Tree planting in Lim Chu Kang nature park and birdwatching in Sungei Buloh Wetlands Reserve

Although it is challenging to advocate nature conservation in a country that often prioritises economic growth and property development at the expense of the forests, we do what we can in replanting trees and trust Nature to take care of the rest.

It’s been a few years since I learnt to plant a tree as a volunteer for NParks at Kranji Marshes.

On 17 March 2023 afternoon, I took time off after my morning food delivery shift to participate in a tree planting session at the upcoming Lim Chu Kang nature park.

I was glad that the demonstration by the NParks guide helped to refresh my memory on the techniques of planting a tree.

They include digging a hole in the soil deep and wide enough to fit a tree sapling, removing the covering after planting the sapling, filling the hole around it with soil and leaf compost, and watering the sapling.

Kudos to our communal efforts in planting native trees, such as yellow flame, in this upcoming nature park west of Sungei Buloh

I look forward to seeing the young trees grow to form a forest.

Upon returning to Sungei Buloh wetlands reserve extension, I went to check out a couple of baya weaver nests near the visitor centre.

We have much to learn from the baya weavers, who adeptly use natural materials to build intricate climate-resilient architecture.

I am reminded that a number of baya weavers had to move house from Tengah forest ever since deforestation took place around 2018 onwards for development.

Some of them might have taken refuge at Sungei Buloh Wetlands Reserve, as I don’t recall having seen their nests during my volunteer photography assignment during the opening ceremony of the new visitor centre in December 2014.

Still, the baya weavers are often on the lookout for potential predators, such as white-bellied sea eagles who regularly patrol the sky above.


Green rail corridor experience: Rewilding and trekking

On 4 March 2023, I took time off in the morning to participate in a rewilding project at Green Rail Corridor near Sungei Kadut Avenue, organised by Nature Society Singapore (NSS).

We learnt to use spades and changkols to remove wild Elephant Grass, which has grown taller than us.

Weeding is a tough but rewarding work, and my arm muscles were aching by the time the event ended in about an hour amidst the pouring rain.

After the event, I decided to walk back along the Green Rail Corridor, which took me over two hours.

It felt like wandering in an alien landscape that resembles a savanna in a rainy season.

Climate change is causing unseasonal weather behaviours that may require weather forecasters to “unlearn” what they know, according to a Straits Times article dated 22 Nov 2022.

Perhaps it is a foreshadowing of a post-apocalyptic era, where the tropical rainforests have given way to tropical grasslands.

As a result of rapid deforestation and urbanisation over the centuries, the human-induced climate change brings about more extreme weather that is also less predictable.

Bukit Batok hillside park area hiking trip, 8 January 2023

We are the eyes, ears and voice of the voiceless flora and fauna who cannot speak up for themselves. (Photos by Jimmy Tan)

Thanks to my hiking buddies, we had an immersive forest bathing experience, known in Japanese as “Shinrin-yoku” on 8 January afternoon.

Our climbing along the steep slopes shows us how important the trees are in holding the soil together, while also helping us to stabilise ourselves. (Top left map by; photo by Jimmy Tan)

The trees in the forest are truly our friends, as they provide shade, fresh air and immune-boosting phytoncides, even as they prevent soil erosion and cool the urban heat island effect, among many other ecosystem services.

I hope that the forest can be spared from further removal for BTO (Build To Order) housing development in this area, especially since the application rates for the BTO launches in Bukit Batok have been relatively low.

As noted in our feedback to the authorities last November:

“Although Bukit Batok Hillside Park area is relatively small and seemingly insignificant compared to other bigger forests in Singapore, it may well be our weakest link because any further disruption along this part of Bukit Batok nature corridor may irreversibly affect the safe movements of fauna (including pollinators and seed dispersers vital for our food security) between Western water catchment and Central catchment nature reserve.

The physical and mental well-being of our residents living in the vicinity is also at stake.”

P.S. A wild boar was seen by some of us at BBHP hill 2, which demonstrates that it most likely uses the forest here as an ecological corridor to move between Tengah forest and Bukit Batok nature park.

