A group of Singapore environmental protection experts has submitted a report to the country’s Ministry of Environment and Forests calling for stronger national environmental protection requirements and an increased focus on the role of the private sector in protecting the environment.
The group’s report, called “The Singapore Environmental Protection Agenda”, argues for a strengthened national environment protection system.
It comes after a major report on Singapore’s environmental environment by the National Green Tribunal (NGT) found a lack of a comprehensive and efficient national environmental law.
The report also said the country needs to increase its focus on local initiatives that will ensure the long-term sustainability of the environment, as well as its economic well-being.
“Singapore’s environment needs to be the basis for any economic development,” said the report’s author, Professor James Poh.
“If we are to continue to grow, we need to have a stronger national environment policy.”
The report comes after the National Environmental Protection Agency (NEPA) said it was “extremely concerned” about the state of Singapore’s environment and called for a comprehensive national environmental legislation.
It said that while Singapore’s Environment and Coastal Management Act has been effective in reducing air pollution, it has been inadequate in protecting aquatic life.
The NEPA said it will continue to monitor the Singapore Environmental Action Plan, which it said is being implemented to improve environmental protection in Singapore.
“We will continue monitoring Singapore’s compliance with its environmental law, including the enforcement of existing laws and the development of new laws,” NEPA deputy director general Tariq Javed said in a statement.
“The Singapore Environment Action Plan is the cornerstone of Singapores sustainable development agenda.”
The NEAA also called for the development and implementation of the Sustainable Development Strategy, which is currently being formulated and the creation of a National Environmental Action Framework.
The Singapore government has previously acknowledged that the national environmental system is “in need of strengthening”.
In June, the Prime Minister, Lee Hsien Loong, said that Singapore was not a “leader in environmental protection” and called on other countries to “take the lead”.
“The country’s environmental protection laws and policies have been failing to provide the right level of protection for our environment and to maintain our environmental legacy,” Mr Lee said at the time.
“Therefore, it is critical that other countries adopt national environmental laws, develop national environmental policies and take the lead in developing environmental laws.”