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Investing in a Sustainable Future

Wed, 11/11/2015 Deanna Bonaparte
Investing in a Sustainable Future Against the backdrop of rapid urbanisation, there is increasing emphasis on the importance of sustainable development in Singapore as well as globally. MND officer Cherine Liu, Deputy Director at the Eco-City Project Office (ECPO) and formerly with the Centre for Liveable Cities (CLC), believes that everyone can do their part to effect a change towards a more sustainable way of life.

Creating a vibrant and sustainable city requires the collective effort of everyone. This can be done in various ways – for instance, by participating in clean-up campaigns, or taking part in recycling and tree-planting projects. Cherine shares, “When I was at CLC, I worked with other agencies such as MOE to organise seminars on sustainable development for educators and teachers, so they can help nurture our next generation into responsible global citizens.”

Meaningful Opportunities

After completing her Master’s programme on the management and implementation of development projects under an MND EDGE postgraduate scholarship award, Cherine joined ECPO, which partners the Chinese government in overseeing the development of the Sino-Singapore Tianjin Eco-city. In her current role, she endeavours to further Singapore’s networks with our Chinese counterparts, and forge stronger international partnerships and collaborations as the Eco-City enters a phase of development beyond built infrastructure.

Prior to that, Cherine was with CLC, a research think-tank which aims to distil, create and share knowledge on liveable and sustainable cities. One of the more memorable projects she was involved in was being part of the team that organised the World Cities Summit (WCS) Mayors Forum in 2012. Jointly organised by CLC and the Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA), WCS is a platform for government leaders and industry experts worldwide to meet and to share their visions and insights about liveable and sustainable cities.

Cherine shares about her experiences, “My involvement in the MND team that organised the World Cities Summit Mayors Forum, and my work on the Sino-Singapore Tianjin Eco-city Project have certainly expanded my knowledge horizon. I find myself more attuned to world affairs and have forged new friendships with my counterparts from different parts of the world. I hope that, through such platforms, more people will be inspired to identify solutions to development challenges and contribute as active global citizens by ‘thinking globally and acting locally.’”

Investing in Staff

MND officers are given ample training opportunities. Apart from various training programmes available at the Civil Service College, staff can also attend in-house milestone training programmes such as the Executive Development and Growth Exchange (EDGE) and Leaders in Urban Governance Programme (LUGP), which provide officers with a better understanding of the key challenges that the MND Family faces in today’s environment and an opportunity to learn from MND’s leaders as they share key insights into the underlying principles of development – those that led to Singapore’s successes in urban development.

A Sustainable Future

Cherine shares her aspirations, “My postings have equipped me with first-hand experience in the field of international partnerships and development. Despite the multi-faceted challenges involved in coordinating and managing multiple stakeholders with often times differing perspectives, I am constantly learning something new. I want to expand my international perspectives, get connected and learn from like-minded individuals and contribute even more to my community, Singapore and the world. With my knowledge, I hope to be able to export Singapore’s experience with other cities as well as import best practices from other cities to Singapore. Through long term forward planning, we can improve the quality of life of Singaporeans amidst rising density.”

She shares, “I am heartened that MND is investing in passionate pre-university students who are keen to pursue a career in sustainable development and in the public service. The MND EDGE Scholarship (Sustainable Development) provides an opportunity for youths to help shape a more sustainable future for our home.”

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