Ecological connectivity between western water catchment and central nature reserves

Why is it so important to conserve Tengah forest and Bukit Batok hillside park (BBHP) area?

Why was the recent disruption of wildlife corridor between Bukit Batok nature park and Toh Tuck forest caused by excessive tree-cutting for road widening so serious?

And why do we need to protect Pang Sua woodland along Green Rail corridor from housing development?

One main reason is “ecological connectivity”.

How the connectivity along Bukit Batok nature corridor risks further disruption to wildlife movements. (Source: NParks,, Our Singapore Facebook page)

Due to rapid deforestation and urbanisation in the past two centuries, there is only one contiguous forest left that can provide safe movements of wildlife between western water catchment and central nature reserves,

which include critically endangered Sunda pangolins, leopard cats and straw-headed bulbuls, globally endangered long-tailed macaques, and uncommon Malayan colugo,

and that contiguous forest is Tengah forest.

Imagine pangolins, macaques and wild boars being able to move safely from Tengah forest to Gombak park and then to Bukit Gombak forest, and vice versa, if there are eco-links provided for them. (Photo by Jimmy Tan)

The challenge is: how can these wildlife still travel across Tengah forest safely in order to ensure healthy genetic exchange and prevent inbreeding and extinction?

Currently, there are 3 conduits between central nature reserves and Tengah forest:

  1. Via Bukit Mandai, Pang Sua woodland, Bukit Gombak forest and Gombak park
  2. Via Bukit Timah nature reserve, Bukit Batok nature park, Bukit Gombak forest and Gombak park
  3. Via Clementi nature corridor, Bukit Batok nature park, Bukit Gombak forest, Bukit Batok central nature park and Bukit Batok hillside park (Hill 1 & Hill 2)

This is why we need eco-links to

  • connect Tengah forest west to Jalan Bahar forest
  • connect Tengah forest east to Gombak Park
  • connect Tengah forest south to Bukit Batok hillside park

Routes 1 and 2 may be a bit tricky as the military area has barbed wire fences, which may impale colugos if they happen to land on the fences.

Wild boar tracks at Bukit Gombak forest. The barbed wires on top of the military fence may pose a danger for the Malayan colugos. (Photo by Jimmy Tan)

Route 3 is also challenging, as more trees need to be planted along roads in residential areas to create safer passages.

The forests in BBHP area along Route 3 also risk further clearance for housing development, which will disrupt ecological connectivity even more.

Any further disruption in the ecological connectivity along Bukit Batok nature corridor (and Tengah nature way) may result in irreversible damage to the biodiversity and loss of species, adversely affecting ecological functions.

Top: Aerial view of Bukit Batok hillside park (Hill 1) showing its proximity to Tengah forest on the right. Bottom: Bukit Batok hillside park (Hill 2) is essential for connecting BBHP Hill 1 and Bukit Batok central nature park. (Photos by Jimmy Tan)

Already, we have lost native species, such as the giant cream-coloured squirrel and forest gecko, when the Bukit Timah expressway construction separated Bukit Timah nature reserve from Central catchment area since the 1980s-1990s.

The stakes are high for the ecological connectivity between western water catchment and central nature reserves too.

Different forest-dependent wildlife species are affected by habitat fragmentation and disruption of ecological connectivity to varying extents. (Photo by Jimmy Tan)

Though strong dispersers among aerial and canopy wildlife, such as changeable hawk-eagles and long-tailed parakeets, are able to fly long distances, they face the threat of habitat loss, which means fewer sites for nesting, breeding and feeding.

Moderately strong dispersers among canopy wildlife, such as straw-headed bulbuls, will be affected by even small-scale deforestation, such as a planned 4-ha BTO (Build to Order) site in BBHP area.

Weak dispersers among forest-dependent wildlife, such as red jungle fowl, Sunda colugos and possibly red-legged crakes, will be most affected by any disruption of ecological connectivity, as they seldom travel far from forest edges.

Feedback: Environmental concerns over habitat fragmentation in Bukit Batok nature corridor and Tengah nature way

[On 18 November 2022, the following feedback has been sent to the representatives of Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA), Housing & Development Board (HDB) and National Parks Board (NParks) as part of our ongoing dialogue.]

