The Sustainable Singapore Movement/ Blueprint

“5 mascots to urge citizens to adopt greener ways”

SSM.jpg

[Original Article: http://www.straitstimes.com/singapore/5-mascots-to-urge-citizens-to-adopt-greener-ways]

Author: Danson Cheong

Published: 17 July 2016


Meet Marie, Ray, Cora, Eddie and Eva, the mascots of the Sustainable Singapore Movement (SSM), here to encourage people to adopt a more sustainable lifestyle.

Launched yesterday at Ngee Ann City Civic Plaza, the SSM is a community movement that is part of the Sustainable Singapore Blueprint (SSB) that the Government hopes will galvanise ordinary Singaporeans and encourage them to adopt “greener” practices.

The SSB is a $1.5 billion plan with a series of environmental goals to be met by 2030.

Launching the mascots and the movement yesterday, Minister for the Environment and Water Resources Masagos Zulkifli said each mascot will represent one of the five key pillars of the SSB.

The pillars are: building towns with smart and eco-friendly technology; reducing reliance on cars; reducing waste; encouraging businesses to be more sustainable; and getting the community here to take ownership of the environment.

“The SSB must not just be a government publication. It is about a common and shared identity in wanting to keep Singapore clean, green and sustainable,” said Mr Masagos, adding that the mascots will give the SSB a visual identity. “We hope they will make their way into the hearts of Singaporeans.”

He also hopes Singaporeans will understand that “less is more”.

“This refers to a new way of living our lives, where we cherish what natural and man-made resources we have, consume less but enjoy more, and practise sustainable habits,” he said.

Developer City Developments has been encouraging its staff and tenants to adopt what it calls “eco-office” practices, said its chief sustainability officer Esther An. “That’s why this movement is key. We have to build a kampung spirit. Everyone must believe he can do something.”

Methodist Girls’ School Secondary 1 student Victoria Guo believes Singapore can use more renewable sources of power, such as solar energy.

To get her message across, she submitted a photograph of solar panels glittering in the evening sun on the Marina Barrage to the SSB Photography and Short Film Competition.

She won the top prize of $2,000 in the schools category yesterday.

“I wanted to show that we can capture the sun’s energy with solar panels to power our nation,” she said.


Questions to Ponder:

  • Why are mascots utilized in campaigns? In Japan, each region and prefecture is represented by a specific character (the beloved Kumamon is the representative of the Kumamoto prefecture)- so why is the idea of mascots employed?
  • How are these mascots used to help popularize the Sustainable Singapore Movement?
  • Will this technique be useful? Seeing that Singa our local kindness lion literally retired at one point because the kindness campaigns were having minimal impact in Singapore.

WHAT IS THE SUSTAINABLE SINGAPORE MOVEMENT/BLUE PRINT?


“Sustainable Singapore Blueprint launched”

[Original Article: http://www.todayonline.com/singapore/sustainable-singapore-blueprint-launched]

Author: Laura Elizabeth Philomin

Published: 8th November 2014


Maintaining green spaces and reducing reliance on private car transportation for a liveable home, creating a “green economy” and increasing domestic recycling for a sustainable city, and greater community engagement.

These are just some of the key areas highlighted in the latest Singapore Sustainable Blueprint 2015 (SSB 2015).

Unveiled at the launch of the year-long Clean & Green 2015 Campaign today (Nov 8) by Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong, the blueprint mapped out the government’s vision to commit S$1.5 billion over the next five years to create a more liveable and sustainable future.

Environmental challenges stemming from climate change – like the Singapore’s longest drought in recorded history in February this year – are expected to grow, said Mr Lee. “We cannot become complacent, because climate is changing and I think we must expect more of such extreme episodes – more droughts, more heavy rains at different times – and we must be able to cope with it.”

