New green initiative set up to enhance sustainability efforts in PAP town councils

Jalan Besar Town Council chairman Wan Rizal Wan Zakariah, seen here at a tree planting event in November 2020, will be leading the Action for Green Towns task force.
Jalan Besar Town Council chairman Wan Rizal Wan Zakariah, seen here at a tree planting event in November 2020, will be leading the Action for Green Towns task force.PHOTO: PEOPLE'S ACTION PARTY

SINGAPORE - Plans to roll out more green initiatives such as food composting in housing estates are in the works as part of efforts to build more sustainable living environments for residents.

To this end, the 15 People's Action Party (PAP) town councils have set up an initiative to enhance their sustainability plans and efforts in support of the Singapore Green Plan 2030.

The initiative will foster collaboration between town councils, residents as well as sustainability experts and advocates and work towards making every PAP-managed town zero-waste, energy efficient and greener by 2025, the party announced on Saturday (May 15).

One MP from each council, together with representatives from Young PAP, will form the Action for Green Towns task force, which will be led by Jalan Besar Town Council chairman Wan Rizal Wan Zakariah.

For a start, the task force will review all existing sustainability projects across the various town councils. Existing initiatives include adoption of energy-saving LED lamps and smart lighting, encouraging cycling by building more bicycle racks, as well as making the roofs of multi-storey carparks greener.

Mr Lim Biow Chuan, who is coordinating chairman for PAP town councils, said: "The impact of climate change cannot be ignored and we need to take action to ensure that we are creating a better and more sustainable living environment for our residents.

"This is important to address a global emergency and that is why sustainability must be a cornerstone of our town management practices."

He noted that the task force will evaluate existing projects and assess which are most appropriate and scaleable across all the town councils.

A first "report card" will be released at the end of the year, outlining the collated initiatives and how things can be done better, said Dr Wan Rizal, adding that each town council will also periodically announce their own plans.

"I think it's important to build upon the good work that many of the town councils have done, come together and push towards (this sustainability goal)."

Mr Lim added that the town councils would explore the various recommendations that the task force comes up with before deciding how sustainability initiatives will be funded. Some of the initiatives, such as greening the rooftops of multi-storey carparks, will be done in conjunction with other stakeholders such as the Housing Board.

Dr Wan Rizal also highlighted that residents will play a key role in shaping this green journey for the towns and will be involved in the entire process, from providing feedback to coming up with ideas and implementing them.

Adding to his point, Sembawang GRC MP Poh Li San said that this initiative builds on the current sustainability momentum in Singapore and is a good opportunity to get residents to participate in transforming their living environment.

"At the end of the day, this green movement brings us together, gives us a common cause to work together for our future generations. At the same time, there are many intangible benefits we can derive, so long as we all want to do this together."