Speech by Ms Grace Fu, Minister for Sustainability and the Environment, at the launch of Tzu Chi Eco Exhibition “Glow on Gallery”, on 30 July 2023
Mr Low Swee Seh, CEO, Tzu Chi
Tzu Chi’s Partners and Volunteers
Ladies and gentlemen
1 Good afternoon. I am pleased to be here today to launch Tzu Chi’s new eco exhibition “Glow on Gallery”, organised in support of our nationwide movement, Go Green SG.
Youths and Sustainability
2 One of the most urgent issues that the world has to tackle today is climate change. It is an ever-growing concern, and poses a significant threat to our youths and future generations. As Earth’s temperature continues to rise, and extreme weather events become more frequent and severe, its consequences will have far-reaching impact on our children and grandchildren.
3 It is our moral obligation to take decisive action against climate change. By implementing sustainable practices, investing in renewable energy and advocating for environmental protection, we can mitigate the impacts of climate change and provide a better world for our future generations.
4 Our youths care about sustainability and Singapore’s future. It is therefore important to empower them to respond to climate challenges by equipping them with the necessary knowledge. The support of like-minded community partners is key to realising the climate aspirations of our youths and enabling them to create a brighter and sustainable future. As a place where youths can come together to connect and learn from one another, it is most appropriate that Tzu Chi’s “Glow on Gallery” eco exhibition is launched today at the Tzu Chi Humanistic Youth Centre. The exhibition embodies Tzu Chi’s social efforts and environmental philosophy on “Co-existence with Mother Earth”, showing us how sustainability impacts all facets of our lives. Through the exhibition, our youths will learn more about environmental sustainability and hopefully be inspired to build and shape a community that is passionate about caring for our Mother Earth.
5 Tzu Chi has been a strong advocate in community sustainability and has been actively involved in environmental initiatives for over two decades. I am heartened that my Ministry was able to support one of Tzu Chi’s recent initiatives through our SG Eco Fund, which allowed Tzu Chi to install 32 self-help recycling points island-wide. The goal is to equip residents with the necessary recycling knowledge on what can and cannot be recycled to encourage them to recycle more and recycle right. Through Tzu Chi’s community recycling initiative, more than 45 tons of recyclables are collected a month, with the support of some 1,500 volunteers, ranging from 3 to 90 years old, who assist residents to sort the recyclables.
Collective Support for Go Green SG
6 It is this collective action by our partners, community, corporates and youths to build a more sustainable and climate resilient Singapore, that is the essence of our Go Green SG movement.
7 Through the entire month of July, MSE was heartened by the strong support of more than 160 partners like Tzu Chi, who put together over 300 tours, activities and experiences, including today’s “Glow on Gallery” exhibition. The number of partners and activities is more than double compared to last year. Members of the public curated their own Go Green experiences, based on their individual lifestyles, personal interests and goals. This is a testament to the growing awareness and action on the ground to tackle climate change.
8 We are happy to note members of public have responded so positively to Go Green SG. There was overwhelming demand for the learning journeys, including to facilities not usually open to the public, such as SFA’s Marine Aquaculture Centre, the floating solar farm at Tengeh Reservoir and our Project Wolbachia mosquito production facility. Tickets to these exclusive tours and site visits were snapped up within hours of our launch, and we had to add more programmes in response to the popular demand.
9 NGOs, community and interest groups also organised activities including recycling drives, food rescue, as well as beach and urban clean-ups to mobilise the community to take concrete action for a greener Singapore. I visited the Youth4Climate Festival, where some 100 youths inspired the audience to take collective action on climate change through performances and workshops.
10 I am glad that many organisations and educational institutions supported Go Green SG in their own ways to spread awareness on environmental sustainability. At MSE, we held our own MSE Family Go Green Week. Through sustainability-related activities such as learning journeys to MSE Family’s facilities, a local farmers’ market and river clean-ups, we encouraged our colleagues to garner a greater appreciation of our own developments in water, waste, and aquaculture and be encouraged to reduce waste, water and energy use and support local produce.
11 I am especially heartened that close to 80 preschools, primary and secondary schools, junior colleges, and institutes of higher learning, participated in Go Green SG this year. This is double the number as compared to last year. Many of the activities organised were both interesting and creative. For example, Singapore Polytechnic held its inaugural sustainability carnival, while Changkat Primary School collaborated with its Parents Support Group and social enterprise The Circular Classroom to educate students on food sustainability and recycling. In celebration of National Day, the students also created an artwork of the map of Singapore using recycled paper.
12 All in all, the Go Green SG movement this year has enabled members of the public to gain a deeper understanding and appreciation of sustainability efforts in Singapore. Majority of the participants have shared with us that they have become more aware of Singapore’s sustainability efforts, and are more willing to lead a sustainable lifestyle.
13 As we wrap up Go Green SG this year, my hope is that everyone will continue to adopt a greener lifestyle well beyond July. This can be done through simple steps in our everyday lives, such as bringing our own reusable bags when we go shopping, or setting the air conditioner temperature to 25 degree Celsius. If we each do our part, we can collectively go a long way in making Singapore more sustainable and liveable. And as we commit to walk the talk, may I invite everyone to make a Green Nation Pledge if you have not already done so, by scanning the QR code on the screen.
14 Together, we can make a difference. Because the success of Go Green SG would not have been possible if not for the tremendous support from our partners including Tzu Chi. As we close Go Green SG this year, we hope that more partners will join us next year and we look forward to a bigger and more exciting Go Green SG 2024.
15 Thank you.
16 在此，我要感谢慈济在新加坡这过去的几十年对环保，对永续发展这一方面做出了许许多多的贡献。大家可以看到我们都要各出一份力才能够拯救地球。政府当然会有政策和措施，但是很多时候都需要民间的力量才能把这个信息和行动发扬出去。比如说我们现在都有在超级市场为一次性塑料袋收费。但是如果收费之后，大家的行为没有改变 – 没有带环保袋去购物，而是从其他场所拿一次性塑料袋– 那其实这个（收费）的目的就没有达到。所以在各个措施的实行之中，当然是需要民间和民众，对目标、目的和行为的宗旨、有所认识。在这个方面，民间团体如慈济，就真的可以发挥他的力量，把这个信息通过各种方式和年龄层，在地区里面的回收收集点来传送。这个工作是非常有意义和有需要的。虽然说在七月举办的Go Green SG（绿动新加坡）已经过了，但是永续发展和环保这个行动是不能够停止的。在这里，还是呼吁慈济能够继续发挥你的民间力量，把更多的正确价值观和信息带到新加坡的各个角落、年龄层和每一个人的心中。感谢你们。谢谢。