Thursday, January 19, 2012

More mammals in Brunei than whole of Borneo

By Azlan Othman

Brunei Darussalam is known for its pristine environment, rich natural resources and a high percentage of forest cover. A recent study conducted by Universiti Brunei Darussalam 'The Faunal Biodiversity Survey of Sg Ingei Protection Forest' has confirmed that mammals found in the forest are high in number compared to the rest of Borneo. This shows that the wildlife protection in Brunei Darussalam is still comparatively intact.

Minister of Industry and Primary Resources, Pehin Orang Kaya Seri Utama Dato Seri Setia Awg Hj Yahya bin Begawan Mudim Dato Paduka Hj Bakar said this at the National Planning Workshop on Wildlife Management in Brunei Darussalam yesterday.

"I believe that if the wildlife management in Brunei Darussalam is improved, the total number of wildlife could be sustained and our forest can be a safe sanctuary for the wildlife.

"Our management capabilities, as far as natural resources management is concerned, continue to develop at par with our regional and international counterparts. Our long-term development plan, Brunei Vision 2035, clearly provides for continuous efforts to conserve our country's remarkable biodiversity, rainforests and natural habitat.

"Thus, the formulation and development of an effective wildlife strategic framework would consolidate all wildlife management initiatives in the country giving specific focus on policy, institutional, research and development, and socio-economic concerns of wildlife resources management," Pehin Yahya said.

The minister also said, towards that end, His Majesty the Sultan and Yang Di-Pertuan of Brunei Darussalam has consented to the transfer of wildlife matters to the Ministry of Industry and Primary Resources in order to strengthen wildlife management and law enforcement considering that the natural habitats of this wildlife are already under the purview of the ministry.

"In view of this new development, it is very important to start with the right steps by inviting participation of our wildlife stakeholders in laying down constructive actions and initiatives needed.

"This workshop needs your constructive input, because the expected output of this workshop is expected to provide cross-cutting initiatives and concerns among development sectors of the country. Your technical and institutional knowledge will certainly guide us in the formulation of effective approaches at the national level and complement our own sectoral initiatives in attaining common objectives and admiration.

"Let us ensure that the output of this workshop would provide us more collaboration to further our research and development activities, economic opportunities and at the same time strengthen our wildlife law enforcement in view of the increasing wildlife crime in the region."

The minister also said that this workshop is very important to realise another milestone in the sustainable management of the natural resources of Brunei Darussalam. The Sultanate represents less than one per cent of the whole island of Borneo and yet its forests are among the richest in the world. This smallness at the same time exceptionally exposes us to environmental and ecological changes. Therefore we need careful and considered policy on wildlife.

Also present at the workshop was YAM Pengiran Muda Omar Ali, Curator of Natural History; Hjh Normah Suria Hayati bte Pehin Jawatan Dalam Seri Maharaja Dato Seri Utama (Dr) Hj Awg Mohd Jamil Al-Sufri, Permanent Secretary at the MIPR; Dyg Hjh Hasnah bte Ibrahim, Deputy Permanent Secretary at the MIPR; Hj Saidin Salleh, Director of Forestry; and other senior officials.

At the conclusion of the workshop, the participants are expected to come up with recommendations for an integrated and holistic management approach for the conservation and protection of the country's wildlife resources that address legal and policy concerns, administration and enforcement, research and development, human resource development needs and socio economic opportunities.

The MIPR through the Forestry Department, Agriculture & Agrifood Department, Museums Department under the Ministry of Culture, Youth and Sports with the support of TRAFFIC Southeast Asia is organising the national planning workshop.

Courtesy of Borneo Bulletin

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