Singapore, Brunei officials meet on environmental issues

Singapore, Brunei officials meet on environmental issues
Acting Director Department of Environmental, Park and Recreation Hj Rahmad (left) delivering his welcoming remarks as Singapore’s Director General Environmental Protection Division Koh Kim Hock looks on during the 8th BSWG yesterday.

The Ministry of Development and the Singapore Ministry of the Environment and Water Resources met yesterday for the eighth meeting of the Brunei-Singapore Working Group on the Environment (BSWG).

Delegates from both ministries gathered at The Empire Hotel & Country Club's Indera Samudra Grand Hall to discuss the progress of the existing BSWG activities and programmes, under a memorandum of understanding (MoU) on bilateral partnership in environmental affairs, which was signed in August 2005.

The MoU encompasses a scope of cooperation in various fields of environmental protection and management between the ministries. This also includes solid and hazardous waste management, transboundary haze pollution, and water resource management.

Prior to the closed-door meeting, Acting Director of the Department of Environment, Parks and Recreation at the Ministry of Development cum meeting co-chairman Hj Rahmad Hj Japar said that the target for the day would be to achieve "some of this scope of cooperation".

"It is going to be a full day of discussion and sharing of ideas and best practices between Brunei and Singapore," Hj Rahmad said.

Meanwhile, Director-General of the Singapore Environmental Protection Division Koh Kim Hock lauded the ongoing environmental cooperation between both countries.

"Last year, the meeting shared information on common challenges faced in areas such as quality monitoring, as well as waste management for both countries, so as to allow the BSWG to explore innovative ideas and identify further areas of collaboration.

"We look forward to continuing this exchange of information," Koh said.

Apart from the sharing of information and expertise on environmental protection, sustainable development and environmental management, the MoU also includes the exchange of visits, attachments, institutional twinning activities, as well as information dissemination through seminars, workshops and conferences.

A report of the eighth BSWG meeting is expected to be presented during the Eighth Brunei-Singapore Joint Committee of the Environment (BSJCE) on April 29 and the Eighth Brunei-Singapore Annual Exchange of Visits (BSAEV) on April 30.

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