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NEWS UPDATES 30 October 2010

Singapore contributes to global biodiversity

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A newly endorsed self-assessment tool for cities to measure biodiversity is Singapore's contribution to the biodiversity conservation movement, said Minister for National Development Mah Bow Tan.

The Singapore Index on Cities' Biodiversity was developed by various experts in Singapore.

It was formally endorsed on Friday as a biodiversity measurement tool for cities, at the 10th Conference of Parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity in Nagoya.

Mr. Mah, who is in Nagoya for the conference, said the index would help cities and local authorities measure the progress of their biodiversity conservation effort over time.

"Cities and governments around the world are well aware of the importance of biodiversity conservation and its impact on social and economic development," he said.

"Singapore is a good case study in illustrating how economic development and greenery and biodiversity conservation can be mutually reinforcing."

The Singapore Index uses a "report card" scoring system where cities can carry out their own assessment, allocate points for a diversity of 23 indicators, before coming up with an overall quantitative score.

The information can help cities make better decisions on how to prioritise their biodiversity conservation initiatives.

It would also evaluate cities' progress in reducing the rate of biodiversity loss.

Mr. Mah said the index endorsement was an excellent closure to the International Year of Biodiversity 2010.

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