Pulau Ubin to have new centre for research & education

Pulau Ubin to have new centre for research & education

SINGAPORE - Shoreline restoration, habitat enhancement, species recovery, cultural mapping and a new centre for research and education are among some of the initiatives that the Government will roll out in a bid to sustain the rustic charm of Pulau Ubin.

The initiatives were proposed by and refined in consultation with the public through The Ubin Project, which has garnered more than 2,000 ideas and suggestions since it was announced in March.

In the next few years, the National Parks Board (NParks) will carry out a study aimed at protecting and restoring the shoreline at Ubin and set up a new centre to support various educational objectives and outreach programmes.

It will also map out core biodiversity zones to identify areas which require more careful attention, undertake recovery programmes for targeted species of plants and animals and launch a new tour led by its volunteers.

At the same time, NParks will improve basic amenities on Ubin such as wayfinding signs, shelters and boardwalks.

The National Heritage Board will be partnering tertiary institutions and non-government organisations to carry out a cultural mapping project to "map" Ubin's layered past and its tangible and intangible heritage elements.

In addition, it will work with the Urban Redevelopment Authority and stakeholders on a set of guidelines for existing buildings and structures on the island, to sensitively restore or rebuild them when required.

Ubin will have a new Code of Conduct, dubbed the "Ubin Way", put together by grassroots leaders, nature lovers, Ubin operators, educators and volunteers to encourage socially and ecologically responsible behaviour on the island.

Minister of State for National Development Desmond Lee, who oversees The Ubin Project, said in a statement: "We are very encouraged that many Singaporeans have come forward to share with us their ideas on how Ubin can remain rustic.

"In the next few years, we will be embarking on the first round of programmes and initiatives that we have for Pulau Ubin. These initiatives will keep Ubin's rustic charm, biodiversity, history and heritage alive, so that future generations of Singaporeans can continue to enjoy the island.

"But our work does not stop there. We will continue to explore other ideas and suggestions received and see if these too can be sensitively rolled out, aligned with our vision for Ubin."

Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong, who was at the island this morning for Ubin Day, said in a short speech that the island was a prime example of how every Singaporean has an important role to make Singapore more liveable and sustainable.

He added that he was glad that many Singaporeans are interested to contribute to Ubin, and urged more to do so by giving their ideas and participating in activities on the island.

He said: "Collectively, we have developed a vision of Ubin that will honour our past, treasure our present, and shape our future.

"Look around and ask yourself: 'What can I do to make our environment better?' Imagine it, decide it, and we will partner you to make it happen."

huizhen@sph.com.sg

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