Friday, July 20, 2007

Heart of Borneo beats in Brunei

By Suria Rina, Lyna Mohamad and Liza Mohd

The Heart of Borneo vision is fast gaining momentum in the country. The declaration signed in Bali in February this year brought in the commitment of three countries, Brunei, Malaysia and Indonesia to work together to protect the unique rainforests of Borneo.

Considered to be the key centres of biological diversity in the world, it covers approximately 220,000 square kilometres of equatorial rainforests and numerous wildlife species shared by the three countries.

The Deputy Minister of Industry and Primary Resources, Dato Paduka Hj Hamdillah bin Hj Abd Wahab stated that the HoB initiative is a big and complex task and it commits three countries to harmonize the implementation of their national efforts to conserve and sustainably manage approximately 240,000 sq km of mainly forested land.

Brunei's part in it will be 58 per cent of its land area, which compared to the total size of the country is the biggest slice of the HoB.

At the First Tri-Country Implementation Meeting on the Heart of Borneo - Three Countries, One Conservation Vision held yesterday morning, Dato Hamdillah noted that Brunei is on track in its commitment towards the Heart of Borneo (HoB) vision and that Brunei is offering itself to become the host of the HoB centre.

Lending support to one of the world's largest conservation and sustainable projects in the world is Brunei Shell Petroleum with a BND$203,000 fund to MIPR that forms part of its funding commitment for the Project Implementation Frame-work of the Heart of Borneo initiative in Brunei Darussalam.

Dr Grahaeme Henderson, Managing Director of Brunei Shell Petroleum at an MoU signing yesterday said that the contribution is central to BSP's mission of sustainable development of the Nations' precious hydrocarbon resources. It has an equally abiding commitment towards protection and preservation of the environment.

"This commitment finds expression in a whole range of internationally-benchmarked policies, practices, standards and controls geared towards environmental sustainability, which we have integrated into our business."

Meanwhile 88 different specimens of rainforest trees were planted yesterday morning at the open area of Jalan Carey, previously a staff residential area for Brunei Shell Petroleum (BSP) employees in Kuala Belait.

The initiative will also support the Belait District Office's effort to beautify the district, specifically the area in Jalan Carey, which is a popular jogging and recreation area for residents.

Courtesy of Borneo Bulletin

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