Friday, October 30, 2009

Haj season.

How about limiting number of cars each motorist owns?
Panelists of a climate change forum yesterday suggested limiting the number of vehicles a motorist may own as one of the "green" intiatives that could be implemented in the Sultanate.
Putting in place the legislation on the number of cars could be done, as it is one way of reducing greenhouse gas emissions, said Dr Hjh Sainah Hj Saim, one of the panelists of the forum entitled "Towards a Strategy on Climate Change: How can Brunei Contribute?"
There is "an abundance" of vehicles in Brunei, thus the need to devise alternative means of transportation as public transport is not regularly used by many Bruneians, said Dr Hjh Sainah, senior lecturer and programme leader of public policy at Universiti Brunei Darussalam.
"Carpooling concept is also difficult to implement," she said in the forum, which was moderated by Haslina Taib, chief executive officer of BAG Networks."We need to see what we have and what we don't have before introducing a policy," she added.
There should be a link and supporting mechanism in having a "green policy framework" and "green growth framework" that focus on environmental and economic sustainability, she said.
Brunei is active in preventing climate change, but it is a challenge to continue taking further steps to address climate change concerns, she said. The lecturer also pointed out that local companies are not performing well when it comes to waste management, such as practising the 3Rs concept of reduce, reuse and recycle.
"Being aware of climate change issues is not enough, education must be able to change people's mindset, and create a change in habits and norms," said Dr Hjh Sainah.Lim Boon Teck, corporate sustainability manager of HSBC Brunei, said that Brunei should start conducting research on forests, as data gathered from this area would fit into policy changes.
"We know very little how it (forests) would impact Brunei and Southeast Asia," he said, adding that the country would have a better idea of tackling climate change from research. "Our survival depends on what we do from now onwards. Take action now because time cannot wait," he added.
Dr Suphachol Suphachalasai, an economist at the Asian Development Bank (ADB), said that identifying strategies would require thinking about the interests of the people. "How would they be affected by climate change?" he asked.
Brunei should start collecting data and begin a monitoring process on what can be improved, and share the information with the public, he said.Organised by the Brunei Economic Development Board in partnership with the British High Commission in Brunei and the ADB, the forum was aimed to promote greater awareness of climate change issues and provide guidance in implementing sustainable development.
The forum was conducted to mark ADB's first regional study on the economics of climate change, which stated that Southeast Asia is one of the world's most vulnerable regions due to its long coastlines, high density of population and heavy reliance on agriculture, natural resources and forestry. About 100 officials, members of the private sector and students attended the forum. (The Brunei Times)

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