Snapshot: Update on Climate Adaptation Initiatives in Singapore
Updated: Apr 3
Coastal protection and flood management goes hand in hand with Singapore's modern history
Singapore’s modern history has been closely intertwined with coastal protection and flood management. After the city’s independence in 1965, the government has continuously developed and implemented coastal protection and flood management plans, investments and initiatives to ensure the safety and resilience of the city’s population and assets.
As a low-lying island with limited land availability, Singapore is especially vulnerable to rising sea levels and scientists from Singapore's Centre for Climate Research have projected that by 2100 the mean sea level around Singapore may rise by up to one meter. When combined with an expected increased frequency of extreme weather, Singapore's continued prosperity hinges on improved coastal protection and flood management measures.
In 2020 SGD 5 billion was injected into a new Coastal and Flood Protection Fund (CFPF) managed by Singapore's National Water Agency, and now also National Coastal Protection Agency, PUB. The city state expects investments reaching SGD 100 billion or more in climate change adaptation over the next 100 years (link).
In this snapshot we take stock of recent developments to bolster Singapore's climate resilience.
Coastal protection studies
Since the announcement of the Coastal and Flood Protection Fund in 2020, several coastal protection studies are under way covering especially vulnerable areas along Singapore's 300km coastline. The studies are expected to result in the development of adaptive and flexible hybrid solutions including both traditional (e.g. concrete seawalls, stone revetments, dykes, floodgates, tidal gates, and pumping systems) and nature-based (e.g. mangroves, artificial islands, and coastal reservoirs) measures
Coastal Protection and Flood Management Research Programme (CFRP)
In early March 2023, PUB launched the $125 million Coastal Protection and Flood Management Research Programme (CFRP) dedicated to strengthening capabilities within coastal protection and flood management with project opportunities for industry partners through an Applied Research & Living Lab.
The programme focuses on four research verticals:
Innovative engineering solutions for coastal protection and flood management.
Integrated nature-based solutions for coastal protection.
Sustainable infrastructure solutions for coastal protection and flood management.
Smart management solutions for coastal protection and flood management.
And three horizontals:
Coastal science research
Monitoring, prediction, and digitalisation
Integrated and adaptive planning
Denmark and Singapore are natural partners
Denmark is also investing heavily in climate adaptation with an expected investment of more than EUR 7 billion over the next 15-20 years in holistic solutions that combine flood management with urban development. The focus is on dual solutions where surplus water is diverted to above surface structures designed to provide recreational areas that reduce urban heat island effect, increase biodiversity, and improved livability.
Today, all Danish municipalities are required to develop climate adaptation plans and the responsibility is divided between the municipalities, water utilities, and private property owners. The close collaboration between public and private stakeholders in combination with massive investments is positioning Denmark as a global front runner within climate adaptation research and technology development.
The long-standing green ties between Denmark & Singapore were strengthened through a government to government collaboration in the form of a 5-year Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) on Cooperation in Environmental and Water Matters signed between the Singapore Ministry of Sustainability and the Environment (MSE) and Denmark's Ministry of Environment (MOE) on 26 February 2020. The MOU represents a government to government collaboration on sustainability and environment matters, strengthening ties between Singapore and Denmark, as well as advancing efforts to build a more sustainable future. Areas of focus include climate adaptation and sustainable development.
The MOU represents an excellent opportunity to form green industry partnerships, accelerate new activities as well as boost awareness of existing projects & collaborations. Commercially relevant activities within the working program include policy driven industry solutions and opportunities to showcase green thought leadership across the ASEAN region.
Contact the Royal Danish Embassy in Singapore for more information about business opportunities relating to climate adaptation measures in Singapore and the (MOU) on Cooperation in Environmental and Water Matters.
Mark Edward Perry
Head of Trade at the Royal Danish Embassy in Singapore
Phone: +65 9088 5567