'Solid case' for Gardens' Unesco bid

'Solid case' for Gardens' Unesco bid

The Singapore Botanic Gardens (above) has a "solid case" to be inscribed as a Unesco World Heritage Site, said Minister for Culture, Community and Youth Lawrence Wong.

Speaking in Parliament yesterday, he said he hopes to bring back a jubilee present for the country when the results are announced in June or early July.

To qualify for the Unesco mark, nominated sites must have "outstanding universal value". This means they must also occupy a unique position in the history of the world, and not just in their local communities.

The Gardens was "instrumental in transforming South-east Asian history", said Mr Wong.

For instance, research and experimentation conducted at the Gardens introduced rubber to the South- east Asian region, he said.

By May, the International Council on Monuments and Sites will make a recommendation on whether the site should be inscribed.

The recommendation will be considered by the Unesco World Heritage Committee - a group of 21 countries - when it meets in Germany in late June or early July.

It can approve or deny the Botanic Gardens bid, or defer its decision and request more information.

The 74ha Gardens was established in 1859, and draws more than four million people each year. It is home to more than 10,000 types of plants and pioneered rubber cultivation, tapping techniques and orchid breeding.

This article was first published on March 13, 2015.
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