Singapore to review how the country takes care of its environment

Environment and Water Resources Minister, Vivian Balakrishnan, at the Singapore Sustainability Symposium 2014 Opening Ceremony organised by NTU's Sustainable Earth Office. Singapore will this year embark on a national exercise to review how
Environment and Water Resources Minister, Vivian Balakrishnan, at the Singapore Sustainability Symposium 2014 Opening Ceremony organised by NTU's Sustainable Earth Office. Singapore will this year embark on a national exercise to review how the country takes care of its environment, said Minister for the Environment and Water Resources Vivian Balakrishnan. -- PHOTO: NTU'S SUSTAINABLE EARTH OFFIC

Singapore will this year embark on a national exercise to review how the country takes care of its environment, said Minister for the Environment and Water Resources Vivian Balakrishnan.

"Our circumstances and challenges have changed so drastically that it is time for us to redefine our vision and values and our approach to the environment," he said yesterday.

The review will start with a public consultation from next month or March to the middle of the year to discuss what people want for the environment.

The findings will be shaped into concrete plans in the second half of the year, before being used to revise the Singapore Sustainable Blueprint by the year's end.

The blueprint, which was unveiled in 2009, serves as a guide for Singapore's sustainable development strategies until 2030.

Dr Balakrishnan said details on the exercise will be given at a later date, but it will involve the public, non-government groups and businesses.

He was speaking at the opening ceremony of the Singapore Sustainability Symposium organised by the Nanyang Technological University (NTU).

Held at the Raffles City Convention Centre, the conference involves some 120 participants from around the world discussing how to create prosperous societies while protecting the Earth.

These include how innovation, technology, economics and financial incentives can encourage environmentally friendly behaviour, the role of the private sector, and governance and planning in creating sustainable cities.

A White Paper produced by the symposium, which is on until tomorrow, will be presented to delegates at the World Cities Summit, to be held in Singapore in June.

The biennial summit brings together government and industry representatives to share ways of making cities more liveable and green.

NTU president Bertil Andersson said countries around the world are facing the challenges of providing clean water and food to growing urban populations.

"The increasing energy consumption and its resulting problems of air pollution and climate change also present another linked set of challenges."

zengkun@sph.com.sg

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