everyone on the environment
| A participant
contributing his views at the SGP2012
| Who says Singaporeans
don’t care about the environment? The recent
review of the Singapore Green Plan 2012 (SGP2012)
saw some 17,000 Singaporeans coming forward enthusiastically
to share their ideas through varied channels.
Released in 2002, SGP2012 is Singapore’s 10-year
blueprint for environmental sustainability. The
Ministry of the Environment and Water Resources
(MEWR) conducts a review every three years to gain
fresh perspectives on SGP2012’s targets and
action programmes to keep pace with emerging challenges.
To reach out to a wide spectrum of Singaporeans,
MEWR conducted a nine-month review that started
in April last year. It included in-depth focus group
discussions and separate consultations with industry
and interest groups on three areas: air and climate
change, water and clean land, nature and public
The public also gave their feedback through varied
platforms: a dedicated hotline, email, a comprehensive
Internet survey, a public forum and an exhibition
entitled “Our Environment Story”.
The review brought significant environmental challenges
into focus, such as these:
|With our limited
land and increasing waste generation, manufacturers
and distributors should go beyond stepping
up on recycling efforts. They are urged to
help minimise waste at source by cutting down
on packaging or ensuring proper recovery and
disposal of products at the end of their lifespan.
a precious resource and is critical to Singapore’s
survival. Singaporeans are urged to continue
conserving water. Each person can save 10
litres of water by just showering one minute
less every day.
The extensive consultation enabled many to be directly
involved in shaping key environmental policies.
For example, the idea of featuring energy labels
on all home appliances was mooted by the focus group.
Ninety-three percent of the Internet survey respondents
supported this idea. In March this year, MEWR announced
the implementation of a mandatory energy efficiency
labelling scheme for all air-conditioners and refrigerators
group co-chairs discussing environmental
issues with forum participants.
Beyond enhancing the Singapore Green Plan to address
emerging challenges, the consultation exercise deepened
both MEWR and participants’ understanding
of environmental issues, and got everyone involved
in looking for solutions.
It has also motivated Singaporeans to do more for
our environment. For example, 81% of the respondents
in the Internet survey wanted to be involved in
the fight against dengue by checking their own homes
and helping their neighbours to detect and eliminate
mosquito breeding spots.
Engaging the public on environmental issues is critical
to the work of MEWR and its two statutory boards.
Besides the SGP2012 review, public consultations
have been carried out on other important issues
(see stories below).
Consultation reminds us of our role in protecting
our environment. It raises our understanding of
how we affect the environment. It helps us find
solutions for emerging challenges. Most importantly,
it gets all of us to work together for a sustainable
The revised SGP2012 was released in March this year.
It incorporates the focus group’s recommendations
supported by the SGP2012 Coordinating Committee,
which is chaired by the Permanent Secretary (Environment
and Water Resources).
However, the work does not stop there. The SGP2012
action programme committees will work with the relevant
government agencies to implement the revised action
programmes. And MEWR will also continue to join
hands with 3P (people, public, private) partners
to protect and enhance our environment for future
Next: Laying the foundation
for greater synergy