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Environmental performance indicators for the urban coastal environment of Singapore

Highlights•Singapore uses Integrated Urban Coastal Management to manage its coastal resources.•40 environmental indicators are applicable for the urbanised coastal zone.•Singapore has performed well in core areas such as biodiversity protection.•Land use impacts and solid waste accumulation along the coast could be minimised.•Robust environmental indicators can help boost coastal management capacity.AbstractIntegrated Coastal Management (ICM) has increasingly been adopted worldwide as an effective environmental management approach. Singapore, a member of the Partnerships in Environmental Management for the Seas of East Asia (PEMSEA), established its own Integrated Urban Coastal Management (IUCM) framework to further enhance and manage its coastal resources. However, an indicator system has yet to be developed in the context of Singapore’s coastal environment and management to evaluate the progress of such an approach. This paper presents an evaluation of potential environmental performance indicators to determine whether they are applicable and beneficial for managing the coastal resources of Singapore. Through an assessment of several ICM frameworks, applying methods of developing indicators, and an evaluation of Singapore’s state of the coast between 2010 and 2019, a semi-quantitative analysis is carried out to derive a final set of 40 environmental performance indicators that would be significant for advancing Singapore’s IUCM strategy. The assessment indicates that the city state has met performance expectations in several core areas such as biodiversity protection, habitat management plan, water quality management and environmental disaster management. Low environmental performances are apparent for key indicators such as impacts of land use on coastal ecosystems and solid waste accumulation on beaches. These robust environmental indicators will boost the capacity of Singapore’s existing IUCM to assess the state of the coast and to enhance coastal ecosystem services and sustainability.


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