Establish environmental court, understand laws: HoB leader
BANDAR SERI BEGAWAN
BRUNEI should follow the lead of Sabah and establish an environmental court to strengthen the sultanate’s understanding of environmental laws, said the Heart of Borneo (HOB) Initiative’s leader.
Dr Henry Chan of the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) Malaysia and Indonesia said that the Malaysian state of Sabah has already established an Environment Court that started its operations last year.
He told The Brunei Times, that in the special court, sentences for environment related offences such as animal trafficking are heightened in order for the judges that preside in it to send a strong message to the public in adhering to the state’s environmental laws.
“The sultanate should try and establish a platform to collaborate and exchange ideas with the relevant agencies from Sabah in order for the country to have a stronger understanding of environmental laws and how to enforce them,” he said.
He added that research organisations and academics from the sultanate can also play an important role in this by conducting research and studies on effective environmental laws and practices used by other countries.
“These types of collaborations are important because by working together with the relevant agencies as well as government departments, we are influencing decision makers to create policies that will further preserve the environment,” said Dr Chan.
He went on to say that members of the public should also be reminded of the environmental laws that are currently present in the country, adding that they have their own role to play in environmental preservation.
He said that members of the public should become the eyes and ears of the government should they witness any environment related offences being committed which is why they should be well versed in the sultanate’s environmental laws.
“If members of the community are active enough, a better mechanism can be established that will allow residents to report any illegal environment related activities as a deterrent against the crimes,” he said.
The Brunei Times