Trust between Govt, people essential to solve Singapore's environmental challenges: Vivian

Two ladies walk alongside the Marina Bay on a hazy day at 1.20pm on June 21, 2013. Minister for Environment and Water Resources Dr Vivian Balakrishnan says that there is a need for trust between the people and the Government in order to solve Si
Two ladies walk alongside the Marina Bay on a hazy day at 1.20pm on June 21, 2013. Minister for Environment and Water Resources Dr Vivian Balakrishnan says that there is a need for trust between the people and the Government in order to solve Singapore's environmental challenges. -- ST FILE PHOTO: ALPHONSUS CHERN

There is a need for trust between the people and the Government in order to solve Singapore's environmental challenges, Minister for Environment and Water Resources Dr Vivian Balakrishnan said yesterday.

"There has to be a balance between commanding a sense of urgency and yet not have people panic," he said.

Dr Vivian was referring to three environmental challenges that he feels lie ahead for Singapore, namely: pandemics such as SARS, transboundary effects such as the haze, and the "existential challenge" of a warming climate and its adverse effects on food, water, and energy.

Dr Vivian was speaking at the NUS U@live Forum, a monthly discussion featuring alumni speakers. Held at the NUS Shaw Foundation Alumni House, the forum was attended by some 200 students, staff and alumni of the university.