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Singapore shares secrets of sustainable city development
Biodiversity index is among issues discussed by delegates from 10 Asian cities at meeting
A few years ago, Singapore started designing a self-assessment tool which governments can use to gauge how well they are doing in nature conservation and how well their national plant and animal species are surviving.
Today, more than 50 cities are using this checklist, which is known as the City Biodiversity Index, or simply the Singapore Index.
Dr Lena Chan, director of the National Biodiversity Centre of the National Parks Board, said the index has already been translated into French, German and Japanese, and a Portuguese version is in the works.
She was giving an update on the index at a plenary session of the Asian Network of Major Cities 21, a gathering of Asian city leaders to discuss common problems such as crisis and environmental management.
This 11th edition of the meeting, held at the Marina Bay Sands Expo and Convention Centre, has pulled in delegates from 10 Asian cities; three cities did not send representatives.
Singapore also shared the key thrusts of its $1 billion, five-year sustainable-development plan, which aims to make energy usage more efficient, reduce pollution and expand the nation’s green spaces.
Minister of State for National Development and for Manpower Tan Chuan-Jin chaired discussions on the theme of balancing economic growth with environmental and social needs.
The cities in the Asian Network have a dozen ongoing projects to promote tourism, as well as to come up with counter-measures against infectious diseases and to share their expertise in specialized fields.
Two citjes, Russia’s Tomsk and Mongolia’s Vlan Bator, were added as new members yesterday.
At the end of the day’s proceedings, the participating cities made a joint declaration, reaffirming their commitment to achieving the network’s objectives of promoting solidarity and cooperation among Asian cities through joint projects.
They also pledged to continue promoting sustainable urban development and to share knowledge, experience and technology to overcome environmental and social challenges.
The next meeting will be held in Hanoi.