Brunei has no framework legislation concerning the environment. Environmental issues are regulated by existing sectoral laws governing various economic activities. However, there is an environmental policy. It has the following objectives -
- To maintain sustainable utilisation of natural resources.
- To minimise negative impacts on environment arising from population growth and human activities.
- To achieve balanced goals of socio-economic development and sound environmental quality.
The most important laws related to environmental issues are listed below.
- Petroleum Mining Act, amended 1992 (Chapter 44)
- Petroleum (Pipelines) Act (Chapter 45)
- Mining Act (Chapter 42)
- Forest Act (Chapter 46)
- Water Supply Act (Chapter 12)
- Land Code (Chapter 40)
- Poison Act (Chapter 114)
- Ports Act, amended 1988 (chapter 144)
- Town and Country Planning (Development Control Act (Chapter 142)
There is no single Ministry or Department inwhich is specifically responsible for environmental issues. Such responsibilities are divided among different ministries, departments and units.
There are two institutions which play important roles in coordinating environmental policies. These are the National Committee on the Environment (NCE) and the Environmental Unit of the Ministry of Development. The NCE is a high-level inter-agency consultative body. Its responsibilities are to look into environmental issues, review environment related legislation and give advice for environmental plans and guidelines. It coordinates environmental policy-making, provides an overall framework for environmental management and oversees the implementation of national environmental activities, legislation and policies related to the environment.
Brunei does not yet have specific laws requiring Environmental Impact Assessments (EIAs). The draft EIA regulation is yet not approved. However, in principle the Government requires EIAs for large and heavy industries such as in the ammonia/urea,and aluminium smelter plants currently being planned. New industries also need to submit plans indicating measures to be taken to reduce environmental impacts.
Bruneihas formulated its own Environmental Management Plan. The plan includes practices, procedures and standards related to air quality, water quality and waste management. The plan also includes monitoring programmes, EIA procedures and environmental audits. It is likely that any CO2 transport and storage activities would need to submit EIAs or plans before being considered for approval for development in Brunei.
7.5.2 Regulations that might assist
Parts of Brunei's environmental policies, legislation and regulations might positively assist in facilitating CO2 transport and storage in Brunei. For instance, the ability to conduct an EIA and submit development plans to obtain approval from the Government would be important. This would allow CO2 transport and storage activities to be approved for development under the EIA process. While the EIA process is vital to facilitating CO2 transport and storage, establishing a legislative and regulatory framework for CO2 transport and storage activities, including titling and permitting arrangements are more important in the first instance.
Directly related to the section above, the major obstacle to CO2 transport and storage arising from Brunei's environmental policies, legislation and regulation is likely to be the fact that no CO2 transport and storage activity has yet conducted an EIA and obtained a licence to operate.
The EIA process is vital to facilitating CO2 transport and storage in Brunei. However, it should follow the implementation of a legislative and regulatory framework for CO2 transport and storage activities, including titling and permitting arrangements.
In addition, there are no specific laws to regulate air quality. There are some brief provisions in various laws and regulations that deal with air pollution, but these are largely lack of detail. Therefore there are no regulations in place that deal specifically with CO2 emissions.
While CO2 transport and storage activities do not appear to be in any of the environmental legislation, it appears that an overarching legislative and regulatory framework would need to be developed and implemented in Brunei before such activities could proceed.
One possible method would be to enact comprehensive environmental framework legislation. This framework should tie together the environmental issues which are currently covered by sectoral laws. More detailed regulations on specific matters such as CO2 transport and storage can then be included as subsidiary legislations. The existing EIA procedures will also need to be improved. Specific guidelines, regulations and standards will need to be enacted.
In addition, consideration could be given to providing incentives for new industries such as CO2 transport and storage.