Ministry of the Environment and Water Resources – Addendum to the President’s Address [Press Releases]
A sustainable and clean Singapore
1 Our careful environmental stewardship over the years has enabled us to build a high quality environment in Singapore for people to live, work and play in. It has been a source of competitive advantage.
2 Looking ahead, to improve our resilience and responsiveness to a changing landscape, we will enhance resource efficiency, improve infrastructure, strengthen capabilities, elevate standards and empower the community.
(I) Enhancing resource efficiency
3 It is a strategic imperative that we use energy, water and materials more efficiently to both reduce pollution and bolster Singapore’s economic resilience.
4 Energy efficiency is one of our key strategies to achieve environmental sustainability, energy security and economic competitiveness. For the industry sector, the Ministry will implement the Energy Conservation Act in 2013. Large energy users will be required to formulate energy efficiency improvement plans, appoint energy managers and to submit energy consumption data.
5 We must also extract greater value from waste as a resource. We will encourage businesses and households to optimise resource management by promoting new recycling initiatives and incentivising businesses to minimise waste. We are also undertaking a comprehensive review of our public waste collection system to encourage recycling and waste reduction, while continuing to ensure good service standards and affordability of disposal fees.
(II) Improving infrastructure
6 We will continue to invest in infrastructure to ensure a safe and vibrant living environment.
7 We take a serious view of flooding and will make all necessary efforts to alleviate future incidents. With the help of a panel of local and overseas experts, the Ministry is conducting an in-depth review of all flood protection measures that will be implemented in Singapore over the next decade. In the meantime, we are continuing to enhance the drainage system and working with the public to ensure adequate flood protection for their properties.
8 We will continue to expand the Active, Beautiful, and Clean or ABC Waters Programme to open up more opportunities for the public to take ownership of their environment and enjoy the beauty of clean waterways.
9 Hawker centres play important roles of providing affordable food and common social spaces for all Singaporeans to interact. Over the next few years, new hawker centres will be built to cater to higher demand from the growing population in our housing estates. We will improve cleanliness and hygiene standards across hawker centres and review our management approach to ensure the continued provision of good affordable food.
(III) Building capabilities
10 Working with the National Climate Change Secretariat, the Ministry and its partner agencies are committed to enhancing Singapore’s resilience against the potential impacts of climate change. Based on preliminary studies, we will need to raise minimum levels for land reclamation by at least 1m to create an adequate buffer against a potential rise in sea level.
11 However, achieving resilience is not a once-off effort. Climate science is dynamic and climate conditions in our region are challenging to forecast. To improve our understanding of future localised climatic conditions, we will develop capabilities in climate science and modelling within the Government. We will also form networks with relevant experts and institutions at the forefront of climate research.
(IV) Elevating standards
12 Clean and liveable spaces have become part of life in Singapore and we must not take this for granted. We can and should elevate our standards of public cleanliness and hygiene.
13 We will be strengthening the cleansing regime and improving our standards of service and accountability to the public. However, public cleanliness will need to be sustained by the combined efforts of both government and the community. We will partner Singaporeans by supporting community action and nurturing social graces.
14 We will review our noise standards and guidelines to protect public health and minimise nuisance respectively and will work with agencies to meet these levels in their respective sectors.
15 To stem the incidence of vector breeding, NEA’s ground officers will complement their ongoing source reduction efforts with greater community engagement. In the case of dengue, where the most common site of infection is inside homes, we aim to raise awareness within the community of simple steps to reduce the likelihood of breeding sites and break the further transmission of dengue virus if infected.
16 In recent years, we have tightened our food hygiene regulatory and inspection framework for food operators. We will uphold the robustness of these efforts to ensure stringent levels of food hygiene are maintained. We are also exploring an extension of the smoking ban to reduce the impact of second-hand smoke on non-smokers.
(V) Empowering the community
17 Sustaining a quality living environment relies on more than tighter standards and infrastructure improvements — ultimately it is people who make a city sustainable.
18 We will explore how we can develop a more robust framework for environmental reporting by businesses and make environmental information more open to the public. We will consult more closely with the public on our policies, by developing more channels of communication. We will also continue to encourage good work by the community through our annual campaigns, cultivating strong environmental advocates and working closely with 3P (People, Private, Public) stakeholders to nurture environmentally-consciousness in our citizens.
19 Through our shared efforts, we hope to build a city where resources are managed with care and people, businesses and the environment can thrive. Together, we can build a lasting and liveable future for our children.