Written Answer by Minister for Law, Mr K Shanmugam, to Parliamentary Question on Concerted Island Management - Plans to Protect and Promote Natural and Historical Heritage of Southern Islands
26 July 2021 Posted in Parliamentary speeches and responses
Ms Nadia Ahmad Samdin (Member of Parliament for Ang Mo Kio GRC)
To ask the Minister for Law whether there are concerted island management plans to protect and promote the natural and historical heritage of our Southern Islands, so that people can visit and access them safely while not damaging the natural environment and protect the rich biodiversity of the Southern Islands.
- The Singapore Land Authority (“SLA”) works closely with relevant Government agencies and other stakeholders to safeguard the biodiversity and heritage of the Southern Islands so that the rustic charm and rich habitat of the islands can be enjoyed by many generaions to come.
- SLA and the National Parks Board (“NParks”) have taken steps to protect our marine biodiversity and ecosystems, even as more visitors explore the Southern Islands. For example, in 2014, the Sisters’ Islands Marine Park was designated as a marine protected area due to the rich marine biodiversity in its waters. Within the Marine Park, some conservation and research sites are not open to the public, and can only be accessed by authorised individuals for scientific research, habitat restoration and species recovery activities.
- There are also efforts to raise the public’s awareness about protecting the marine biodiversity and historical heritage of the Southern Islands. For example, on St John’s Island, NParks works with community stakeholders, such as the Friends of Marine Park, to organise outreach activities on marine conservation including seminars, workshops, guided tours, and citizen science programmes. NParks has also installed on-site storyboards and conducts monthly guided walks to educate the public on the rich history and biodiversity of the island.
- These public education efforts are supported by initiatives to document and safeguard the heritage of the Southern Islands. For example, the National University of Singapore, supported by the National Heritage Board (NHB), conducted a two-year research and documentation project, which concluded last year, on the Southern Islands’ cultural and natural heritage. The project included an exhibition and public tours, which helped give Singaporeans a deeper understanding of the history and heritage of the Southern Islands. In addition, NHB has included the traditional pilgrimage to Kusu Island in the national inventory of Singapore’s intangible cultural heritage.
Last updated on 26 July 2021