Thank you for your reply dated 8 Sep 2022 regarding our email to Dr Amy Khor, in which she advised us to approach Ministry of National Development (MND) for a dialogue. We appreciate the time that you have taken to respond to our email.

As our email to Dr Khor didn’t convey our full feedback on Bukit Batok Hillside Park (BBHP) area, since we were requesting a Meet-the-People session to discuss the details, may we take this opportunity to respond to your email to briefly introduce ourselves and provide some details of our feedback, as part of the dialogue to promote environmental sustainability in the community?

Jimmy Tan’s background

As a resident of Bukit Batok East who is also a nature enthusiast and who works in the vicinity as a part-time food delivery cyclist and freelance writer and editor, Jimmy feels compelled to share his lived experience and observations after moving from his original hometown, Toa Payoh, several years ago, partly to seek refuge in a cooler and quieter environment next to Bukit Batok nature park (which makes him a “microclimate refugee”).

Also, as the creator of the petition to save BBHP area from housing development and one of the co-creators of the petition (with Roxane and Saniroz) to conserve at least 30-50% of Tengah forest, he hopes to be a voice representing almost 15,000 BBHP petition supporters and close to 10,000 Tengah forest petition supporters of nature conservation in some ways, who are concerned about the health, social and environmental impacts of development.

Denise Liu’s background

Denise is a senior researcher working in a social service agency and an associate lecturer with the Singapore University of Social Sciences. She is also an active member of the Bukit Batok community. She chose to purchase a BTO flat in Bukit Batok because she enjoys the greenery in the area. During COVID-19, in particular, taking her dog for long walks around BBHP Hill 2 is essential to her well-being and mental health.

As a member of her neighbourhood’s Resident Network, she has spoken to many residents who also value the greenery and nature of the estate. Many have expressed their concerns about losing these spaces, which provide a much-needed respite from the crowded BTOs they live in. The loss of BBHP Hill 2 will be particularly devastating for the hundreds of residents who cycle, jog or walk around the hill as part of their fitness routines. She spoke to a resident recently who is thinking about selling her flat if/once BBHP Hill 2 is redeveloped, as she cannot imagine living in a neighbourhood surrounded by BTOs, without greenery and the space to bring her dog for walks.

When looking at greenery in a forest, we experience stress relief as we breathe in the immune-boosting phytoncides released by the plants, commune with the flora and fauna, and get a good workout while hiking, jogging or forest bathing. (Map from, photos by Jimmy Tan)

Our response to HDB’s reply to Jimmy’s feedback on EIS report on BBHP area

Firstly, we noted that HDB’s reply dated 9 September 2020 says:

“The land use zoning of this area is gazetted as ‘Residential’ and ‘Park’ in Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA)’s Master Plan since 2003. As reflected in the current Master Plan 2019, the area is safeguarded for housing and park development, which will offer more housing choices and recreational spaces in Bukit Batok town.”

Although URA’s Master Plan 2003 was approved and gazetted after public consultation, we have seen that many things have changed over the past 19 years.

Back then, the urgency of the existential crisis associated with the climate emergency facing us had not received as much attention and concern as it has today.

Early this month, United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres reminded everyone at COP27 that the world was losing the battle against climate change, and it would soon be too late to undo the damage being inflicted on the planet.

Notably, eight of the ten warmest years on record in Singapore have occurred in the 21st century.

Since Singapore is heating up twice as fast as the rest of the world, mainly due to rapid deforestation and urbanisation, especially over the past few decades (as shown in the graphs below), it may be suicidal for us to keep on replacing the naturally cooling dense forests with heat-absorbing concrete and asphalt surfaces.

As the Centre for Climate Research Singapore has projected that Singapore could experience an increase in daily mean temperature of 1.4 to 4.6 degrees Celsius towards the end of this century, more intense and frequent heavy rainfall events, and mean sea level rise of up to 1 metre by 2100, the need to conserve and restore our forests is critical for our survival, as also noted in NParks’ One Million Trees Webinar | Beneath the Canopy: Uncovering the Science of our Forests in December 2020.

