|mongabay.com : BORNEO|
CAPITALISING on the Heart of Borneo (HoB) initiative may be contradictory considering its conservation purposes but it does not mean Brunei has to miss out on economic benefits, said a former South Korean minister. Professor Kim Myung-Ja, Korea's former Minister of Environment, said that in her country, there is a similar issue with a conservation area which was turned into a tourist site. "There are other alternative ways for economic growth of conservation for Brunei and the Heart of Borneo, like the promotion of tourism, or more specifically, eco-tourism," she said during a seminar organised by the e-Government Innovation Centre (eG.InC) at Universiti Brunei Darussalam (UBD) on Saturday.
Professor Kim stressed the importance of the HoB, saying that the initiative is "beautiful and preserved remarkably well". However, Kim reminded that the future of the area depends solely on the collaboration between the three involved governments: Brunei, Indonesia, and Malaysia.
"Other major international organisations such as the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) and Asian Development Bank (ADB) also play a part," she said. Professor Kim added: "One of the keys to success for an initiative like this is funding."
"There needs to be diversified and equitable benefits for involved local communities and governments," she said, adding that it would help conservation areas to be effectively implemented. When asked how Brunei can improve in reducing its carbon emissions, Professor Kim said that there are two obvious points she picked up on whilst in the Sultanate: the temperature of air-conditioning, and the lack of public transportation. She told The Brunei Times that room temperatures are usually set too low, making the difference in temperatures outdoors and indoors too large. "
This may possibly affect one's health, as the difference is too much," she said. As for the lack of public transportation, Professor Kim said that carbon dioxide (CO2) contributes to 78 per cent of global warming. "Research has shown that public transportation can be a way of reducing emissions," she added. Professor Kim, who is currently President of Green Korea 21 Forum, during the seminar delivered a presentation entitled "Green Growth Initiative and Green Energy Innovation". She highlighted the importance of renewable energy, and regional and global energy cooperation. The seminar was held at UBD's Institute for Learning, Innovation, and Advancement.
The Brunei Times
The Brunei Times