Brunei goes green on Earth Day
By James Kon

Brunei Darussalam joined millions of people around the world to celebrate Earth Day yesterday by planting 100 trees.

Through the Environment, Parks and Recreation Department of the Ministry of Development, the country celebrated Earth Day with tree planting and green walk activities at the proposed Jalan Mentiri Besar Recreational Park.

Present at the event was Her Royal Highness Princess Hajah Majeedah Nuurul Bulqiah.

Dato Paduka Dr Hj Mat Suny bin Hj Mohd Hussein, Acting Minister of Development, launched the tree-planting activity, which is in line with the theme of this year's Earth Day "Plant for the Planet".

Awang Hj Omar bin Hj Md Tahir, Acting Director of Environment, Parks and Recreation Department, said Earth Day is celebrated around the world on April 22 every year and is part of an initiative by the United Nations aimed at raising public awareness and knowledge on global pollution.

The acting director hoped the programme would motivate the people to care for the environment by staying away from conducting any hazardous activities that may endanger and damage the environment.

"This year's celebration focuses on climate changes attributed to the excessive emission of gases like carbon dioxide, methane, nitrogen oxide into the atmosphere from the burning of fossil fuel.

"In addition to the rise in world temperature, the changes in climate are predicted to exacerbate the problem of drought and hot weather, shortage of water, flooding and typhoons that will have negative effects on the people and their livelihood," he added.

People should realise the worrying trend of warming and organise activities towards reducing the emission of gases that causes the green house effect, especially carbon dioxide into the atmosphere.

"And one of the ways to reduce carbon dioxide emission into the atmosphere is by planting trees. Through photosynthesis, plants and trees can reduce carbon dioxide by releasing oxygen into the atmosphere," he added.

After planting the trees, the acting minister of development joined some 100 staff from the Ministry of Development for a green walk around the proposed Jalan Mentiri Besar Recreational Park.

Through the Earth Day message, it is hoped the local community will also bear the responsibility of caring and preserving the environment from pollution. - Borneo Bulletin (23rd April 2007)