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.
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, especiallyThailand,Malaysia,ChinaandIndonesia, 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 inAsiathat 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.
The Asia Pacific Golf Summit is part of a week-long golf carnival inBruneithat also includes the Campus on the Greens conference for course superintendents; the first Intellectual Property Rights Symposium; and the 2012 Asian Golf Monthly Awards Gala.
The week-long activities are being supported byBrunei’s Ministry of Industry and Primary Resources and hosted by Brunei Tourism. Event Partners are Golfplan, JMP Golf Design Group and Schmidt-Curley Golf Design.
Business Partners are Atlas, Mizuno, Nicklaus Design, Royal Brunei Golf & Country Club, Titleist and Wilson Staff.
The Asia Pacific Golf Summit was inaugurated inSingapore in 2007. In 2008 it was staged in the southern China Province of Guangdong at Mission Hills Shenzhen before moving to the Malaysian capital ofKuala Lumpur in 2009 and ontoBangkok, the capital ofThailand, in 2010, and Pattaya in 2011. This year it is being held inBrunei at the world-class Empire Hotel & Country Club.
Asia Pacific Golf Group www.asiapacificgolfgroup.com