Belait (The Brunei Times/ANN) - Brunei is moving towards creating a green economy to reflect its commitment to the environment.
"Through (environmental) protection, we can create activities that can generate our economy (green economy), without destroying our forests," said the Minister of Industry and Primary Resources yesterday.
Yang Berhormat Pehin Orang Kaya Seri Utama Dato Seri Setia Hj Yahya Begawan Mudim Dato Paduka Hj Bakar officiated at the World Forestry Day celebration, which also saw the launching ceremony for Luagan Lalak Recreational Park at Labi Hills Forest Reserve along Jln Labi.
This year's World Forestry Day was themed "Forest Biodiversity- Towards Green Economy". United Nations Environment Programme defines the green economy as one that results in improved human well-being and social equity, while significantly reducing environmental risks and ecological scarcities.
In his speech, the minister called for public involvement, especially by village residents in the country's environmental efforts.
"They must play their respective roles in preserving the forests, if you see anyone polluting the environment (for example) you can remind them subtlety/kindly there is no need to wait for government to take action," he said.
YB Pehin Dato Hj Yahya also commented on the level of environmental awareness amongst the public. "For us, targeting the younger generation is our strategic intent. If they could be convinced, it will be easy for us to work in the future and easy for them to talk to our current generation, to talk to their parents and (because now) parents listen to their children," he said.
"We want the youth to play their roles, becoming more environmentally responsible and at the same time help to convince their elders that this is something that we need to look after," added YB Pehin Dato Hj Yahya.
The annual celebration also saw the participation of foreign diplomats, the ministry's senior officials, Belait Legislative Council Members, grassroots leaders as well as participants attending the International Conference on Wetland Forests which will take place today (March 22).
The minister said the significance of inviting the foreign diplomats and conference of participants are many.
"Firstly, it is to expose the celebration. To show that we have the facilities as an independent nation that is responsible to its environment and forests," he said.
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