International Partnerships as Strategic Levers

The effects of climate change further intensify Singapore’s vulnerability to transboundary environmental threats. To foster collaboration and knowledge exchange on the global stage, NEA engages our ASEAN and international counterparts, and leverages bilateral and multilateral platforms to promote Singapore’s expertise in environmental management beyond our shores.

Developing Emergency Response Preparedness

A nuclear or radiological emergency in Southeast Asia or outside the ASEAN region could have far-reaching effects on ASEAN countries, due to trans-boundary effects of radioactive plume and the movement of people, goods and services.

As a member of the ASEAN Network of Regulatory Bodies on Atomic Energy (ASEANTOM), we spearheaded the development of the regional technical cooperation project concept with the International Atomic Energy Agency to support capability building in nuclear emergency preparedness and response (EPR) for ASEAN Member States. The key deliverable of this regional project was the development of the ASEAN Protocol for Preparedness and Response to a Nuclear or Radiological Emergency.

From 2018 to 2021, we worked on drafting the ASEAN Protocol for submission to ASEANTOM for review, as part of the working group with Thailand, Malaysia and Cambodia. The ASEAN Protocol was officially endorsed at the ASEAN Senior Officials’ Meeting in October 2021.

The ASEAN Protocol is a high-level document to frame future EPR arrangements and cooperation for radiological or nuclear emergencies. It serves as the overarching framework to harmonise decision-making and public communications in the ASEAN region during nuclear or radiological emergencies.

Combating Marine Debris

NEA worked closely with fellow ASEAN Member States under the ASEAN Working Group on Coastal and Marine Environment to develop the ASEAN Regional Action Plan for Combating Marine Debris. The Plan, which followed up on ASEAN’s commitments in the Bangkok Declaration on Combating Marine Debris in the ASEAN Region, outlined an integrated approach to addressing marine plastic pollution through 14 regional actions targeted at three key stages of the plastics value chain. The Plan, which will be implemented between 2021 and 2025, was launched at a virtual ceremony on 28 May 2021.

Addressing Regional Marine Plastic Debris

NEA co-organised the East Asia Summit Workshop on Marine Plastic on 14 and 15 February 2022, in partnership with Australia’s Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation and India’s National Centre for Coastal Research. The virtual workshop featured 15 speakers from 11 countries, who shared the latest research, best practices, and technology in addressing marine plastic debris. We presented how Singapore’s Zero Waste initiatives helped reduce and eliminate plastic pollution in Singapore. The event received the support and participation of more than 100 participants from the 18 Participating Countries.

Fortifying Regional Capabilities

To facilitate regional knowledge exchange and capability building, we organised two training programmes on Urban Solid Waste Management and Air Quality Management for the ASEAN Member States (AMS) in November 2020 and January 2022 respectively.

Organised under the auspices of the ASEAN Working Group on Chemicals and Waste chaired by Singapore, the training programmes equipped senior government officials with a holistic understanding and overview of the conceptual frameworks.

The two workshops were well-attended with 53 participants from the AMS, who gained insights on the environmental challenges arising from climate change and Singapore’s strategies in urban environment development, as well as each country’s unique challenges and experiences.

Stakeholder Engagement Highlight

Fostering Bilateral Ties Virtually
Although the COVID-19 travel restrictions prevented the exchange of physical visits in 2021, we continued to engage our foreign counterparts through virtual platforms and strengthened partnerships towards shared goals. These initiatives included institutionalised meetings, workshops and training programmes, as well as ad-hoc professional and technical exchanges of information. Through these efforts, we expanded bilateral cooperation on environmental matters with strategic partners, including Australia, Brunei Darussalam, China, Republic of Korea, the Netherlands, and the United States of America.