Environmental Order Being Fine-tuned

THE Ministry of Development is fine-tuning the draft of its Environmental Order to include air, land and toxic waste pollution control and to check on the environmental impact of all proposed government projects.

“The legal framework for the Environmental Order had been prepared by the Attorney General’s Chamber on January 31, 2010,” said Minister of Development Pehin Orang Kaya Hamzah Pahlawan Dato Seri Setia Hj Abdullah Begawan Mudim Dato Paduka Haji Bakar on March 20, 2010. Upon completion of the final process, the minister assured that the Environmental Order would be enforced as soon as possible.

The minister gave this response to Dato Paduka Hj Idris Hj Ali, appointed council member, who asked when the order would be gazetted and implemented.

The need for Brunei’s own Environmental Order was brought up in the Sixth Legislative Council Meeting on March 20, 2010 by the appointed council member who raised the issue with the Minister of Development.

Dato Paduka Hj Idris stressed on the need to care for and monitor the environment against any threats through mechanisms such as Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) before granting permission for any project to start. An EIA is an assessment of the possible impact positive or negative that a proposed project may have on the environment, consisting of the natural, social and economic aspects. “It is clear that we need a legal framework on the environment. The Environmental Order plays an important role in helping environmental issues,” he said.

The minister reassured the council members that “when all this is completed, the Environmental Order will be enforced as soon as possible”. At the same time, efforts have been done for Brunei to have a unified quality control for land development works under the Town and Country Planning agency and to evaluate building requirements especially with regards to water drainage and (probability of ) landslide.

Issues of littering were also brought up particularly the enforcement of the Public Littering Act. The Act which was introduced in 2006 was recently enforced in a bid to reduce pollution and safeguard the environment as well as to keep the country clean.

Sixty-three individuals and companies have been fined under (the anti-littering law) as of the beginning of 2010 until March 9 totalling $13,300, said Minister of Home Affairs Pehin Orang Kaya Johan Pahlawan Dato Seri Setia Hj Adanan Begawan Pehin Siraja Khatib Dato Seri Setia Hj Mohd Yusof in response to a question from Hj Sulaiman Hj Ahai, an appointed council member.

“We have done numerous campaigns throughout the country but it didn’t work. We have no choice but to enforce the law. Depending on the offence, the compound ranges between $200 to $1,000 and offenders can also be charged in court,” the minister said.

This piece is taken from the Brunei Times.

See on-line at: http://news.brunei.fm/2010/03/21/environmental-order-being-fine-tuned/

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