According to research studies, sizeable forests (10 ha or above) with dense trees can cool the environment up to 300+ metres, whereas plants on facades of buildings can only cool within 4 metres effectively. (Graphs from Global Forest Watch and, map from NParks webinar, photos by Jimmy Tan)

Secondly, much as we appreciate the efforts and dedication of our urban planners, we note that they have not undergone any mandatory course on basic ecology and the EIA process until the plans were announced in 2020 regarding this requirement.

Hence, it is possible that the Master Plan 2013, as well as the Master Plan 2019, has not taken into consideration the full impacts of continual forest habitat loss and fragmentation on our climate, biodiversity, ecological connectivity and human health and well-being, partly because we did not have the benefit of hindsight.

In the past decade alone, Singapore has witnessed floods, landslides, animal roadkill, human-wildlife conflicts and disease outbreaks – many of which are unprecedented, as mentioned in Jimmy’s blog.

EIS report on BBHP area is likely to have been compromised by certain factors

As regards BBHP area (aka “Zone A” according to your email), while it is commendable that the agencies conducted an EIA in 2018 to better understand the site condition and recommend measures to mitigate environmental impacts of development, we note that the EIA was likely to have been compromised by the ongoing construction of Bukit Batok West Ave 5 in 2018, which divided the two hills (aka BBHP Hill 1 and Hill 2).

(The premature clearing of trees in Kranji woodland by JTC in 2020 before NParks could complete their biodiversity studies serves as a lesson here, since the exact impact on the environment could not be calculated because the offences took place before any studies were undertaken.)

The building of a new road (Bukit Batok West Ave 5) has affected ecological connectivity and might also have compromised the EIA process in BBHP area in 2018. (Sources: BTOHQ, Google Map)

Shouldn’t both BBHP Hill 1 and Hill 2 be studied together before any construction was done in the vicinity, as they were originally part of the same ecological corridor, which was also recognised by a National University of Singapore (NUS)’s paper on vascular plant flora of Bukit Batok in 2013 as having “the highest percentage of native species”?

Moreover, the various feedback from other members of the public, which was compiled by Singapore Youth Voices for Biodiversity (SYVB), also noted that the biodiversity survey was conducted in April over 8 days, which is outside the bird migratory season.

Another feedback noted that there was a lack of reporting being done with regard to the Chiropteran assemblage (bats), who provide an invaluable service as insect predators and seed dispersers.

Over the past couple of years, during recces in/around BBHP area, some native fauna not recorded in the EIS report have also been spotted, such as:

Approximate locations of native fauna sightings in BBHP area in 2021-2022. Note that the list is not meant to be exhaustive. (Source: Google Map, photos by Jimmy Tan)

All these suggest that the EIA done on BBHP area could have been better and more comprehensive in its assessment of the environmental impacts if more time and attention had been given, as it is relatively limited compared to the other EIAs which were done for other ecologically sensitive areas, such as Tengah forest north and south, and Springleaf forest.

This is regrettable because a deeper appreciation and understanding of its relatively rich biodiversity should compel us to focus more on preserving natural features to facilitate ecological connectivity with minimal disruption and harm caused to the well-being of the wildlife and human residents living along and around Bukit Batok nature corridor.

Environmental impacts observed along Bukit Batok Nature Corridor in 2018-2022

As it turns out, we have seen some environmental impacts along Bukit Batok Nature Corridor after the EIA was conducted in BBHP area in 2018, and after about 30% of Tengah forest was cleared since 2018 (as well as 4 ha of the forest in BBHP area was cleared for housing development in early 2021), despite mitigation measures being taken, such as:

Although the colugo, who most likely glided from BBNP and/or Toh Tuck forest (TTF), was not directly impacted by the ongoing deforestation in BBHP area, the fact that it got disoriented illustrates how the loss of ecological connectivity due to the removal of trees during the road widening process between BBNP and TTF has affected safe movements of the wildlife such as the colugos.

