The recipe for sustaining a clean environment
Government websites in Singapore provide policies and detailed statistics on how the country’s environment is improving. According to statistics provided by the Ministry of the Environment and Water Resources, solid waste management has improved by 61 percent from 2011 to 2013. It is clear that statistics show the dramatically improved state of environment in Singapore. It is necessary for Korea to set Singapore as an eminent example of environmental preservation and raise the awareness of its citizens to sustain a clean environment.
Until now, the Korean government has been focusing on improving the environment through the endeavours of corporations and the government. For instance, the government encouraged Korea’s major corporations to save energy. However, the campaigns lacks the ability to encourage an autonomous movement among citizens to protect the environment. In fact, if citizens do one small thing to protect the environment it will make a significant difference.
Just looking at the websites of the Korean and Singapore environmental institutions shows noticeable differences. The main environmental website “Sustainable Singapore” focuses on raising the awareness of preserving the environment among citizens. The site includes a personality quiz that tests the “environmentalist inside you” and promotes public consultation exercises. In short, it motivates citizens to become active members in protecting the environment.
It is crucial for Korean citizens to consolidate their individual efforts to preserve the environment as well. In fact, there needs to be more autonomously made organizations among citizens to sustain a clean environment.
Korea’s main environmental website, Korea Environment Institute (KEI), which mostly consists of governmental policies and efforts, should be focused on raising the awareness of Korean citizens. They should be actively promoting nongovernmental organizations in order to encourage citizens and the community to take care of public sanitation and nature conservation.
Even though various environmental policies and treaties are being implemented by the Korean government, raising the awareness of citizens is the most essential factor in preserving the environment. Korea should plan how to promote various environmental campaigns and organizations. In terms of this mission that Korea faces, Singapore can be considered as a role model in achieving this goal.
by Kim Ga-un, Student at Hankuk University of Foreign Studies