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Brunei Darussalam | The First National Green Growth Seminar for Low Carbon Development

The United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP), the Asian Institute of Technology and the British High Commission established a partnership with the Universiti Brunei Darussalam (UBD) for the organisation of the National Seminar on Green Growth Policy Tools for Low Carbon Development in Brunei Darussalam (On-site e-Learning /Training of Trainers) from 28 to 29 January 2013 at the University Technology Hub.

This two-day event uses ESCAP interactive methodology, involving animated e-learning courses and a virtual library, as well as case studies and group activities moderated by the trainers. It is crafted to encourage participants to reflect on how “green growth” policies might be “mainstreamed” in their particular sector. The Training of Trainers Seminar will provide introductions to the “Fundamentals of Green Growth Course” and the “Low Carbon Green Growth Roadmap”, and will be followed by a four-week, self-paced, e-learning phase using a dedicated Online Facility , providing an easy to navigate knowledge and experience sharing platform for green growth practitioners. Graduates of the course will become members of an on-line green growth community.

British High Commissioner HE Rob Fenn said “The UK is proud of the part we are playing to make these cutting-edge policy tools more widely available in Brunei. We are not, of course, starting from scratch. The Brunei Government has been part of a global movement towards Green Growth for years now, sensing that its stewardship of natural resources – the Heart of Borneo, peat swamp forests and marine reserves – can contribute directly to national development and future prosperity. The British Minister who visited Brunei last month, Hugo Swire, saluted Brunei’s efforts in a speech at the Rizqun Hotel on 10 December 2012. Brunei has also worked closely with WWF to help reflect the country’s unique ecosystem services more clearly in the national accounts and strategies to diversify the economy”.

“What’s new about the UBD event”, the High Commissioner added, “is the partnership with the Asian Institute of Technology, and with ESCAP providing participants with direct access to the on-line body of best practices in application of low carbon green growth. As we look back on last month’s conference on Climate Change in Doha – “COP 18” – and learn lessons for the next phase of the talks – on which all our futures depend – the UK wants to help strengthen Brunei’s attachment to Green Growth. That way, Brunei can reap benefits which the UK itself has gained from its low-carbon trajectory”.

The High Commissioner listed the ways in which – in the UK’s experience – low-carbon policies can help boost growth and competitiveness.

Boosting technological competitiveness -clean technology will be to this century what computers were to the last one.Businesses which master low carbon innovation will have a competitive edge;< p >< strong > Lower business costs – from improved energy and resource efficiency; and from < strong > capitalising on falling technology prices: w hile fossil fuels are expected to become costlier, technologies like solar photovoltaic and wind power are becoming relatively less expensive.

New export markets -globally and in the UK, demand for green goods and services is growing faster than the general economy; and < strong > new jobs: the green economy is already supporting new jobs, and knock-on benefits through supply chains mean these are not limited to traditional ‘green’ sectors.< p >< strong > Encouraging infrastructure investment -the low carbon renewal of ageing power and transport infrastructures can boost growth and improve energy security.< p >< strong > Reduced exposure to fossil fuel volatility -oil markets have entered a period of increased scarcity and the expert consensus is that gas prices will on average rise.< p >< strong > Strengthening the EU single market -an EU - wide push to increase low carbon energy would help spur progress towards a deeper, single energy market across the EU. Similar advantages may be available to ASEAN.< p >< strong > Note to editor/ s:  Participation is free and by invitation.Journalists interested to observe the opening session – at which the British High Commissioner will make a speech (and provide copies to the media) – should contact Nabilah Tan: < u >< a href ="http://nabilah.tan@fco.gov.uk" target="_blank">nabilah.tan@fco.gov.uk

Training is targeted towards middle-level government managers, ministry officials, private-sector decision markers, NGOs, academics and other actors involved in the country’s transition to Green Growth.

The various training courses offer participants a set of interactive and visually appealing modules. Certificates will be issued upon successful completion of modules and quizzes, and after the submission of a case study documenting examples of policies and actions related to the topic in question. Participants will be coached by an online trainer, and will have access to an on-line reference library with readings and video materials on Low Carbon Green Growth and the Economics of Climate Change.