The stranded colugo was likely to have been affected by the loss of mature trees between Bukit Batok nature park and Toh Tuck forest due to the roadworks. (Map from LTA, screenshot from Our Singapore Facebook page, photo by Jimmy Tan)

This impact is significant because as noted in the above blog:

“Wouldn’t the ongoing removal of vegetation at BBHP Hill 2, aka Zone B (as well as the planned deforestation for the November 2022 launch of BTO site in BBHP Hill 1, aka Zone A) further disrupt ecological connectivity, which might also further impact the wildlife (such as the uncommon native Sunga colugos, critically endangered pangolins, forest-dependent palm civets, endangered long-tailed macaques, etc) moving between western catchment forests (via Tengah nature way and Bukit Batok nature corridor) and the central nature reserves?”

Why Zone A and Zone B of BBHP area should be protected from further deforestation

While HDB has done well in retaining the natural stream (aka Stream A according to the EIS report) and its catchment area within the planned BBHNP and expanded the original ‘Park’ area from 7.5ha to about 9.2ha, it is regrettable that Stream B and its catchment area in Zone A of BBHP area have not been retained due to their being zoned as a BTO site to be launched in November 2022.

This is because Stream B catchment area has a large fig tree (Ficus vasculosa) with conservation status of Endangered and some seedlings are situated on higher ground immediately next to the stream B (where dragonflies can be found to control the mosquito population), and slender pitcher plants (Nepenthes gracilis), which the rare pitcher blue butterfly is dependent upon, have also been discovered growing on the steep slopes there.

Speaking of which, both the aforementioned areas in Zones A and B have steep slopes along parts of the perimeter of the forest – some of which have gradients of 30 to 40 degrees or more. As noted in an article, “Anything above 20% (incline) is deemed steep. Beyond about 15%, costs begin to increase significantly as the risks become greater and the work becomes more difficult.” (See below image for reference.)

The second BTO site at BBHP area (Zone A) is only about 50 m away from the spot where a previous landslide had occurred on a steep slope, which has since been covered by a protective sheet to prevent further soil erosion. Would it be better to redevelop a previously developed or underutilised land elsewhere than potentially risking lives and further disrupting ecological connectivity by building on the steep slopes in this area? (Source: Google Map,; photo by Jimmy Tan)

Although we appreciate that the agencies seek to provide affordable public housing to Singaporeans, we wonder if it is feasible building BTO flats on such steep slopes, considering that it is more costly and also more risky, since the removal of vegetation that holds the soil together along the slopes may invariably result in soil erosion and even landslides, given the history of landslides occurring in the hilly regions of Bukit Batok and Bukit Gombak as well as the occurrences of more severe storms due to human-induced climate change over the past decades.

Why Tengah forest should also be protected from further deforestation

Speaking of climate change, residents living (and those who work outdoors such as food delivery cyclists and walkers) in Jurong, Bukit Batok West and Choa Chu Kang around Tengah forest risk experiencing heat injuries (such as dehydration, skin rashes, fatigue, irritability, heat strokes and inability to focus on work, affecting safety, creativity and productivity for those who work from home or outdoors) due to the warming microclimate as a result of the deforestation and urbanisation that have been going on since around 2018.

For example, while doing part-time food delivery in this region lately, I (Jimmy) could experience the warming effect on some of the apartment blocks, such as Block 435A, Bukit Batok West Ave 5 (see image below for reference).

Deforestation at Tengah forest increases the urban heat island effect. In their Green SG Policy Paper 2022, Singapore youths have called for Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) processes to be strengthened, such as “expanding EIAs to include the social impacts of development (i.e. Environment and Social Impact Assessments – ESIAs)”. Would social impacts of development include assessing how residents living near the forests marked for clearance will be affected by the warming microclimate? (Map from Global Forest Watch, photos by Jimmy Tan)

The air outside some units of Block 435A felt stuffy and smelled stale due to lack of ventilation, and since the small units along the narrow corridors seem to be for lower income residents, they may be affected by the urban heat island effect the most due to inadequate or lack of access to air-cooling/conditioning devices and healthcare services, and there is only so much we can do to adapt to the warming climate in our own capacity.

Last year’s SG Climate Rally features Marlina, who shared about the challenges of dealing with the rising heat with no air conditioning in a rental flat, which shows that Muslim women in particular tend to suffer more from heat injuries as they have to wear tudung and full length clothes in the households.

