Building on Singapore’s existing track record of balancing terrestrial conservation with development, Singapore can, with additional effort, position herself to become a global example of sustainable development in the coastal and marine environment. We can, thus show the absence of mutual exclusivity between marine conservation and coastal development.
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A holistic approach to conservation including studies, research and best practices related to ecosystem preservation should be adopted. Biological, economic and social objectives should also be balanced in the effort to conserve natural heritage for future generations in Singapore (Chee 2008, p. 1). The social objectives are being achieved by Singapore’s relentless effort in the sustainable establishment of world-class living conditions with sensitivity to the existing ecosystems.
This will, in turn lead to attraction of valuable clients across the globe. Conservation is our responsibility in order to preserve biodiversity for our future generations. The coral reefs, like our natural, cultural and national heritage-has to be kept alive. This will enable future Singaporeans to enjoy the biodiversity beauty of their country and give them a chance to make a difference in conservation (Goh 2009, p. 1). Let us have a look at more detailed conservation recommendations.
The following are some recommendations for balancing coastal development and marine conservation in Singapore. First of all, a government agency should be identified to be reviewing coastal development plans (Helvarg 2006, p. 32). It should establish a carefully developed policy for EIAs (Environmental Impact Assessments) to be conducted on all coastal projects as well as significant inland projects with potential effects on coral reefs and marine life.
The government agency should also have an independent committee for coordination of reviews on coastal development plans. The committee should comprise of a balanced membership for holistic review of the coastal development projects (Knoell 2005, p. 17). It should have representation from state bodies, academic institutions, businesses and non-governmental organizations (NGO).
NGO membership is to ensure that ideas of corporate social responsibility are implemented in development projects in an effort to conserve marine life. The central government agency should institute a monitoring programme aimed at implementing preventive measures against marine interference (McKenzie 2007, p. 1). The monitoring agency should have prosecuting powers in order to perform its duties effectively.
Reduction of land reclamation and maximization of the use of existing land could also help in preserving marine life (Onn 2007, p. 1). This may be achieved by development of biodiversity rich areas to discourage environmental degradation through eco-tourism. This will also have financial gains to the stakeholders. There should also be a regulatory board whose objective is the limiting of recreational activities of corporations to check their effects on the environment (Chou 1997, p. 21).
The government agency should also implement appropriate measures to reduce siltation levels. This can be achieved by setting up of silt screens during reclamation and avoiding careless deposition of silt during drenching. The last recommendation is the identification of islands with commendable biodiversity and making them MBAs (Marine Biodiversity Areas) through implementation of thorough protective measures (Ray 2004, p. 23).
From the discussion above, it is evident that an integrated conservation system is desirable for marine protection. However, the establishment of such a system faces a myriad of limitations. Firstly, the activities of the government agency require highly skilled personnel. This translates to more capital for the implementation of these recommendations (Chou 2008, p. 1). The lack of legislation related to marine conservation is also a major setback.
Lastly, coral translocation does not have guarantee of success due to problems of manpower, technique and time (Lim 2009, p. p. 1). It is therefore important for the government and other stakeholders to put these limitations into consideration before implementing these recommendations in order to achieve the positive impacts that the recommendations are designed to have.
Chee, D. (2008). “Conservation Activities in Singapore.” Web.
Chou, L. (1997). Environmental Protection and Biodiversity Conservation in Singapore. U.K. Bell & Bain Publishing.
Chou. L. (2008). Country report: Singapore. U.K. McMillan Publishing.
Helvarg, D. (2006). 50 ways to save the ocean. Hawai’i. Inner Ocean Publishing.
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Goh, J. (2009). “Did you know about Singapore reefs?” Web.
Knoell, C. (2005). Developing the concept of building a coral reef in Singapore. U.S. Barnes & Noble.
Lim, K. (2009). “Coastal Marine Habitats.” Web.
Ray, G., McCormick, J. (2004). Coastal Marine Conservation: Science and Policy. U.S. Blackwell Publishers.
McKenzie, L. (2007). “Singapore sea grass”. Web.
Onn, L. (2007). “Conservation in Singapore.” Web.