Asean mayors pledge to keep their cities green

(Front row from left) Mayor Denise Phua, Mayor Maliki Osman, Environment and Water Resources Minister Masagos Zulkifli, Mayor Teo Ho Pin and Mayor Desmond Choo gathering around Ms Low Yen Ling, chairman of the Mayors' Committee, as she signs the Sing
(Front row from left) Mayor Denise Phua, Mayor Maliki Osman, Environment and Water Resources Minister Masagos Zulkifli, Mayor Teo Ho Pin and Mayor Desmond Choo gathering around Ms Low Yen Ling, chairman of the Mayors' Committee, as she signs the Singapore Declaration at the end of the 6th Meeting of Governors/Mayors of Asean Capitals (MGMAC) at Parliament House yesterday.ST PHOTO: ALPHONSUS CHERN

They ink S'pore Declaration on environmental sustainability at close of 3-day meeting here

Mayors and governors from Asean capitals yesterday pledged their commitment to take ownership in building a sustainable environment in their respective cities.

They inked a Singapore Declaration on environmental sustainability during the closing of a three-day meeting held here.

The 6th Meeting of Governors/ Mayors of Asean Capitals (MGMAC) was attended by more than 40 delegates from the 10 Asean nations.

MGMAC was started in 2013 by then-Jakarta Governor Joko Widodo as a platform for mayors and governors to discuss topics relating to the development of their capital cities.

As Asean chairman this year, Singapore hosted the meeting, during which the delegates exchanged ideas and shared best practices on environmental issues.

Singapore's chairman of the Mayors' Committee and Mayor of South West District, Ms Low Yen Ling, said: "Our cities share many common challenges, for instance, climate change, urbanisation and sustainability. To overcome these, we need the collective action and support of all in society, from individuals to businesses, and across government and civic organisations,"

Ms Low, who is also Senior Parliamentary Secretary of Education and Manpower, said the meeting will help to "open new doors of collaboration and solutions for Asean capitals".

In a speech before the signing of the declaration at Parliament House, Environment and Water Resources Minister Masagos Zulkifli said there is urgency for Asean national, provincial and city governments to take action against climate change.

He cited an assessment by HSBC in March this year which said five out of 10 countries that are most vulnerable to climate change are in South Asia and South-east Asia.

Mr Masagos said: "There is much that we can do to build resilience against environmental threats... to innovate and seize opportunities for green growth.

"By working together, we will become a more dynamic and connected community, and ensure that Asean remains united and resilient," he added.

During the meeting, the Asean delegates visited Marina Barrage and Bukit Panjang Community Club, which achieved a Green Mark Gold Plus certification awarded by the Building and Construction Authority. They also met Minister for Foreign Affairs Vivian Balakrishnan, and paid a courtesy call on Speaker of Parliament Tan Chuan-Jin.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Sunday Times on July 08, 2018, with the headline 'Asean mayors pledge to keep their cities green'. Print Edition | Subscribe