It is the second blueprint on sustainable development after the first one was released in 2009. Statistics compiled by the Ministry of Environment and Water Resources (MEWR) showed that Singapore was mostly on track to meeting the original 2030 targets set in the 2009 blueprint. The SSB 2015 will see these 2030 targets stretched further, especially for indicators where Singapore had already exceeded the original target.

One such area is the amount of skyrise greenery or rooftop gardens. Originally set at 50 hectares by 2030 in the 2009 blueprint, Singapore had 61 hectares in 2013 and will see a new target of 200 hectares in the latest blueprint.

Other initiatives to enhance green spaces include maintaining public cleanliness and planning parks such that nine in ten households will be within a 10-minute walk from a park. While the length of park connectors has grown steadily from 113km in 2009 to 216km in 2013, it will be further expanded to 400km by 2030.

Continuing the 2009 blueprint’s focus of encouraging greater use greener modes of transport, the SSB 2015 has included introducing features in existing towns to create a more conducive environment for walking and cycling.

Because building more roads for more cars is not a viable option, Mr Lee said: “We want a solution in Singapore where the roads are clear, where there are many alternative for people to travel and to travel in a green and sustainable, and efficient and convenient way.”

Under the National Cycling Plan outlined in the LTA Masterplan last year, the length of cycling paths will be expanded from the current 230km to 700km by 2030, along with intra-town cycling networks that will be piloted in Ang Mo Kio and Tampines

In addition, new and upcoming MRT lines will increase the length of rail network from 178km to 360km so that 80 per cent of households – compared to the 58.5 per cent in 2013 – will be within a 10-minute walk from a train station.

Other plans to reduce the usage of cars also include introducing driverless vehicles, piloting an electric car-sharing scheme and creating more car-free zones in the city through roads closures for public activities like at Haji Lane and Ann Siang Road.

With domestic recycling rates much lower than industrial recycling, improving household recycling was also addressed by introducing more facilities such as centralised chutes for recyclables in all new HDB flats and Pneumatic Waste Conveyance Systems in more towns.

Initiatives to raise adoption of solar power and other sustainability practices in Singapore-based companies were also outlined to create a “green economy”. The number of “green jobs” is also expected to grow with more demand for expertise and research in areas like improving energy and water efficiency, and pollution and waste reduction.

Underpinning the initiatives in the SSB 2015 was the focus on greater community engagement commitment to environmental awareness. As part of the review of the SSB 2009, MEWR had conducted public consultations and surveys with about 6,000 participants. Findings from the survey showed that 78 per cent of respondents were concerned about environmental issues and almost nine in ten believed caring for environment is the community or individual’s responsibility.

To that end, the SSB 2015 intends to support community projects to enliven community spaces and foster stronger community stewardship over caring for the environment and sustainable living practices. For a start, the blueprint aims to grow the number of active green volunteers from over 1,000 to 5,000 by 2030, as well the number of Community in Bloom Gardens from over 700 to 2,000.

Stressing the importance of more people stepping forward to do their part for the environment, Mr Lee said the government provide the infrastructure but individuals also have a responsibility.

“We can build a better transport network, but we have to adjust our commuting lifestyles and habits. HDB can build more convenient chutes for recycling, but households have to use them and practice the 3R’s – reduce, reuse and recycle,” he added. “So together, we have to develop new norms if we’re really going to succeed in being clean and green.”

CORRECTION: An earlier version of this story said the National Cycling Plan was announced last month and that the length of cycling paths will be expanded from the current 213km to 700km. This is incorrect. The National Cycling Plan was outlined in the LTA Masterplan last year and the length of cycling paths will be expanded from the current 230km. We apologise for the error.


Questions to Ponder:

  • Why is the government so concerned about environmental sustainability?
  • Will these measures be truly effective in creating a greener Singapore?
  • Are there other movements that the SSB and SSM works in conjunction with to help achieve their respective aims? For example, with better roads for cycling and walking under the SSB this would complement the aims of the Active SG initiative to promote excecise and healthy living in Singapore.

Post By: Christine Ow

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