Mr Desmond Lee, Minister for National Development and Minister-in-charge of Social Services Integration, announced today that the National Parks Board (NParks) will be implementing more nature-based solutions to build the resilience of Singapore’s coasts. Since the success of a coastal protection project at Pulau Tekong in 2010, NParks has continued to employ nature-based solutions for coastal resilience, with a recently completed project at Kranji Coastal Nature Park. An upcoming coastal protection project will be along approximately 2.2 km of the northern coastline at Pulau Ubin, complemented by a mangrove restoration project at Sungei Durian, located along Pulau Ubin’s southern coastline. These projects exemplify NParks’ strategies to build climate resilience through the City in Nature vision, a key pillar of the Singapore Green Plan 2030.

In announcing details for the latest edition of the Singapore Red List, Minister highlighted that several species such as the Lesser Mousedeer and Sunda Slow Loris have improved conservation statuses. This is significant as it signals that the resilience of these species have improved in Singapore. This can be attributed to the biodiversity conservation efforts throughout Singapore, including habitat enhancement and species recovery efforts under the NParks Nature Conservation Masterplan as well as increased capabilities and support from the scientific and nature community. In addition, 13 plant and 13 animal species will be added to NParks Species Recovery Programme, bringing the total number to 80 plant and 40 animal species. This will contribute to NParks’ new target to have 100 plant and 60 animal species under the programme by 2030.

Making these announcements at the 10th edition of the Festival of Biodiversity, which was also officiated by President Halimah Yacob, Minister thanked the community for their contributions towards conserving Singapore’s natural heritage, including partners of the Biodiversity Roundtable, which has doubled in numbers since the first Festival of Biodiversity in 2012, and Aramco Asia Singapore for their support towards the Plant-A-Coral, Seed-A-Reef programme.

 

New CoralAID Mineral Accretion (CAMA) units and marine educational programme, supported by Aramco Asia Singapore

Under the Plant-A-Coral, Seed-A-Reef programme by NParks’ registered charity and IPC, Garden City Fund, NParks will be assessing the efficacy of establishing CoralAID Mineral Accretion (CAMA) units in Singapore’s waters to enhance coral growth, as coral recruitment and growth is a slow process. For the first time in Singapore, the new initiative will trial the use of mineral accretion technology to stimulate the growth of hard corals by subjecting them to low-voltage electricity. The trial is supported by an initial seed funding of around $200,000 by Aramco Asia Singapore through the Garden City Fund. In addition, Aramco Asia Singapore will support a new educational programme on local marine biology and marine conservation efforts for schools and the general public from 2021 to 2022. These new initiatives aim to strengthen the resilience of Singapore’s coral reefs together with the community.

 

Festival of Biodiversity 2021 – 10 years of celebrating Singapore’s natural heritage

Much of what Singapore has achieved in our push to become a City in Nature is due to the strong support of the larger nature community. The Festival of Biodiversity, organised by NParks in collaboration with the Biodiversity Roundtable, is an annual event that showcases and celebrates the community’s efforts to conserve Singapore’s natural heritage. The Festival aims to deepen appreciation and build stronger ownership of our rich biodiversity among Singaporeans. The United Nations designates 22 May as the International Day for Biological Diversity to increase understanding and awareness of biodiversity issues. This year’s theme, “We’re part of the solution” is aligned with NParks’ efforts to partner the community in protecting Singapore’s biodiversity and enhancing ecological and climate resilience.

Since the first edition of Festival of Biodiversity 10 years ago, the number of partners who have helped organised the Festival has grown from under 30 to 67 today, including nature groups, schools, work groups comprising academics, individuals and other stakeholders, as well as members from the Friends of the Parks initiative. The number of citizen scientists has also grown from 470 in 2015 to over 9,000 in 2021, and they are part of NParks’ growing volunteer base. As of 2021, NParks has more than 54,000 volunteers. NParks will continue to partner the community and enable more Singaporeans to become active stewards of our biodiversity and environment.

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