Environmental issues in Singapore

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As with other countries there are a number of environmental issues in Singapore.


Singapore has been experiencing environmental issues since as early as 1960, when a spike in industrialisation led to an increased rate of pollution. A Ministry of Environment was established in 1974, making Singapore one of the first countries to have such a ministry.[1] Today, environmental issues in the country are tackled by the Ministry of the Environment and Water Resources, alongside the Public Utilities Board (PUB) and the National Environment Agency (NEA).[2]

Environmental policy[edit]

To combat the country's environmental problems the Singaporean government first made the Singapore Green Plan in 1992 and a new edition of it in 2012 to continue it.[3] The plan aims to keep tabs on the unstable populations of fauna and flora, to place new nature parks and to connect existing parks.[4] It was announced on June 3, 2013, that the government will begin recording the amount of carbon emitted in the country and how much of it is absorbed by the country's flora.[5]


Air pollution in Singapore[edit]

Further information: 1997 Southeast Asian haze
A housing estate in Jurong East being shrouded in haze, photographed October 15, 2006

In 1984, there were health concerns with the great number of pig farms in Singapore. They were deemed to have contributed to the pollution of the country, namely to the air. This problem was solved by reducing the number of such farms.[6] 65.8 metric tons (64.8 long tons; 72.5 short tons) of carbon dioxide were emitted in the country in 1996, ranking among one of the highest emission levels in the world. Air polluters in Singapore are mostly, but not only, vehicles for transport, despite the country's tough regulations.[7] The country is blanketed in haze annually, contributed by smoke from Indonesian fires.[8]

Water pollution[edit]

Bottles of NEWater on display at a 2005 function

Water in Singapore is polluted by unwanted materials contributed by industrial facilities, coupled by oil from both incoming and outgoing trading vessels.[9] Corrective measures are taken, and affected water is taken for treatment at specialised centres.[7] Plants such as NEWater treat unwanted water into drinkable water.[10] One major water body in Singapore which used to be polluted is the Singapore River.[1][11]


Singapore's rapid development into an urban nation has neglected the natural environment, according to a report published by the National University of Singapore, which ranked the country as the "worst environmental offender among 179 countries". The report was "slammed" by the Singaporean government.[12]


From around 1980 to 2010, Singapore lost approximately 90 percent of its natural forests as a result of urbanisation.[12]


  1. ^ a b "Environmental Trailblazing in Singapore". Centre for Liveable Cities. May 29, 2012. Retrieved June 3, 2013. 
  2. ^ "About Us". Ministry of the Environment and Water Resources. 
  3. ^ "About SGP 2012". Ministry of the Environment and Water Resources. Retrieved June 3, 2013. 
  4. ^ "National Initiatives". National Biodiversity Reference Center. Retrieved June 3, 2013. 
  5. ^ Zengkun, Feng (June 3, 2013). "Government to track Singapore's carbon emissions". The Straits Times. 
  6. ^ "Singapore - Agriculture". Country Studies. Retrieved June 2, 2013. 
  7. ^ a b "Environmental Issues in Singapore". June 2, 2013. 
  8. ^ Harper, Damian (2007). "Malaysia, Singapore & Brunei. Ediz. Inglese" (10 ed.). Lonely Planet. pp. 69–. ISBN 9781740597081. 
  9. ^ Loke, Ming Chou (1988). The Coastal Environmental Profile of Singapore. The WorldFish Center. pp. 78–. ISBN 9789711022488. 
  10. ^ "NEWater". Public Utilities Board. Retrieved June 3, 2013. 
  11. ^ "The History of Singapore River". Singapore River One. Retrieved June 3, 2013. 
  12. ^ a b Vaughan, Victoria (May 14, 2010). "Is Singapore the worst environmental offender?". AsiaOne.