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NZ to study air pollution reduction in Singapore

Thursday 12 October 2006

NZ to study air pollution reduction in Singapore

In November, officials from the Ministries for the Environment and of Transport will visit Singapore and Bangkok to attend workshops on reducing air pollution caused by vehicle emissions.

This visit to Singapore is one of the first exchanges undertaken by countries party to the Trans Pacific Environment Cooperation Agreement signed in 2005. The Agreement enables the Trans-Pacific trade partners to work together to improve environmental management issues. Parties to the Agreement met for the first time in September, to discuss what shared environmental activities should be undertaken.

At that meeting, Chile, Singapore, Brunei and New Zealand agreed on five areas of environmental cooperation: waste, resource management best-practice, urban issues, energy and environmental reporting.

During the meeting, New Zealand identified the opportunity to learn from Singapore’s knowledge about transport management and reducing pollution from vehicle emissions. Ministry for the Environment Senior Manager, Prue Densem, says improving air quality is a key issue for the Ministry.

“Clearly, excessive vehicle emissions including fine particles from smoke in New Zealand are a health hazard and we are working to reduce these.”

“The exchange of environmental knowledge means that as trading partners we are learning from each other to better manage our resources and create a healthy environment for future generations,” she said.

In Bangkok as part of our parallel environment arrangement with Thailand, officials will attend a workshop on retro fitting vehicles to reduce emissions.

As part of the commitment to exchange environmental knowledge, Singapore environment officials are coming here later this month to learn about how we manage waste from packaging. In Auckland they will meet people involved in the paper and glass recycling sectors and have on-site visits to recycling operations.

The Ministry will continue work with its counterparts in Brunei, Chile and Singapore over the next few months to develop other similar cooperative projects within the key themes identified. Most of these projects will be planned for 2007.

ENDS


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