Sungei Buloh gets new mangrove conservation area

Minister Khaw Boon Wan (Far Right) at the launching of the Sungei Buloh Wetland Reserve Coastal Trail.
PHOTO: The Straits Times

SINGAPORE - Sungei Buloh Wetland Reserve Coastal Trail's new arboretum is expected to plant 2,000 native mangrove trees along a 500-metre stretch over the next two years, the National Parks Board (NParks) said in a press release on Monday (Oct 5).

An arboretum is a place where plants are cultivated for scientific and educational purposes. The designated area is expected to house about 35 native "true" mangrove species. This means that they are plants that only grow in the mangrove environment.

One such species NParks highlighted is the Eye of the Crocodile, a globally and critically endangered species with only around 200 mature trees in the world.

Manufacturing company Kikkoman Singapore has announced a $500,000 sponsorship for the new conservation area.

New Coordinating Minister for Infrastructure and Transport Minister Khaw Boon Wan who launched the arboretum on Monday, said: "Mangrove conservation is key to Sungei Buloh Wetland Reserve and in this regard, we place great importance on the establishment of the mangrove arboretum. Sungei Buloh is also home to the largest tract of mangrove forest on mainland Singapore.

"The arboretum will serve as a focal venue for conservation, education and outreach activities. It is an important project that will contribute to the conservation of mangrove plant species through propagating and planting of native mangrove species," he added.

In line with its aim of reaching out to the community, students, volunteers and other community partners will be invited to participate in the nurturing, planting and monitoring of these seedlings collected from various mangrove forests in Singapore.

NParks will also introduce a series of new interpretive signs and outreach programmes at the aboretum.

debwong@sph.com.sg

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