NUS' APCEL, MEM and BES Upheld SDGs in Joint Anniversary Celebrations

Singapore, 5 January  2017. The year 2016 was a year of milestones. The NUS Law School's Asia Pacific Centre for Environmental Law (APCEL) turned 20, while two degree environmental programmes – the Master of Science in Environmental Management (MEM) and Bachelor of Environmental Studies (BES) – celebrated their 15th and 5th Anniversaries respectively.

To commemorate the anniversaries, APCEL, MEM and BES jointly organised a mega conference entitled “Environmental Law, Policy and Management — Attaining the Sustainable Development Goals” from 9 to 11 November 2016. 

 Minister Masagos Zulkifli graced the 15th MEM anniversary celebrations and conference.

Minister Masagos Zulkifli graced the 15th MEM anniversary celebrations and conference.

A line up of distinguished and international speakers shared their expertise and insights on achieving four of the seventeen UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). These are SDG Goal 12 Sustainable Production and Consumption; Goal 13 Climate Action; Goal 14 Life below Water (Sustainable Oceans); and Goal 15 Life on Land (Biodiversity Conservation).

One of the event’s highlights was the presence of world-renowned oceanographer and National Geographic Explorer in Residence, Dr. Sylvia A. Earle. Her keynote speech roused the 200 attending audience on the need to protect our oceans for the survival of sea creatures, and the health and livelihoods of people.

 Dr. Sylvia Earle urged all to protect marine creatures and the oceans at the SDGs conference.

Dr. Sylvia Earle urged all to protect marine creatures and the oceans at the SDGs conference.

A workshop on Environmental Impact Assessment was chaired by Prof Nicholas Robinson, University Professor on the Environment, which was participated by a number of high-level legal practitioners, including Chief Justice Mansoor Ali Shah from the Supreme Court of Pakistan.

"This conference is to highlight the environmental challenges that confront us today, and showcase the efforts that NUS has undertaken through the past 20 years, to help build capacity in environmental education across the different disciplines," said Assoc. Prof Lye Lin-Heng, Director of the Asia-Pacific Centre for Environmental Law (APCEL) and chairperson of the organising committee, in her interview with Gaia Discovery.

These events culminated with the Fourth Asia Environment Lecture delivered by Dr Andrew Steer, President and CEO of the World Resources Institute.

 NGOs such as PM Haze shared highlights of their activism at the conference. Here, Minister Desmond Lee (far left) and Prof Simon Chesterman, Dean of NUS Faculty of Law. 

NGOs such as PM Haze shared highlights of their activism at the conference. Here, Minister Desmond Lee (far left) and Prof Simon Chesterman, Dean of NUS Faculty of Law. 

In closing the ceremony, the participants basked in song and dance at a gala dinner. The organisers of the joint celebrations comprised programme leaders and coordinators from APCEL, BES, MEM and the MEM Alumni Committee.

About the Master of Science (Environmental Management) (MEM) 

The Master of Science (Environmental Management) (MEM) programme is a multi-disciplinary integrated programme which provides education in environmental management for senior and mid-level managers and officers in corporations, institutions, and government and non-governmental organizations, both in Singapore and in the Asia-Pacific region and beyond. Students have come from many countries including Bangladesh, Canada, China, Finland, France, Hong Kong SAR, India, Indonesia, Iran, Japan, Malaysia, Maldives, Mauritius, Myanmar, Nepal, Norway, South Korea, Pakistan, the Philippines, Singapore, Sri Lanka, Thailand, the United Kingdom, United States and Vietnam.

The MEM programme is mounted jointly by nine faculties and schools in the National University of Singapore (NUS), demonstrating its broad-based approach to education in the field of the environment. It is hosted by the School of Design and Environment (SDE). The other faculties and schools are: Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences; Faculty of Engineering; Faculty of Law; Faculty of Science; Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy; NUS Business School; Saw Swee Hock School of Public Health; and Yong Loo Lin School of Medicine.

The programme has national, regional and international perspectives, drawing upon the expertise of professors at NUS who are specialists in their particular fields as well as established environmental agencies and organsations both locally and globally. Candidates on the programme benefit directly from its links with overseas universities which are well established in the field of environmental management, particularly the Yale University School of Forestry and Environmental Studies, USA and the Nicholas School for the Environmental and Earth Sciences at Duke University, USA.

Objectives of Programme

The objectives of the MEM programme are:

  • to provide an internationally recognised graduate degree in environmental management for mid- and senior-level managers in both the public and private sectors mainly in Singapore and the Asia-Pacific;
  • to equip graduates with the necessary knowledge to properly manage the environment and to deal with the challenges of an environmentally conscious society and international market; and
  • to enable graduates to assume responsible and influential roles in the public and private sectors and to make sound decisions that support sustainable development in all countries.

The School of Design and Environment (SDE) hosts the MEM programme.