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Government to review priorities, plans related to environmental sustainability

The government will embark on a national exercise this year to review Singapore’s priorities, plans and projects related to environmental sustainability.

It will do so in two phases, said Minister for the Environment and Water Resources Dr Vivian Balakrishnan at the inaugural Singapore Sustainability Symposium on Wednesday.

The symposium is organised by the Nanyang Technological University’s Sustainability Earth Office.

The two-and-a-half day symposium will see some 120 local and international participants discuss sustainable solutions to overcoming challenges faced by cities.

The first phase is expected to begin by March and will involve public consultation to set out the country’s vision and common values.

Dr Balakrishnan said the exercise aims to involve all Singaporeans, and the government will also be working closely with non-government organisations.

He said the next phase will take place from the middle of the year and will involve mapping out projects and programmes. This will contribute to the revised Sustainable Singapore Blueprint by the end of the year.

Dr Balakrishnan said: “If you look at the global climate change, the impact on our weather, you look at epidemics, you look at floods, droughts, trans-boundary haze — these are all early warning signs.

“I believe we need to get ahead of that, and we need to embark on a consultation exercise because the solutions cannot just lie with the government.

“The solutions have to be generated in laboratories; they need to be upscaled so they become economically viable. Policies and legislation may need to be adjusted.

“By the end of the year, you will see a revised Sustainable Singapore Blueprint, one which will sketch our priorities (and) plans, and will provide guidance for the projects in the years to come.” 

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