As a small island city-state with limited land and no natural resources, Singapore appreciates well the challenges of sustainable development. This is why our policies have always been designed with sustainability in mind in order to achieve our vision of a clean, green and sustainable Singapore in which our people and future generations can lead healthy and fulfilling lives.
Our first Voluntary National Review (VNR) takes stock of the policies we have enacted since independence and assesses their contribution to Singapore’s sustainable development within the framework of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. The VNR also examines areas where our policies may be lacking and how we could overcome them to better achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
The Inter-Ministry Committee on SDGs, co-chaired by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Ministry of the Environment and Water Resources, consulted all relevant government agencies and stakeholders, including businesses, youth organisations and civil society, in order to obtain an accurate and holistic picture of Singapore’s progress on sustainable development. While we sought to use the Global Indicator Framework to assess our implementation of the 2030 Agenda, we found that some of the targets and indicators either did not apply to our context or we lacked data for them. In this regard, we used proxies where appropriate. We also used international rankings and indices to gain an independent perspective of our progress vis-à-vis other countries.
We assessed that our approach of integrating sustainability directly in our policy process has worked well for us overall. Through the VNR process, we found many bright spots, or areas where our efforts have paid off, in our sustainable development journey so far. These include securing access to affordable and high quality potable water for all Singaporeans and ensuring accessible and good quality education for our children. At the same time, the VNR allowed us to identify and reflect on several challenges and constraints we face, such as our ageing demographic. We were also able to identify opportunities that may arise to overcome these challenges.
Looking ahead, we must be resilient and innovative to seize these opportunities. We have put in place key policies such as our SkillsFuture and Smart Nation initiatives to prepare our nation for these challenges. To this end, the principles that have guided Singapore in the past, such as our forward-looking, long-term approach to sustainable development and our resolve to take tough decisions that are necessary for our development, will continue to serve us well.
An important takeaway from the VNR process has been that there is no one-size-fits-all approach to achieving the SDGs. Countries should be free to pursue the SDGs in the manner they choose, taking into account their national priorities and circumstances. At the same time, Singapore recognises that there is much that countries can learn from one another in our common pursuit of sustainable development. We ourselves have benefited and continue to benefit from the generous sharing by others of their own development experiences. We are thus committed to strengthening the global partnership for sustainable development, including through our technical assistance initiatives as well as our Chairmanship of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) in 2018.
Our VNR report to the 2018 High-Level Political Forum on Sustainable Development presents Singapore’s domestic and international efforts to implement the 2030 Agenda. Besides being a snapshot of our progress so far, the VNR process has been a powerful reminder that sustainable development is a journey that requires continuous commitment from all of us. Singapore will continue to build on our progress in this journey towards the achievement of the 2030 Agenda and beyond.
Oceans are essential for planetary survival and global economic wellbeing. Under the Singapore Cooperation Programme, our main platform for government-to-government technical assistance, Singapore will be organising a course on sustainable oceans and marine resources. This programme explores the impacts of mans activities on the marine environment and seeks to share a sustainable approach to marine resources and marine biodiversity conservation. Participants will visit relevant nature reserves in Singapore, and learn about Singapores coral reefs conservation. Topics covered by the ...[more]
The application of ecotoxicological tools in environmental monitoring has proven to be successful in Singapore. Ecotoxicology biomarkers are potentially useful as early warning systems of environmental degradation. However, with more frequent occurrences of catastrophic events like massive plankton blooms and fish deaths in aquaculture facilities from climate change events, a focus on environmental health that includes monitoring the health of all components of the marine ecosystem becomes essential. This research project expands on the range of test organisms used by including all trophic...[more]
The IHO capacity building programme seeks to assess and advise on how countries can best meet their international obligations and serve their own best interests by providing appropriate hydrographic and nautical charting services. Such services directly support safety of navigation, safety of life at sea, efficient sea transportation and the wider use of the seas and oceans in a sustainable way, including the protection of the marine environment, coastal zone management, fishing, marine resource exploration and exploitation, maritime boundary delimitation, maritime defence and security, and o...[more]
Bioblitz refers to an intense period of biological surveying in an attempt to record all the living species within a designated area. Typically conducted on terrestrial habitats, the community (scientists, naturalists and volunteers) conducts an intensive field study over a continuous time period together. As part of Singapore Citizen Science program, a Marine Bioblitz program was initiated, starting at the Sisters Islands Marine Park. Volunteer teams will be led by domain scientists to survey reef areas to document the biodiversity observed there. This program will be expanded to key reef...[more]
Marine debris is considered as one of the major problems affecting the health of oceans and marine biodiversity. Marine debris, plastics and mircoplastics have been on the agenda of international forums and continue to be widely-discussed by local, regional and international organisations (e.g. UNEP, IMO, CBD, APEC etc.). In view of the importance of understanding the distribution, prevalence and pervasiveness of marine debris in Singapore, a research project on marine debris was initiated.
