Deputy Sultan opens Special Ministerial Meeting on HoB initiative
Danial Norjidi

The Special Ministerial Meeting on the Heart of Borneo (HoB) initiative took place yesterday after being officially opened by His Royal Highness Prince Haji Al-Muhtadee Billah, the Deputy Sultan.

The meeting and its opening ceremony took place at The Empire Hotel & Country Club, organised by the Ministry of Industry and Primary Resources through the Heart of Borneo Centre, Brunei.

His Royal Highness consented to grace the event as the guest of honour and as the Royal Patron of the Brunei Darussalam Heart of Borneo National Council.

HRH also consented to present Recognition Awards to ministers from the three countries involved (Brunei, Indonesia and Malaysia). The award is from the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) to the ministers in appreciation of the HoB Governance for successful implementation of their initiatives.

Yesterday also saw His Royal Highness’ visit to an exhibition on the Heart of Borneo initiative, which showcased each individual country’s progress since the Declaration of the Heart of Borneo in 2007.

The Minister of Industry and Primary Resources, Pehin Orang Kaya Seri Utama Dato Seri Setia Awang Haji Yahya bin Begawan Mudim Dato Paduka Haji Bakar, delivered a welcoming remark at the opening ceremony.

“This Special Ministerial Meeting is an occasion to review the progress, development and achievement of the Heart of Borneo Initiative since the Declaration on the Heart of Borneo Initiative, which was signed on February 12, 2007 in Bali, Indonesia,” he said.

“It is timely today, to highlight and promote this initiative’s notable success and achievement, as well as to figure out strategic guidance to push forward the existing implementation efforts to support the HoB Initiative.”

Adding on, the minister highlighted, “This Special Ministerial Meeting is aimed at providing guiding principles and directives, and best solutions for any contentious issues which require political commitment of ministers from each member, which is beyond the capacity of the Heart of Borneo Trilateral Meeting – currently serving as the governing technical body of the Heart of Borneo Initiative to deliberate on possible areas of cooperation and conservation programme.” - Borneo Bulletin (8 September 2013)