Sea-Level Rise in Singapore

The paper “The Economic Impact of Sea-Level Rise on Non-Market Lands in Singapore” provides relevant discussion about physical benefits of shore zones, sea-level rise, its consequences and impact on Singapore’s economic stability. The authors argue that sea-level rise results from climatic changes and is able to affect economic performance of the country on coastal regions, for example, like Singapore. Global climatic changes are beyond country’s control, though Singapore has certain options available for reducing the damages caused. Coastal lands are claimed to be the most vulnerable to climatic changes, especially beaches, non-market lands, mangrove estuaries and marshes. Despite the fact that protection policies are very expensive, the authors recommend to protect not only non-market lands, but also highly valued resources such as beaches, for example.

In order to reveal sea-level rise impact two methods of collecting data were involved: travel cost and contingent valuation study. Travel cost method relied “on people’s behavior to infer values by examining where they choose to visit”, whereas contingent valuation study aimed at directly asking population about their preferences and values. After researching, it is revealed that Singapore beaches are the most popular areas. Contingent valuation study revealed that people also valued marches and mangroves, though travel cost method didn’t support that idea stating that the mentioned areas had little use value. Actually, people appeared not to enjoy visiting sites, though sites are suggested to have non-use value meaning that people are pleased knowing that sites are still there where they should be. It is noted that protection costs are rather high, though natural resourced should be protected with additional sand and underwater hard structures. Marshes and mangroves will survive if to migrate inland when sea rises. Singapore’s high level of development makes hard structures even more attracting. Summing up the author say it is necessary to analyze and asses the role of non-market lands and to implement alternative strategies of protection.


Wei-Shiuen, Ng., & Mendelsohn, R. (2006, September).The Economic Impact of Sea-Level Rise on Non-Market Lands in Singapore. Ambio, 35, 6, 289-296.