Development and sustainability can co-exist

We share Mr Manoraj Rajathurai's views on having a thoughtful balance between development and nature ("Keep fine balance between nature and urbanisation"; last Friday).

As a long-term investor, we believe economic growth can and must be achieved alongside care and commitment for nature and our environment.

Development and a sustainable environment are not mutually exclusive, and need not be at the expense of one or the other.

For this reason, we conducted extensive multi-year studies, and engaged nature lovers and experts in Singapore and around the world, before we proposed to rejuvenate the Mandai nature precinct.

In Mandai, we want to build carefully on our nature heritage to create a nature retreat that celebrates and protects our biodiversity.

We also want to open up opportunities for our young and not-so-young to enjoy nature in fun and inspiring ways.

At the same time, we will test-bed and introduce new technologies for learning about nature, creating outdoor thermal comfort and exploring a host of new possibilities.

To this end, we will plant seeds, literally and figuratively, for future generations in Mandai.

For the same reason, we also initiated and organised the annual Ecosperity conference two years ago. Ecosperity embodies the belief that growth and prosperity can take place in a sustainable manner, with consideration for our environment and ecology.

Drawing from a common desire in people around the world for prosperity and a better tomorrow, Ecosperity brings together businesses and policymakers to explore solutions for sustainable growth.

Ecosperity also provides an opportunity for our young people to learn about wider local, regional and global issues.

At Ecosperity 2015, more than 150 students from universities and polytechnics around the world heard from global thought leaders, and added their perspectives on sustainable development and liveable cities. Besides Singapore students, students from Cambodia, China, India, Indonesia, Japan, the Philippines, South Korea, Thailand, the United States, and Vietnam also joined us.

Temasek looks forward to promoting the twinning of prosperity and a greener and better environment, through Ecosperity and other initiatives, as we grow and evolve as an Asia-centric investor and a constructive stakeholder.

Lee Theng Kiat

Executive Director and Chief Executive

Temasek International

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on November 11, 2015, with the headline 'Development and sustainability can co-exist'. Print Edition | Subscribe