Transcript of the National Statement by Mr Masagos Zulkifli, Minister for the Environment and Water Resources, at the Fourth Session of the United Nations Environment Assembly, 14 March 2019

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Mr President, Excellencies and distinguished delegates,

1. Allow me to begin by expressing my deepest condolences to families and loved ones of the victims of the ill-fated flight ET302.

2. I will first deliver Singapore’s national statement, followed by the Asia Pacific statement arising from our meeting in January.

3. We must take urgent action to protect our planet for future generations.

4. To develop sustainably, we need a paradigm shift by changing our production and consumption patterns from the linear ‘take-make-throw’ approach, to a circular one that reuses resources endlessly.

5. This circular approach is supported by 3 pillars.

6. First, reducing our production and consumption with the support and participation from all stakeholders.

7. Second, building a strong foundation in science and innovation to turn waste into resource, and generate new economic spin-offs for our people.

8. Third, enhancing global and regional cooperation to accelerate the shift of economic systems towards more sustainable trajectories.

9. Let me share how Singapore is building on these pillars.

10. The key to achieving sustainable consumption and production, is to reduce what we produce and consume. This is why Singapore has designated 2019 as the Year Towards Zero Waste.

11. The aim is to imbue a greater awareness of resource scarcity and to mobilise the nation to protect our resources and environment by consuming and producing less.

12. We also need innovative solutions to maximise resource efficiency and do more with less.

13. This year, Singapore will begin construction of a world-first integrated facility for used water and solid waste treatment. It leverages circular economy principles to reap synergies from the water-energy-waste nexus.

14. To encourage others to find new ways to turn trash into treasure, we launched a S$45 million ‘Closing the Waste Loop’ initiative to fund research supporting circular economy approaches.

15. National efforts are critical, but insufficient to address global environmental challenges.

16. Partnerships and dialogue through global platforms, such as UNEA, help accelerate the seeding of new ideas, adoption of innovative environmental solutions, and implementation of collaborative projects.

17. On a regional level, Singapore recently hosted the 3rd Forum of Ministers and Environment Authorities of the Asia Pacific as part of our efforts to galvanise regional action.


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