32 seconds

BANDAR SERI BEGAWAN

HEART of Borneo (HoB) initiatives should support economic growth by encouraging the private sector to invest in the green economy, the permanent secretary of primary resources and tourism said.

During the 10th HoB Trilateral Meeting yesterday, Dr Hj Abd Manaf Hj Metussin said the private sector should play their part in promoting sustainable growth, including investing in ecotourism and the bioindustry given their “high economic potential”.

“We should pursue the call from the ministers responsible for the HoB initiative to encourage green economy applications and its related scientific and technological development through various endeavours such as public-private partnership and cooperation on a multi-sectoral basis towards achieving sustainability within the HoB,” he said.

Dr Hj Abd Manaf said the management of natural resources in a sustainable manner is no longer the sole responsibility of the government.

“All stakeholders should play their part and share the responsibility, since the issue is a global agenda. Hence all sectors should work together and incorporate protection of forests and ecosystems into their respective development and economic agenda,” said the permanent secretary.

“In regards to bioindustry, through the advancement of science and technology, the existing Bornean rich biological resources of the protected forest areas have the potential to serve as another engine for economic growth,” added Dr Hj Abd Manaf.

Brunei is the chair of the 10th HoB Trilateral Meeting with Malaysia and Indonesia at the Ministry of Primary Resources and Tourism.

The three countries signed the HoB agreement in 2005 to share their responsibility in environment conservation.

On the sidelines of the meeting, the Brunei Biodiversity and Natural History Society (BruWILD) launched a poster on lowland birds to raise awareness of the birds’ presence in the sultanate.

BruWILD Vice President Fahim Ibrahim, who is also head of BruWILD’s botanical division, said the poster showcases national birds and the significance of these birds can be an indicator of Brunei’s biodiversity.

He said the birds are not necessarily endemic to the sultanate. “It is important to note that some of these birds can be found in pristine forests such as the ones we have in Brunei and in Borneo.

More than 20 species of lowland birds are featured in the poster.

“In the list, the rhinoceros hornbill is endangered. We want members of the public to see these beautiful birds who often suffer at the hands of poachers and there are a lot of poaching activities in the country,” said Fahim.

He said the birds are usually caught wild and kept as pets.

“We want to teach why such activities are bad for the environment. These are wild animals and they get stressed in a cage, their life span decreases and they are not happy or healthy.

“This is part of our initiative to help educate and give members of the public awareness on our biodiversity and how we can protect them along with knowing that we can help stop wildlife crimes,” he added.

The publication of posters was a collaboration between BruWILD, local nature photographers and bird enthusiasts.

The Brunei Times