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Enhancing natural habitats, recovery efforts among initiatives set for Pulau Ubin

SINGAPORE – A series of initiatives and programmes for Pulau Ubin over the next few years were announced today (Nov 30), including enhancing the natural habitats in the area, recovering species of plants and animals and setting up an upcoming centre for field studies.

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SINGAPORE – A series of initiatives and programmes for Pulau Ubin over the next few years were announced today (Nov 30), including enhancing the natural habitats in the area, recovering species of plants and animals and setting up an upcoming centre for field studies.

Speaking on a tour of the island during Ubin Day today, Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong noted that a vision of Ubin that will honour our past, treasure our present, and shape our future has been developed collectively.

Pointing to the Sustainable Singapore Blueprint that was launched earlier this month, Mr Lee noted that every individual has a part to play in creating a more sustainable environment.

“The blueprint works on the basis that every Singaporean has an important role to make (Singapore) liveable and sustainable,” said Mr Lee.

He added: “What we are doing here in Ubin is a prime example of this.”

During the debate on the budget in March, Minister of State for National Development Desmond Lee had announced plans to consult the public on how the authorities can sensitively protect and enhance the island’s natural environment while keeping its heritage and rustic charm.

The Ubin Project has since received more than 2,000 ideas.

As part of the island’s habitat enhancement programmes, floating wetlands and nesting platforms will be installed at the Pekan Quarry to encourage the nesting and roosting of birds like the herons. Amenities such as boardwalks will also be built to allow visitors to observe the biodiversity in the area.

Members of the public can expect to visit the area by the third quarter of next year.

Working with Friends of Ubin Network (FUN) members, NParks has also identified areas for reforestation. This includes the ongoing reforestation at Tanjong Tajam, where a 3 ha of land–about the size of four football fields–was damaged in a bushfire in March.

Apart from selecting certain species of mangrove plants, orchid and seagrasses for its recovery programme, NParks will also target its recovery efforts on certain bird species, such as the Baya Weaver and the Red-Wattled Lapwing, bats and otters that are mostly found only on the island.

A new centre for field studies, education and outreach will also be built on the site of the former Celestial Resort to encourage research and education. Facilities at the centre include field study labs, classrooms and accommodation spaces.

On the heritage front, the National Heritage Board (NHB) will be partnering tertiary institutions and non-government organisations to identify and map the island’s past and heritage elements in a cultural mapping project.

The Urban Redevelopment Authority, NHB and other stakeholders will also develop a specific set of guidelines to restore the existing buildings and structures on Pulau Ubin.

To encourage environmentally and socially responsible behaviour while on the island, a code of conduct–known as the “Ubin Way”–will be developed by the FUN members.

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