Engaging IHL experts for SGP30 implementation

Published Date: 11 May 2021 06:00 PM

News Parliamentary Replies

Name and Constituency of Member of Parliament

Prof Koh Lian Pin, Nominated Member of Parliament

Question

To ask the Minister for Education whether there are coordinated steps being taken at the national level across institutes of higher learning to (i) assemble a Singaporean core of current leaders in science and education to support and advise the Government in implementing the Green Plan 2030 and (ii) continue to strengthen this core to future-proof Singapore against climate change, sustainability and other emerging challenges and opportunities.

Response

1. There is a strong pool of expert researchers and scientists in our Institutes of Higher Learning (IHLs), in particular, our research-intensive Autonomous Universities, who are able to support the implementation of the Singapore Green Plan 2030. This is not confined to a specific discipline or background, as our approach is to draw on the diverse expertise available, to support the implementation of the Green Plan. Hence, all the relevant ministries involved in the Green Plan will tap on this expertise when they spearhead efforts for their respective domains.

2. Our researchers’ areas of expertise cover a wide range of sustainability-related fields such as climate science, waste management and food safety. For example, the National Research Foundation funds the Cooling Singapore project, which is co-led by the Singapore-ETH Centre and the Singapore Management University. The project studies ways to mitigate the Urban Heat Island effect. Associate Professor Winston Chow from SMU, a Singaporean expert in Urban Climatology, plays a key role as Principal Investigator.

3. MOE and the IHLs have also been actively building a pipeline of Singaporean and Singapore-based researchers and experts on sustainable development. For example, since the inception of its PhD programme in 2014, NTU’s Asian School of the Environment (ASE) has trained more than 40 PhD students on topics such as sea level rise and other climate hazards. The School also features a blend of research expertise, such as Assistant Professor Janice Lee, who looks into the impact of land use changes on biodiversity conservation and human livelihoods in Southeast Asia, and Professor Benjamin Horton, an internationally respected expert in sea-level change.

4. The government will continue to work closely with all the IHLs on the implementation of the Singapore Green Plan, and to further develop our manpower pipeline in sustainability-related research.

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