17 February 2010
Mr Andrew Tan, CEO, National Environment Agency
I am writing to enquire about the National Environment Agency of Singapore's (NEA) criteria in its selection of advisors that serve as Board Directors.
I note that there are two Shell personnel: Mr Warren Fernandez, Regional Director, Communication Strategy, Asia Pacific Pte Ltd, Shell Eastern Petroleum Ptd Ltd and Dr Philip Choi, President, Shell International Eastern Trading Company. Another Board Director is from the oil & gas industry as well, Mr Daniel Ee Hock Huat, Chairman, Gas Supply Pte Ltd.
The other eight members, including the Chairman and yourself, come from sectors that represent investment, business consultancy, health, trade, transport, government and employability. Board Members representing fossil-fuel powered energy companies and trade constitute nearly 30% of the collective voice and decision-making in NEA, Singapore's statutory board with regulatory powers and jurisdiction on the many aspects of the environment - land, sea and sky.
There are no specialists in clean energy or renewable energy serving on the Board, and there seems to be a gap where reputable environmentalists, ecologists and scientists can play a bigger role.
It leaves open the question as to whether the interests of Singapore in its drive towards greater environmental sustainability are adequately represented, not just in terms of meeting its ambitious targets set out in the the Sustainable Development Blueprint but setting a whole new direction altogether as we head towards unprecedented environmental challenges in global warming and adverse climate change while tackling local issues. The real challenge is adaptation towards what is to come, beyond mitigation.
I look forward to your reply.
Managing Editor, Gaia Discovery
Managing Director, Gaia Discovery Eco Solutions
Mobile: +65 9663 7289 Skype: malgaia 15 Upper Boon Keng Road #15-1067 Singapore 380015
Gaia Discovery environmental web publication reaches out to readers from 150 countries monthly. www.gaiadiscovery.com
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ps. A copy of this correspondence will be posted on Gaia Discovery. /letters
Update on 2010-02-27 07:26 by Gaia Discovery
(The response to the letter above was received on 20 Feb 2010.)
Dear Ms Naguran
We refer to your email of 17 Feb 2010.
NEA Board Members are appointed by the Minister for the Environment
and Water Resources (MEWR), in consultation with the Board Chairman.
The composition of NEA Board Members is reviewed periodically to
ensure a good representation of members with professional expertise
from various relevant industries as well as the public sector.
The current panel of Board Members were appointed on two-year terms
to provide views and guidance to NEA, drawing on their expertise and
experience in areas such as health, finance, transportation, energy,
social science and public administration. Mr Warren Fernandez was
with the Straits Times at the point of his appointment. He left the
Straits Times to join Shell to take up a public communications
portfolio during his 2-year term.
Besides the Board, NEA also consults and works closely with a variety
of stakeholders, organisations and industry associations. These
include the Singapore Environment Council; Sustainable Energy
Association of Singapore; Waste Management & Recycling Association of
Singapore; Singapore Packaging Agreement Governing Board; Singapore
Pest Management Association; Singapore Hotels Association and
Singapore Chemical Industry Council, to name just a few. More
recently, NEA has also engaged the media through a resource panel.
This approach has served us well in getting a balanced mix of views.
We thank you for your interest in NEA.
Bashir Ahmad. Deputy Director. Policy Department . National Environment
Agency . DID +65 6731 9105 . Fax +65 67319 922