Monday, 2 November 2015

PM Lee plants tree, launches SG50 Clean and Green Carnival in Punggol

By Walter Sim, The Straits Times, 31 Oct 2015

Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong on Saturday (Oct 31) joined some 600 residents from the North East District at Punggol Waterway Park to do their part for nature.

The 200 trees they planted will go some way towards achieving the target of more than 5,000 trees to be planted by more than 15,000 people from August to December as part of a mass tree planting exercise.

Tree planting has historical significance in greening Singapore, with the country's first prime minister Lee Kuan Yew launching a tree planting campaign in 1963.

PM Lee said on Saturday: "We plant trees not just because it makes a big difference to our living environment.

"It's a symbolic act - it reminds us of our goal and encourages every one of us to play our part to build a clean and green Singapore, and to build a better Singapore for our children."

The late Mr Lee also started the Keep Singapore Clean campaign in 1968, which became Clean and Green Week in 1990, and then Clean and Green Singapore in 2007.

On Saturday morning, Mr Lee, too, launched the Clean and Green SG50 Carnival at the open field next to Punggol MRT station.

The two-day event, held in celebration of Singapore's Golden Jubilee, features an exhibition which traces Singapore's environment journey over the last 50 years such as the development of clean waterways and proper sanitation.

Besides archived photos, it also showcases a collection of 5,000 stories gathered through the Singapore Environment Story initiative.

With the theme "Cherishing Our Home, Safeguarding Our Future", the campaign aims to cultivate environment practices as second nature in Singaporeans.

It has also roped in non-government organisations and community groups, with the hope that visitors to the carnival will sign up as volunteers.

Mr Lee urged Singaporeans to each play their part, and work together to make the country cleaner and greener for each other.

He said: "If we nurture our trees, tend our gardens and protect our environment year after year, the trees and gardens will grow, blossom and bear fruit. We can enjoy the shade and their beauty. This place will be even more beautiful."

Mr Masagos Zulkifli, Minister for the Environment and Water Resources, said it was heartening that many Singaporeans have indicated they would like to contribute to a cleaner and greener environment.

He added: "Ultimately we must aim for caring for the environment and for each other to become second nature to us - to become our way of life."

The event also celebrated grassroots organisations and members of the public who have done their bid for the environment, including "Community In Bloom Ambassadors" who rally the community and help others to enjoy gardening.

The National Environment Agency (NEA) also said in a statement on Saturday that two community challenges that began in last year's carnival has seen progress.

There are more than 520 "Bright Spots", which are public areas where the public takes ownership of the cleanliness through activities such as litter picking. This is above the target of 500.

And the "No Waste Days" challenge, which aimed to gather pledges from members of the public to achieve 50,000 days of reduced or zero waste, garnered pledges from more than 15,500 people amounting to 850,000 "No Waste Days".

In Tampines, the tree-planting this year was a tribute to the late Mr Lee, Finance Minister Heng Swee Keat said in a Facebook post.

Volunteers planted five of Mr Lee's favourite trees last Sunday - the rain tree, jelutong, kapok tree, tembusu and madagascar almond. Mr Heng added that over the next five years, about 2,000 trees and shrubs will be planted in Tampines.

Enjoyed glorious sunshine and fresh air with Pasir Ris-Punggol residents this morning. We planted trees at Punggol...
Posted by Lee Hsien Loong on Saturday, October 31, 2015

5 of Mr Lee Kuan Yew’s favourite trees are growing nicely in Tampines, thanks to the enthusiasm of our volunteers. A...
Posted by Heng Swee Keat on Friday, October 30, 2015

Joined residents to plant 180 trees along Alexandra Canal Park this afternoon. It is a tradition in Tg Pagar since the...
Posted by Chan Chun Sing on Sunday, November 1, 2015

Green goals 'on track to being met by 2030'
Progress made under blueprint, such as increase in length of green corridors in urban areas: Masagos
By Walter Sim, The Sunday Times, 1 Nov 2015

Much progress has been made under the Sustainable Singapore Blueprint 2015, which contains a series of environmental goals that the country ought to work towards over the next 15 years, Minister for the Environment and Water Resources Masagos Zulkifli said yesterday.

These achievements, he said, "can be credited to the collective interests of Singaporeans in caring for our environment".

Giving an update on the work that has been done to meet targets under the blueprint, which was launched last November, Mr Masagos said most of the targets that were set are on track to being met by 2030.

He was speaking to reporters at the Clean and Green SG50 Carnival in Punggol, launched by Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong.

Mr Masagos noted that the length of nature ways - green corridors with biodiversity in urban areas - increased from 21km in 2013 to 61km as of Sept 30 this year. The target is 180km by 2030.

Also, the length of park connector networks increased from 216km in 2013 to 300km as of Sept 30. The target is 400km by 2030.

And to foster a society that is less reliant on cars, enhancements are being made to existing rail and bus networks. More cycling paths have also been built - there were 345km of cycling paths as of Sept 30, up from 233km in 2013. The goal is more than 700km by 2030.

Meanwhile, a pilot bicycle-sharing scheme will be launched in Jurong Lake District, Tampines, Pasir Ris and Marina Bay progressively from 2017.

Plans are also under way to raise the adoption of solar power, with the first solar leasing tender called in June.

"It is important that everyone gets involved," Mr Masagos said.

"This is not just a government effort - a large part of it is how members of the public buy in to a Singapore they are very proud of. If you don't do anything, a city like Singapore will become brown and grey."

The only blemish on the record was recycling rates, which dipped by one percentage point between 2013 and last year.

Non-domestic recycling went from 77 per cent in 2013 to 76 per cent last year. Domestic recycling fell from 20 per cent to 19 per cent. The respective targets are 81 per cent and 30 per cent by 2030.

Mr Masagos said that as Singapore progresses further, so should "our attitude, love and care for our environment".

[CLEAN AND GREEN SG50]As part of Clean and Green SG50, we were delighted to have Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong plant a...
Posted by NParks - Let's Make Singapore Our Garden on Friday, October 30, 2015

No comments:

Post a Comment