The Waste Management and Reduction of Marine Litter seminar forms a part of the Singapore-Norway Third Country Training Programme, which provides practical seminars on topical issues for civil servants from the Southeast Asian region. Experienced speakers from Norway, Singapore and other South East Asian countries, whose aim is to share their experiences and facilitate discussion within the field of waste management and marine litter, will conduct the sessions. The UN Environment and private sector representatives will also contribute. Participants will gain an understanding of the policy...[more]
Singapores coastal and marine environment continue to host healthy coral reef communities despite the natural and anthropogenic impacts, acerbated by climate change drivers like elevated surface temperatures, sea level rise and ocean acidification. Habitat restoration and species recovery through ex- and in- situ propagation of at risk species are some strategies to conserve coastal and marine biodiversity in an uncertain future. Through active propagation of coral species coupled with intertidal and sub-tidal restoration efforts, Singapore aims to ensure that her coral reef biodiversity i...[more]
The Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore (MPA) works through the International Maritime Organisation (IMO)-Singapore Third Country Training Programme (TCTP) to provide capacity building courses for other countries on the implementation of relevant international instruments for the prevention of pollution from ships.
The Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore (MPA) was the worlds first maritime administration to launch a comprehensive pro-environment initiative, known as the Maritime Singapore Green Initiative (MSGI) in 2011 to reduce the environmental impact of shipping and shipping-related activities to promote clean and green shipping in Singapore. MPA has pledged to invest up to S$100 million over 5 years for the MSGI which comprises three programmes the Green Ship Programme, Green Port Programme and Green Technology Programme. In July 2016, the MSGI was further extended and enhanced to 31 D...[more]
In April 2016, the Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore (MPA) and the Centre for International Law (CIL) of the National University of Singapore (NUS) established the CIL-MPA Oceans Governance Research Programme. Aside from generating quality research publications and presentations at esteemed academic journals and international platforms, this Programme has also convened annual international conferences and roundtable workshops to share and discuss research findings on the implementation of international law under UNCLOS with experts from governments, intergovernmental organisations, ...[more]
Singapore collaborates with Australia under the Australia-Singapore Comprehensive Strategic Partnership (CSP) for capacity building in fishery enforcement.
The Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore (MPA) intends for Singapore to become a cleaner and greener port by adopting liquefied natural gas (LNG) as one of the cleaner marine fuel solutions for the future. To this end, MPA is working with the shipping industry to bolster our LNG bunkering capabilities to be a LNG bunker ready port by 2020. This includes putting in place necessary infrastructure for the end-to-end LNG bunker supply chain, developing regulatory schemes and ensuring a sufficient supply. MPA is also working with other ports and maritime administrations for the harmonis...[more]
The Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore (MPA) will be co-organising with the International Maritime Organisation (IMO) the 2nd edition of the Future Ready Shipping Conference to be held in Singapore on 25-26 September 2017. The Conference aims to gather maritime leaders from developed and developing countries to exchange views and foster a culture of collaboration in energy efficient technologies and technology transfer.
