SINGAPORE - The United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) and the Building and Construction Authority (BCA) have extended an existing Memorandum of Understanding between them for three more years, to 2017, National Development Minister Khaw Boon Wan said in a blog post on Wednesday.
Both agencies have collaborated in setting up the BCA Centre for Sustainable Buildings, a move which Mr Khaw said "has been of mutual benefit".
The MOU extension will allow the Centre to help UNEP to work with countries in the region to green their buildings and reduce greenhouse gas emissions, he added.
The Centre is the first UNEP collaborating centre in Asia, and one of the few UNEP collaborating centres in the world. "This partnership is an endorsement of Singapore's leadership and efforts to drive sustainable development," said Mr Khaw.
The Centre's aims include capacity building and knowledge transfer in the region. For instance, it runs workshops on best practices and has documented the BCA's experience of retrofitting an existing building at the BCA Academy into a Zero Energy Building, thus raising awareness about sustainable building developments.
"These initiatives underscore our commitment towards supporting green efforts within Singapore and the region, and will contribute to global efforts to reduce carbon emissions from buildings," said Mr Khaw.
"Much has been achieved, but much more still needs to be done," he added. He noted that when the BCA Green Mark scheme for certifying green buildings was launched in 2005, there were only 17 green building projects. Today, there are over 2,100 projects, representing the greening of more than one quarter of Singapore's total gross floor area.