The 17 Sustainable Development Goals adopted in 2015 by the UN General Assembly emphasize a holistic approach to achieving sustainable development for all. The provision of good-quality housing with piped water and modern sanitation at affordable cost is an important first step in resolving issues of pollution and ensuring good public health, and is a strong move towards sustainable development. This chapter examines Singapore’s excellent public housing system, built by the Housing and Development Board (HDB), which houses 82 per cent of its nationals in high-rise apartments subsidised by the state, catering to low as well as middle-income families. The HDB has won many international awards for its success. This chapter examines the challenges that were faced and overcome, and the policies and strategies to ensure a sustainable future.
Lye Lin-Heng and Melissa Low
Singapore’s Smart Nation Vision is driven by the country’s desire to stay ‘ahead of the curve’ and to be among the leading cities of the world. Since the 1980s, Singapore has embraced information technology in a bid to become an ‘Intelligent Island’. This has now evolved into becoming a ‘Smart Nation’. This chapter will explore the developments in Singapore’s efforts towards becoming a low carbon, energy smart city, focusing on its new laws to promote clean energy and clean buildings, and its funding and incentive schemes for energy efficiency and research and development (R & D) in the energy sector. The chapter also evaluates Singapore’s efforts against the Hoehner Research and Consulting Group’s three independent building blocks for a Smart Energy solution, namely, low carbon generation, efficient distribution and optimized consumption. The role of non-state actors is also examined. Finally, it concludes with recommendations for improvement.
Lin Heng Lye and Sallie Chia-Wei Yang
This chapter focuses specifically on one legal response to dealing with conserving species, namely regulating the international trade in endangered species in the face of illegal international trade in wild animal species, and the devastating effects of this on biological diversity. Examples are given of the current situation in Southeast Asia. The chapter considers (in fact, re-examines) the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora 1973 (CITES) and its implementation, with particular focus on Southeast Asia and its regional centre for combating wildlife trade, the ASEAN Wildlife Enforcement Network (ASEAN-WEN). Examples are given of successes and failures. Recognition of illegal wildlife trade as a transnational environmental crime is called for and there is examination of the UN Convention against Transnational Organized Crime 2003 (UNTOC); the UN Convention against Corruption 2003 (UNCAC); the ASEAN Mutual Legal Assistance Treaty on Criminal Matters 2004 (MLAT); International Standards on Combating Money Laundering and the Financing of Terrorism and Proliferation 2012 (FATF); and the London Declaration on Wildlife Trade 2014. The chapter finally canvasses various possible solutions, and makes recommendations for more effective policing and enforcement in the context of ASEAN and East Asia.
Burton Ong, Lye Lin-Heng and Dr Joseph Chun
Biodiversity and wildlife protection laws are integral to the pursuit of sustainable development, which the member states of the Association of South East Asian Nations (ASEAN) have had on their regional co-operation agenda for decades. This article provides an overview of the key legal and policy developments in ASEAN on this front, examining the central role of the ‘soft law’ approaches embraced by member states towards protecting and managing their mega-diverse genetic resources. The developments will be analysed through the lenses of the international law agreements which all ASEAN member states are party to: the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) and the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES). While it may be sensible to adopt an integrated region-wide approach towards tackling the illicit activities (poaching, smuggling, biopiracy, etc) which threaten the region's biodiversity, the political landscape of ASEAN makes it unlikely for such a supra-national legal framework to emerge anytime soon. Harmonizing the national laws of the ASEAN member states will also be a challenge because of the vast differences between their respective socio-economic circumstances. To illustrate how the domestic concerns and priorities of each ASEAN member state shape the contours of their respective CBD- and CITES-implementing legislation, this article analyses the biodiversity and wildlife protection laws of Singapore – an extreme example within the ASEAN region because it is a land-scarce, densely populated, highly urbanized and economically advanced island state, quite unlike its enormous, populous and resource-rich neighbours. Despite Singapore's unique circumstances, the analysis reveals that there are elements of its legal and policy framework that are potentially transplantable to other legal systems within the region, though this will necessitate a more comprehensive comparative analysis of the relevant laws of the other ASEAN member states, which is beyond the scope of this article.