Wednesday, January 6, 2010

UK expert warns Brunei of drought

The Brunei Times: There is a strong chance of Brunei suffering from droughts due to an increase in temperatures, despite the Sultanate enjoying good forest cover, said a climate change researcher. Dr Daniel P Bebber, head of climate change research at Earthwatch Institute in United Kingdom, said that a small temperature increase in the tropics could push trees and plants to their limit of being able to survive.

“Global warming increases temperature and this may result in droughts. So in the future, it could be a problem, even for Brunei which has a good forest cover,” he said in an interview after presenting a paper on “Drought and Fire in Tropical Forests” at the Asia-Europe (Asem) workshop on climate change in Universiti Brunei Darussalam (UBD).

However, he said that fires and droughts rarely occur in Brunei, which leaves its forests relatively intact. “The forest is more resilient to drought. If there is a drought, it won’t affect the forest as much as it would in other parts of Borneo, where the forest has been logged,” he said.

Dr Bebber also talked on the importance of sustainable development. He said Brunei is moving towards the right path with its sustainable development measures. “We must minimise our impact on the environment. We must think about reducing fossil fuel use, alternative energy sources, protect our forests, fresh water.” “We have to be careful about overfishing, be careful with plastic bags usage, reduce our energy use and reduce our use of natural resources,” he added….

Brunei's coat of arms

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