Prince of Wales visits Badas Forest Reserve
By Liza Mohamed

HRH Prince of Wales and the Duchess of Cornwall yesterday visited the Badas Forest Reserve in Seria to officiate the planting of the 1,000th tree to support the reforestation project which aims to preserve 220,000 square kilometres of rainforest.

The royal couple's arrival at the Badas Forest Reserve was received by the HRH Prince Hj Al-Muhtadee Billah, the Crown Prince and Senior Minister at the Prime Minister's Office.

The planting ceremony is a joint effort by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade (MOFAT) and the Ministry of Industry and Primary Resources (MIPR) to help restore the forest continuity across Borneo.

At the Badas Forest Reserve, Their Royal Highnesses consented to listen to a briefing on the forest reserve as well as habitat and forest ecological site by the Forestry Director Awang Haji Saidin bin Salleh.

The royal couple's arrival was also received with a traditional dance by the Dusun who are one of the seven ethnic groups living in the district.

Later HRH Prince Charles viewed the Heart of Borneo (HOB) exhibition site where he was also greeted by the Village leader of Lumut 1 Awang Hj Mohd Shafiee bin Ahmad, the Belait District Officer Awang Hj Jamain bin Momin, Chief of Mukim Liang Haji Abdul Hamid bin Haji Abdul Momin and two officials from the World Wildlife Fund (WWF).

The royal couple viewed a joint exhibition by the Forestry Department (MIPR), Environment and Recreational Department; Ministry of Development, BSP, HSBC, SCB, WWF, British High Commission and BLNG as the main movers behind the HOB forest conservation project.

Their Royal Highnesses were then brought to the re-plantation site by students from various schools to closely observe the planting activities and get insights into their involvement in the Million Trees project.

HRH Crown Prince Haji Al-Muhtadee Billah and HRH Prince Charles planted the 1000th and 1001st tree of the species Agathis Borneensis.

The re-planting of 1,000 saplings at the forest reserve is an initiative of the International School Brunei (ISB) in support of the HOB project. And yesterday's planting of the 1000th and 1001st sapling was a significant milestone in supporting Brunei's effort in recognising the HOB initiatives. - Borneo Bulletin (1st Nov 2008)