Singapore has been actively engaging relevant Regional Fisheries Management Organisations (RFMOs), such the International Commission for the Conservation of Atlantic Tunas (ICCAT), the Commission for the Conservation of Southern Bluefin Tuna (CCSBT), the Indian Ocean Tuna Commission (IOTC) and the Commission for the Conservation of Antarctic Marine Living Resources (CCAMLR) on their catch documentation schemes to facilitate the trade of the relevant fish species.
Singapores contributions to combating illegal, unreported and unregulated (IUU) fishing Singapore participates in various regional platforms where the issue of combatting IUU fishing are discussed. These regional meetings include the Meetings of the ASEAN Ministers on Agriculture and Forestry (AMAF), ASEAN Sectoral Working Group on Fisheries (ASWGFi), and ASEAN Fisheries Consultative Forum (AFCF). Singapore is a participating country to the Regional Plan of Action to Promote Responsible Fishing Practices including Combating IUU Fishing in the Region (RPOA-IUU). The RPOA-IUU is a volunta...[more]
Singapore utilises both legislative controls and administrative measures to control marine pollution from land based sources. For example, the National Environment Agency (NEA) administers the Environmental Protection and Management Act (EPMA), which provides for the protection and management of the environment through controlling the discharge of trade effluent, oil, chemical, sewage or other polluting matters into the environment. The EPMA also ensure proper management of hazardous substances in an environmentally sound manner. Another example is the control of soil pollution, since pollutan...[more]
The Public Utilities Board (PUB), Singapores national water agency, ensures that all used water in Singapore is collected and treated at water reclamation plants to internationally recognised discharge standards. PUB also ensures that all new desalination and water reclamation projects are subjected to Environmental Impact Assessments if there is any discharge to the sea in accordance with our obligations under international law. This is to ensure that such discharge would have minimal or no impact on the marine environment The National Environment Agency (NEA) also conducts regular water q...[more]
In order to reduce its dependence on external sources of water, Singapore has developed and implemented extremely efficient demand and supply water management practices since mid 1970s. Source: World Resources Institute (2011) A Compilation of Green Economy Policies, Programs, and Initiatives from Around the World. The Green Economy in Practice: Interactive Workshop 1, February 11th, 2011 Historically, Singapore has been dependent on external sources of water because it has a limited amount of land area to store rainfall. In order to reduce its dependence on external sources of water, Singap...[more]
Singapore is committed to assisting Small Island Developing States (SIDS) in their capacity building efforts. As a small island state, Singapore understands the vulnerabilities and recognises the unique challenges faced by fellow SIDS. We have been sharing our development experience through the Singapore Cooperation Programme since its inception in 1992. Over the years, we have trained more than 8,800 SIDS government officials in diverse areas such as sustainable development and climate change, public governance and economic development. At the Third International Conference on SIDS in Samoa f...[more]
The Singapore Green Plan 2012, a government blueprint for environment sustainability, was prepared by the Ministry of the Environment and Water Resources in 2006. Source: The SGP2012 is Singapore's 10-year blueprint towards environmental sustainability. It encompasses six focus areas: Air and Climate Change, Water, Waste Management, Nature, Public Health and International Environmental Relations. For more information please see the documents on the right hand side of this page.
A marine turtle hatchery will be established at the Sisters Islands Marine Park for the in situ incubation of at risk sea turtles eggs. The facility will provide optimal incubation conditions to improve the hatching success of rescued eggs. This is critical as only a few hatchlings from each batch will ever make it to adulthood. The facility will compliment planned long term monitoring efforts of local sea turtle populations. In addition, the outreach activities at the hatchery will allow for special programmes and visits to educate the general public on sea turtle conservation.