Ideas from UN Environment's Forum

An insurance plan for climate change in Tuvalu?

While no country will be spared the effects of climate change, low-lying nations and island states will bear the brunt of rising sea levels.

Tuvalu, a nation of nine islands in the Pacific Ocean, is at real risk of being swallowed whole as surges in waves have affected its coastline, leaving large-scale destruction in their wake.

Tuvalu may vanish within a few decades, experts have warned.

The country's Foreign Minister, Mr Taukelina Finikaso, told The Straits Times on Friday (Jan 25) that he wants fossil fuel companies to shoulder some of the burden of rebuilding costs through what he calls a "climate change insurance".

This would entail down payments to fund rebuilding, with payouts being provided according to the extent of damage.

"We hope that fossil fuel companies will be one of the main supporters of the initiatives, as they are the main contributors to climate change," said Mr Finikaso.

Marina Bay Sands - a green venue for a green conference

Marina Bay Sands' green credentials were on show as delegates from 38 countries gathered there to discuss pressing environmental issues, and to share solutions to these problems.

The Marina Bay Sands uses food and materials sourced from sustainable sources, and an intelligent building management system that manages the lighting, heating, air-conditioning and water supplies for the entire property, from over 110,000 control points.

The development says it also tries its best to be sustainable, not only in food preparation, but also in food disposal.

For instance, the hotel has its own herb garden, which supplies about 50 types of herbs to its restaurants.

In addition, it has five food digesters, which handled 529 tonnes of food waste in 2017.

"Marina Bay Sands' leadership in sustainability has enabled us to attract many high-profile events that share a similar green agenda, such as the ongoing United Nations Environment's Forum of Ministers & Environment Authorities of Asia Pacific at Sands Expo," said Mr Mike Lee, vice-president of sales at the hotel.

"From sustainable menus to post-event carbon impact tracking, we have worked with the UN Environment and the Ministry of the Environment and Water Resources to implement a range of green meeting initiatives that align to their sustainability goals."

Art and Technology for good

A Singapore-based not-for-profit arts organisation has helped to develop a virtual reality (VR) experience that educates viewers on the overwhelming levels of pollution in the oceans.

The piece, titled "Oceans We Make", was on show at the forum on Friday.

It was created by immersive media company WarriorVR 9 and distributed by MeshMinds.

The three-minute interactive experience takes adventurers on a scenic underwater journey where viewers must take action against threats to the oceans that are occurring in real life.

After the VR experience, 84 per cent of the audience said that they were either 90 or 100 per cent convinced that oceans need saving.

The VR experience will be open to the public at a MeshMinds exhibition planned for March 7 this year, where 8,000 people are expected to visit.

It will showcase 27 artworks focused on engaging action towards the UN Sustainable Development Goals.