Nature Society: The struggle for Singapore’s nature areas

on 30th August 2008


The above paper has just been published. Nature in Singapore is a peer-reviewed, online journal that publishes articles on the flora and fauna (e.g., biology, botany, zoology, ecology and conservation biology) of Singapore. A PDF copy of the paper can be obtained from the website of the Raffles Museum of Biodiversity Research, National University of Singapore, by clicking HERE.

Authored by two Nature Society’s insiders who were part of the early struggle for nature areas, the paper details how the society successfully persuaded government to develop a degraged mangrove area that has become the Sungei Buloh Wetland Reserve, Singapore’s one and only ASEAN Heritage Park. The society also managed to dissuade government not to develop a golf course in a forested area within the Peirce Reservoir, a gazetted nature reserve.

To date, these are the only two successes of the society.

Coincidentally, the above publication is somewhat timed with the publication by Singapore’s ISEA of the book “Governance, Politics and the Environment: A Singapore Study” by Dr Maria Francesch-Huidobro of the University of Hongkong (click HERE). This book also looks into the Sungei Buloh success and the Peirce-golf course controversy.

Her article, “Statutory Bodies, Land Use Planning and Conservation in Singapore: Issues and Challenges for Governability” is mostly carried in her book (click HERE). Unfortunately, only an abstract is available in the link.

Maria’s book is based on her PhD research conducted in Singapore some years ago. Her thesis also details the intrigues within the Nature Society.

YC Wee
August 2008

If you like this post please tap on the Like button at the left bottom of page. Any views and opinions expressed in this article are solely those of the authors/contributors, and are not endorsed by the Lee Kong Chian Natural History Museum (LKCNHM, NUS) or its affiliated institutions. Readers are encouraged to use their discretion before making any decisions or judgements based on the information presented.

YC Wee

Dr Wee played a significant role as a green advocate in Singapore through his extensive involvement in various organizations and committees: as Secretary and Chairman for the Malayan Nature Society (Singapore Branch), and with the Nature Society (Singapore) as founding President (1978-1995). He has also served in the Nature Reserve Board (1987-1989), Nature Reserves Committee (1990-1996), National Council on the Environment/Singapore Environment Council (1992-1996), Work-Group on Nature Conservation (1992) and Inter-Varsity Council on the Environment (1995-1997). He is Patron of the Singapore Gardening Society and was appointed Honorary Museum Associate of the Lee Kong Chian Natural History Museum (LKCNHM) in 2012. In 2005, Dr Wee started the Bird Ecology Study Group. With more than 6,000 entries, the website has become a valuable resource consulted by students, birdwatchers and researchers locally and internationally. The views and opinions expressed in this article are his own, and do not represent those of LKCNHM, the National University of Singapore or its affiliated institutions.

Other posts by YC Wee

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