Possible Environmental Crises Facing Singapore and Appropriate Responses: The Case of the Poh Ern Shih Buddhist Temple

August 25, 2009 by  
Filed under Events, Insights

Venue: ISEAS Seminar Room II

Speaker: Mr Lee Boon Siong, Honorary President and Director, Poh Ern Shih Temple

The Poh Ern Shih Temple (Temple of Thanksgiving), built in 1954, is an ecologically friendly Buddhist temple located at Chwee Chian Hill, off Pasir Panjang Road, Singapore. In 2000, the Directors decided that the temple had to be redesigned to deal with the rising costs of water, electricity and an over-dependence on fossil fuel. It was noted that environmental degradation had been increasing over the decades and that adopting ecologically friendly technologies was the way to go in the age of rising global temperatures and climate change.

This seminar will focus on Poh Ern Shih Temple’s efforts to protect the environment. The temple takes advantage of Singapore’s abundant sunlight to produce: (i) Electricity by employing three different kinds of solar energy cells – Polycrystalline, Monocrystalline and Amorphous Cells (ii) Hotwater from Solar Heat Collector Cells in Solar Panels, and (iii) Night Lighting of its landscaping and common corridors with batteries charged by electricity collected from hybrid sets of wind/solar energy units.

Meanwhile, Singapore’s abundant rainfall has made it possible to (i) Irrigate the temple grounds (ii) Generate electricity via the deployment of Micro Hydrogenerators for charging the batteries of in-house motorized wheelchairs and lighting for its landscaping and common corridors as well as (iii) Conserve, collect and convert the rainwater to drinkable water by deploying Reverse Osmosis Techonology in Portable Filtration/UV Units available overseas in the event of natural disasters.

Finally, the temple is able to leverage on the abundance of a renewable resource, bamboo, (i) to reduce the culling of our valuable forests by deploying bamboo for all the temple’s new furniture wherever possible since it is readily available from neighbouring states and is a 5-year renewable resource as compared to a 100 year old or 300 year old oak or teak tree and (ii) to reduce the pollution from the steel industries, by making all its in-house new wheelchairs from bamboo.

For details and registration, visit the ISEAS website.

Source: ISEAS

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