Three Oil & Gas Board of Directors in Singapore's National Environment Agency

 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. 

Thank you.

Best regards


Mallika Naguran

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


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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
     Board Secretary

Bashir Ahmad. Deputy Director. Policy Department . National Environment
Agency . DID +65 6731 9105 . Fax +65 67319 922