Public dialogues on environment to be held

Today Online 25 Jan 14;

SINGAPORE — A series of dialogues aimed at crafting a common vision for the environment will take place over the next two months, as part of a national exercise to review Singapore’s approach towards the environment.

The Singapore Environment Council (SEC), a non-governmental organisation, intends to hold at least 10 dialogue sessions and reach out to about 800 people.

Mr Jose Raymond, the council’s Executive Director, said a ground-up approach is needed to allow Singaporeans to come forward and take more ownership of the space in which they live.

“You can’t have a vision or a blueprint which does not incorporate what the people want or what they hope as their vision for the future.

“It’s something which they need to feel very strongly for. It’s something which they need to really take ownership of,” he told reporters yesterday.

Earlier this month, Minister for the Environment and Water Resources, Dr Vivian Balakrishnan announced that Singapore would embark on a national exercise to review how the country takes care of its environment.

The findings will be shaped into plans in the second half of the year, before being used to revise the Sustainable Singapore Blueprint, which outlines strategies to achieve the twin objectives of economic growth and a good living environment.

The SEC hopes to reach out to a wide range of people, including those in other NGOs, schools, as well as members of the public and the businesses community in its dialogues.

This will allow many more issues and challenges that are relevant to each sector to be raised, Mr Raymond said.

The SEC hopes to consolidate the feedback in April and submit a report to the Government in May. Those who wish to participate in the dialogue sessions can sign up through the SEC’s website from Feb 3.