Sunday, September 2, 2007


Submitted for the department website:
Ecological Shadow of Singapore's Vegetable Imports

The concept of ecological shadow or "shadow ecology" refers to the environmental impact of one country's economy on resource and environmental management in another country or area (Dauvergne, 1997). This involves examining both the consumption and production from inputs, through distribution to consumption and disposal, as integrated production and consumption systems. In addition, processes such as the mechanism of price, the creation of wants and consumption along with corporate and governmental practices, investments, developmental aid, and regulations, as well as production processes in the producing country and its various policies, politics, corporations mechanism and regulations are under scrutiny.

Although all countries cast ecological shadows, highly industrialized states with few natural resources tend to draw more environmental resources and in turn have large ecological shadows. Singapore being a small island state with a population of 4 million and little natural resources presents itself as a prime case study in the region. Singapore is a rare example of a country with high food dependency, importing 95% of total vegetable consumption in Singapore. 48% of Singapore’s total vegetable imports come from Malaysia, making it an excellent study site for examining the ecological impact of Singapore’s consumption on its environment. A baseline environmental impact assessment as well as historical change will be examined to determine the possible interrelations and impacts between source and destination countries.

With the onslaught of climate change added with greater environmental awareness of food safety, environmental protection and the push for organic farming, this study hopes to study in depth the dynamics within food systems. By understanding the processes and impacts of entire food systems, points of leverage for improving sustainability can be identified, along with possible policies and management implications.
Research Interests:
Sustainable Agri-food consumption-production systems, nature conservation, urban ecology

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