HoB addresses climate change, preservation of biodiversity

THE “Heart of Borneo” (HoB) initiative, in which Brunei Darussalam has allocated 58 per cent of the country’s land area to forest conservation, will not only contribute to addressing climate change, but also help to preserve the biodiversity of the region’s rainforests for the benefit of all its future generations.

His Majesty the Sultan and Yang Di-Pertuan of Brunei Darussalam highlighted this point yesterday while delivering a titah at the Second Session of the Asean-Republic of Korea Commemorative Summit, in Busan, Republic of Korea.

His Majesty said that Brunei Darussalam is working closely with Indonesia and Malaysia on the HoB initiative.

His Majesty also welcomed partners to work together on this initiative which aims to address climate change and preserve the biodiversity of the region’s rainforests.

His Majesty said that everyone has seen how all countries can be affected by climate change and the negative effects it can have on the peoples and their livelihoods. This issue is a concern recognised by Asean, and last month, Asean reaffirmed its commitment to address climate change through the adoption of a Joint Statement.

Asean hopes for the support of all its partners in this very important endeavour. Furthermore, at the United Nations Climate Summit this year, there was global recognition for the need to collectively address climate change.

His Majesty greatly appreciated Park Geun-hye, the President of Korea’s announcement to pledge an additional USD100 million to the Green Climate Change Fund.

His Majesty added that Asean also values the Republic of Korea’s efforts to mitigate the effects of climate change through initiatives such as forest conservation.

His Majesty also noted that the East Asian region is the region most affected by natural disasters.

In addition to flooding, typhoons, and landslides, the region also has to contend with strong earthquakes, volcanic activity and tsunamis.

Fortunately, the region’s geographical proximity enables the region to react quickly in the face of such natural calamities to provide much needed humanitarian assistance and disaster relief to its neighbours.

His Majesty said that the strong Asian values of a community in East Asia provide a foundation that should enable the region to work more closely together with greater respect, trust and understanding of one another.

In this regard, His Majesty hoped that the region will be able to deepen its cooperation and come up with concrete measures that will carry on the work to help each other in the future and bring deeper meaning to the lives of its people.

During the second session, leaders discussed matters related to the Cooperation in Non-Traditional Security Issues with the main emphasis on the discussion on Climate Change and Disaster Management.

In the titah, His Majesty also thanked the Chairman, the President of Union Republic of Myanmar, for successfully chairing and hosting the Asean related Summits last month.

The Second Session of the Commemorative Summit began with the opening statement from the President of the Republic of the Union of Myanmar as the Chairman of Asean for the year 2014 who is also the Chairman for the Second Session of the Summit.

The President of the Republic of the Union of Myanmar then invited the President of the Republic of Korea as the host country to deliver a statement. - Borneo Bulletin (13 December 2014)