SINGAPORE : The government is reviewing the Singapore Green Plan 2012, a 10-year blueprint towards environmental sustainability launched three years ago.
Environment and Water Resources Minister Yaacob Ibrahim said with the environment changing so radically, it was timely to re-look at the programmes and make them more relevant.
He was speaking at the launch of the International Water Forum 2005.
The report card so far: while programmes like greater use of non-conventional sources of water supply and recycling were generally on track, they were behind the target set in 2002.
For example, only 12 percent of Singapore's water supply comes from non-conventional sources, compared to set target of 25 percent; and while industrial recycling has done well, household recycling is lagging behind.
Said Dr Yaacob, "The challenge is actually structural. In landed property it's actually much easier, because we bundle it with a waste collector. Every Thursday once a week you take it out, and they'll collect it. For HDB flats and condominiums, that's a big challenge, because you have to go up and down.
"So we have now tried some schemes with condominiums. We cluster them and see if they can work together as one common point, and we work with a waste collector so that they can collect the recycled items. The results show that we're quite successful, so we have to review that. If we can break through in terms of household recycling, we'll be able to achieve the 60 percent target."
Focus groups have been formed to look into three areas: air, water, as well as clean land, nature and public health.
Dr Yaacob said, "What more can we do to encourage Singaporeans to buy green vehicles? What are the things we can do to encourage Singaporeans to use less of their car and more of public transport? These are some of the things that we want the focus groups to examine and come up with creative solutions."
As environmental issues concern everyone, the ministry hopes to reach out to a wider group of Singaporeans.
From now until the end of July, the public can share their views with the three focus groups.
The government is expected to make a decision based on their recommendations by the end of this year. - CNA /ct
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