National Environment Agency
National Environment Agency of Singapore
Nealogo.png
Agency overview
Jurisdiction Government of Singapore
Headquarters 40 Scotts Road, #13 - 00 Environment Building, Singapore 228231
Agency executives Chew Gek Khim (Ms), Chairman
Andrew Tan, Chief Executive
Parent agency Ministry of the Environment and Water Resources
Website
http://www.nea.gov.sg

National Environment Agency (Abbreviation: NEA; Chinese: 国家环境局; Malay: Agensi Sekitaran Kebangsaan) formed on 1 July 2002, is a statutory board under the Ministry of the Environment and Water Resources in Singapore. As a statutory board, it gives NEA greater administrative autonomy to be more nimble in the protection of the environment. Similar to the United States Environmental Protection Agency‎, NEA aims to protect air, land and water resources in Singapore as well as ensure high standards of public health through providing excellent environmental and meteorological services, and promoting awareness and ownership among the people, private and public (3P) sectors.

Contents

Organisation

The Chairman of NEA is Ms Chew Gek Khim. The NEA comprises three operational divisions:

  • Environmental Protection
  • Environmental Public Health
  • Meteorological Services
The headquarters of the National Environment Agency, Singapore are located at Environment Building on Scotts Road.

Environmental Protection Division

The Environmental Protection Division aims to protect the environment by implementing programmes to monitor, reduce and prevent environmental pollution. It is also responsible for providing refuse disposal services through three waste-to-energy incineration plants and an off-shore sanitary landfill. To conserve energy resources and landfill space, the division implements programmes to minimize waste generation, and maximize recycling and energy conservation.

Environmental Public Health Division

The Environmental Public Health Division conducts comprehensive ground surveillance and appropriate preventive measures to ensure a high standard of public health. This Division is responsible for the overall cleanliness in Singapore and a high standard of hygiene in the food retail industry. It also implements the Hawker Centres Upgrading Programme (HUP) and the Clean Public Toilets Programme. Its work includes the implementation of smoking ban to places such as hawker centres, food shops, shopping centres, factories and offices; as well as vector control, which is particularly crucial given the region's susceptibility to dengue fever.

Meteorological Services Division

The Meteorological Services Division provides weather information to support public health and socio-economic activities. It also issues haze alerts and provides vital meteorological services to the aviation and maritime communities and the military. MSD is also on tsunami watch as part of a regional network set up after several coastal areas in Asia were devastated by a tsunami on Boxing Day 2004.

Highlights of environmental activities

Dengue fever

NEA adopts a multi-pronged approach – surveillance and enforcement, community outreach and education, and research - to tackle vector-borne diseases such as dengue fever. This has yielded good results, judging by the 15 per cent decline in dengue cases this year compared with the same period last year. In 2008 and 2007, the number of dengue cases reported were 7,031 and 8,826 respectively. Singapore has bucked the regional trend, which is still seeing a spike.

Public Hygiene and Cleanliness

NEA plays an important role in overseeing the cleansing of public areas in Singapore. NEA takes a three-pronged approach to keeping our environment clean, which includes: Public Cleansing; Public Education and Enforcement. NEA maintain an effective system of public cleansing to keep Singapore clean and prevent environment-related diseases. The cleansing of public roads and pavements is largely carried out by contractors engaged by the NEA.

The NEA works closely with our 3P Partners (the people, public and private sectors) to promote anti-littering practices and to encourage members of the community to take ownership of their litter and keep their surroundings clean. Regular checks on food establishments, swimming pools and public toilets are carried out to ensure that a high standard of hygiene is maintained.

Climate Change and Energy Efficiency

In April 2006, Singapore announced accession to the Kyoto Protocol. . As a non-Annex I country, Singapore does not have targets set under KP, but it is eligible to participate in carbon credit exchanges arising from approved Clean Development Mechanism projects conducted in the country. The National Environment Agency is the designated authority coordinating CDMs. It is also spearheading ongoing measures to encourage energy-efficiency and lower carbon emissions.

In April 2008, NEA launched the 10% Energy Challenge to get households to cut their electricity consumption by at least 10%. As part of this campaign, NEA collaborated with grassroots organizations and charities to train volunteers to conduct energy audits and identify wasteful energy consumption habits.

A study conducted by NEA showed that energy-efficient air conditioners and refrigerators generally have lower lifecycle costs compared to inefficient ones. This has helped to correct the perception that energy efficient models are more expensive. On 11 September 2009, NEA signed a landmark Voluntary Agreement with 16 major retailers and suppliers, to provide more energy efficient appliances and encourage more Singapore households to purchase them.

Under the Voluntary Agreement, participating retailers and suppliers will voluntarily commit to achieving targets set out by the NEA, including retiring stock of energy inefficient models and introducing more 3- and 4-tick models, so that energy efficient models form at least 50% of their model range after six months, and 60% of their model range after one year. Signatories also voluntarily commit to promote energy efficient appliances, as well as improve the availability and affordability of energy efficient appliances available in their stores.

Waste Management

Since independence, Singapore's growing population and economy have resulted in a large increase in solid waste. In 1970, about 1,300 tonnes per day of solid waste were disposed of. This increased to 7000 tonnes per day by 2006, a 6-fold increase from 1970. .

To address the solid waste problem, Singapore has put in place an integrated solid waste management system that ensures that all waste that are not recycled, are collected and disposed of safely at waste-to-energy incineration plants or at the offshore sanitary landfill (Semakau Landfill) in the case of non-incinerable waste.

As a result, overall recycling rate has increased from 40% in 2000 to 56% in 2008. Waste growth has also been curtailed. The total waste (domestic and non-domestic) disposed of in 2008 was 7,179 tonnes per day, an 6% reduction as compared to 2000. As a result, the lifespan of Semakau Landfill has increased from 25-30 years to 35-40 years.

To commemorate the 10th anniversary of Semakau Landfill - a unique sanitary landfill with rich biodiversity that has been lauded internationally as an engineering feat - NEA launched a commemorative book, entitled “ Habitats in Harmony: The Story of Semakau Landfill” in August 2009. It provides an insight into the planning, design and construction of the world’s first-of-its-kind offshore landfill, as well as Singapore’s waste management strategies. It also showcases the success of NEA in striking a harmonious balance between managing the country’s disposal needs and preserving the natural habitats on the landfill. More than 780 species of plants and animals can be found in five natural habitats of Semakau, namely: the mangroves, grasslands, seagrass meadows, inter-tidal reef flats and coral reefs.

See also

External links


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