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Saturday, June 8, 2013

The Minister of Development called on students to be green role models for future generations at yesterday’s celebrations to mark World Environment Day 2013 on Wednesday.

Yang Berhormat Pehin Orang Kaya Indera Pahlawan Dato Seri Setia Hj Suyoi Hj Osman said schools should be proactive when it comes to protecting the environment.

“Our responsibility is not only to maintain this passively, but more importantly to make it trigger the economic opportunities that are competitive on a sustainable basis,” he said.

“This challenge demands knowledgeable and high intellectual people who can preserve the environment of our country.”

In taking the next proactive step towards supporting the Department of the Environment, Parks and Recreation (JASTRE)’s green goals, the minister praised the schools that had taken the initiative to reduce the use of styrofoam containers in their canteens as they have been shown to be toxic to the environment.

Schools that have cut down on the use of styrofoam containers were presented with certificates for their efforts.

The minister handed certificates to representatives from Sayyidina Hassan Secondary School, Paduka Seri Begawan Sultan Science College (Maktab Sains), Duli Pengiran Muda Al-Muhtadee Billah College (Maktab Duli) and Katok Sixth Form Centre (PTE Katok).

“I hope that such efforts will become an example for other schools to (encourage) their students to be more concerned about and aware of current environmental issues,” he said.

He said styrofoam releases 57 types of toxins into the atmosphere when burnt, which are particularly damaging to the ozone layer. He also said that styrofoam forms part of the “marine debris”, adversely affecting wildlife and the image of the nation.

This has pushed the department to introduce a new campaign to reduce the Sultanate’s use of styrofoam containers. The initiative will be similar to the “No Plastic Bag” campaign introduced in 2011 and the 3Rs campaign Reuse, Reduce and Recycle.

World Environment Day 2013 was celebrated yesterday at Muara Beach under the theme “Think. Eat. Save.” to minimise food waste. The slogan was designed to instil a realisation that wasting food directly and indirectly damages the environment.

In conjunction with the event, the department launched a three-day environmental youth camp for members of the Environmental Youth Envoy.

The minister also officiated at the ribbon cutting of a signage to highlight the dangers of styrofoam, advising Muara Beach visitors not to use or bring styrofoam to the area, while drawing attention to its harmful environmental effects.

Also present during the ceremony were JASTRE Director Hjh Zaiaini Hj Noorkhan, Permanent Secretary (Administration and Finance) Hj Muhammad Lutfi Abdullah, Acting Deputy Permanent Secretary Hj Mohd Zakaria Hj Serudin and Public Works Head Hj Marzuke Hj Mohsin.

The Brunei Times

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