Notable progress under Sustainable Singapore Blueprint over past year: Masagos

Cyclists on a bike path between Tampines Street 83 and 82 on Nov 22, 2014.
Cyclists on a bike path between Tampines Street 83 and 82 on Nov 22, 2014.PHOTO: ST FILE

SINGAPORE - Notable progress has been made under the Sustainable Singapore Blueprint 2015, which contains a series of environment goals to be met by 2030, Minister of Environment and Water Resources Masagos Zulkifli said on Saturday (Oct 31).

Giving an update on the work done to meet targets under the blueprint, launched last year, Mr Masagos said: "Its progress can be credited to the collective interests of Singaporeans in caring for our environment.

"To achieve the targets and plans laid out in the Sustainable Singapore Blueprint, individuals, communities, companies and Government agencies need to work together to make Singapore an exceptional home for many generations to come."

Mr Masagos was speaking to reporters at the Clean And Green SG50 Carnival, a two-day event held at the open field next to Punggol MRT Station.

There are five thrusts under the blueprint, namely (i) "Eco-Smart" Endearing Towns; (ii) A "Car-Lite" Singapore; (iii) Towards A Zero Waste Nation; (iv) A Leading Green Economy; and (v) An Active And Gracious Community.

Mr Masagos cited the Punggol Northshore, the Housing Board's first smart HDB estate to be completed in 2020, as ongoing work to "embed smart technologies and eco-friendly features into towns and homes".

The length of nature ways - green corridors with biodiversity in urban areas - also increased from 21km in 2013 to 61km as of Sept 30 this year. The target is 180km by 2030.

The length of park connector networks also increased from 216km in 2013 to 300km as of Sep 30. The target is 400km by 2030.

Towards achieving a society which is less car-reliant, enhancements are being made to the rail and bus networks, as well as in increasing the length of cycling paths from 233km in 2013 to 345km as of Sep 30. The goal is more than 700km by 2030.

A pilot bicycle sharing scheme will also be launched in Jurong Lake District, Tampines, Pasir Ris and Marina Bay progressively from 2017.

Meanwhile, the proportion of buildings that achieved Building and Construction Authority's Green Mark standards rose from 22 per cent in 2013 to about 30 per cent as of Sept 30, with the 2030 target being 80 per cent.

Plans are also being implemented to raise the adoption of solar power, noted Mr Masagos. The first solar leasing tender was called in June, and photovoltaic systems are to be installed on HDB, Ministry of Home Affairs and National Water Agency buildings.

Mr Masagos also noted the two upcoming pilot projects being implemented to improve the management of waste streams, such as on-site recycling at two hawker centres.

But recycling rates decreased by one percentage point between 2013 and 2014.

Non-domestic recycling dipped from 77 per cent in 2013 to 76 per cent last year, while domestic recycling dipped from 20 per cent in 2013 to 19 per cent last year. The respective targets by 2030 are 81 per cent and 30 per cent.

Mr Masagos said: "Singaporeans remain at the heart of our environment... Each of us can play our part and together, we can be proud stewards of our home, our environment and our future."

waltsim@sph.com.sg