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Lessons in sustainability from Tianjin Eco-City

Tianjin Eco-City can drive innovation and greater environmental awareness and achievement in Singapore ("S'pore, China ink pacts to deepen cooperation in bilateral projects"; Feb 28).

The eco-city's per capita water use target is 120 litres per day, about 15 per cent less than Singapore's target of 140 litres per day by 2030. It also aims for 20 per cent of its energy to come from renewable sources by 2020. Can Singapore have similarly ambitious targets?

There is also much to learn from the rich natural heritage of the area. The eco-city is close to several designated Important Bird Areas, including the Qilihai Nature Reserve and the Beidagang Wetland Nature Reserve. The mudflats around the eco-city are part of the greater Yellow Sea/Bohai Bay coastal wetlands, one of the world's most significant staging points for migratory coastal birds. A good number of Singapore's migratory birds have come to us from sites along Bohai Bay.

No community or country will reach the United Nations' Sustainable Development Goals without enthusiastic support from its institutions and its people. Besides cooperation among leaders in industry and research, strategic exchanges at the grassroots level are also needed.

We should aim to make the residents of both Singapore and Tianjin Eco-City proud of their journey to sustainability and of their natural heritage.

If sustainability becomes a way of life, we will have contributed to securing a stable, peaceful and greener future for our children.

Shawn Lum


Nature Society (Singapore)

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Sunday Times on March 05, 2017, with the headline Lessons in sustainability from Tianjin Eco-City. Subscribe