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Brunei Minister calls for sustainable golf course development

December 16, 2012

Brunei’s Minister of Industry and Primary Resources has called for ‘a more pragmatic and sustainable approach toward golf course development’.

In a hard-hitting welcome address at the sixth Asia Pacific Golf Summit (APGS), Yang Berhormat Pehin Orang Kaya Seri Utama Dato Seri Setia said it was necessary to come up with innovative and green ways of building and maintaining golf courses.

Bruneiís Minister of Industry and Primary Resources Yang Berhormat Pehin Orang Kaya Seri Utama Dato Seri Setia

During his 20-minute presentation in front of more than 200 movers and shakers from the global golfing industry, the Minister outlined the Brunei Government’s commitment to protecting and conserving the environment.

He also spoke passionately about sustainability and the environment in general, and golf course development in particular.

He said: “What I would like to see is a more pragmatic and sustainable approach toward golf course development.

“Most of the countries in this region, especially Thailand, Malaysia, China and Indonesia, recognise the importance of golf and its role in promoting tourism. The revenue earned through golf tourism runs into the billions of dollars and this is expected to continue on an upward trend for some years to come.

“The question that this poses is whether the positive revenue gains balances out against the negative effects of golf course development?

“There must be a better way to address the challenge. Perhaps the way forward will be for golf course designers, owners and operators to become more aware of environmental issues. The industry gate-keepers need to promote more responsible environmental stewardship and innovative and green ways of building and maintaining golf courses.”

The Minister also announced that the Brunei Government will sponsor the Custodian of the Environment, a new annual award to be given to the golf course in Asia that best addresses and tackles sustainability issues.

“This is a tangible sign of the public and private sectors coming together to tackle a challenge with a definite end-game in view – which is to promote sustainability in golf and to create an enduring awareness towards the importance of protecting our environment,” he said.

Continuing the sustainability theme, Ron Dodson, Chairman/President, International Sustainability Council, delivered a powerful presentation entitled Sustainability: Beyond the Rhetoric – Simple, Significant, Sustainable.

The Asia Pacific Golf Summit was part of a week-long golf carnival in Brunei that also includes the the Campus on the Greens conference for course superintendents and the first Intellectual Property Rights Symposium, the 2012 Asian Golf Monthly Awards Gala and the Royal Trophy match play contest between high-profile professional teams from Europe and Asia, captained by Jose Maria Olazabal and Naomichi ‘Joe’ Ozaki respectively.

The week-long activities were supported by Brunei’s Ministry of Industry and Primary Resources and hosted by Brunei Tourism.

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