As a Bukit Batok resident working as a food delivery cyclist in the vicinity, Jimmy has also been dealing with symptoms of heat injuries, such as skin rashes, which persisted for months earlier this year and required medical treatment before the symptoms finally subsided. (The receipt of the medical bill is available upon request.)

Last but not least, we learnt that certain fauna in the remaining parts of Tengah forest have been affected by the noise and disturbances caused by the ongoing construction works as well as the habitat loss and fragmentation – they include the native wild boars (Sus scrofa) and the nationally near-threatened (and globally vulnerable) long-tailed parakeets (Psittacula longicauda).

As shown in the above video dated 5 Sep 2022, the wild boar at the forest fringe along (old) Jurong Road somehow got a fright when it saw human beings and ran away even though the hikers stood still. Compared to wild boars in the forests of Pulau Ubin, as well as the nature parks and reserves in mainland Singapore, the wild boars encountered in Tengah forest ever since forest clearance began around 2017 tend to be skittish or nervous, possibly because they have been stressed by construction noise and habitat loss (and it is highly unlikely that the wild boars have been fed by humans since the forest perimeter has been fenced up).

If we are to learn from the encounters with wild boars who have been displaced from their homes and wandered into residential areas in Punggol and Pasir Ris in 2018-2021, in which humans got hurt by the disoriented wild boars, utmost care and attention should be given to minimise habitat loss and improve ecological connectivity in and around Tengah forest, in order to prevent such human-wildlife conflicts in future, such as by conserving at least 30-50% of the original forest.

Tengah Nature Way should be spacious for pangolins, wild boars, etc to travel unharmed, without becoming roadkills or getting into human-wildlife conflicts. (Photo by Jimmy Tan)

As for long-tailed parakeets, even though they might seem to be more commonly seen in residential areas such as Choa Chu Kang, over the past year or so, their conservation status remains vulnerable especially since they are being displaced from their habitats in Tengah forest. Already, some residents find these parakeets too noisy, and it is a sad reality that such beautiful forest-dependent birds are being seen as a nuisance or even pests just because they became homeless and were forced to adapt and co-exist with humans in residential areas as a result of rapid deforestation and urbanisation in Singapore.

Let’s also remember the fate of other native fauna in the diminishing Tengah forest, such as the globally and nationally critically endangered Sunda pangolins (Manis javanica) and the globally endangered long-tailed macaques (Macaca fascicularis).

The current 20 percent of Tengah forest set aside for greenery is unfortunately insufficient to ensure their safety and long-term survival, if we were to go by the artists’ impressions of the manicured, sparsely growing plants in 50-m wide wildlife corridors (which is considered by botanist Dr Shawn Lum as too narrow since at least 50-m buffers are needed on both sides for adequate protection from human disturbances, light pollution, etc) surrounded by buildings and other man-made features, and the absence of eco-links to facilitate their safe movements between Western water catchment and Central catchment nature reserve.

At the very least, the mitigation measures recommended by the Tengah forest EIA reports should incorporate the same considerations for wildlife-friendly environments as those in Springleaf forest EIA report commissioned by URA, which has recommended about 70 percent of the forest to be conserved and specially designed housing and pathways that minimise human-wildlife conflicts to be built.

Why and how ecological connectivity in Tengah nature way and Bukit Batok nature corridor should be improved. (Base map by ST Graphics)

Last but not least, we note that the Straits Times reported on 11 November 2022 that “while Singapore’s forests provide refuge for up to about a third of the world’s straw-headed bulbuls, the globally critically endangered species prized for its singing has increasingly been driven to the brink of extinction.”

If the critically endangered straw-headed bulbuls (Pycnonotus zeylanicus) are becoming more endangered, then their forest habitats should also be even more protected, instead of just having the international songbird trade regulations tightened.

While it is good to show concern and take necessary actions regarding the trade of the endangered songbirds on the international stage, we should also spare no effort to stop the decimation of their forest habitats in our own backyard, such as Bukit Batok hillside park area, Tengah forest and Dover forest, where these songbirds have been seen and heard.

Otherwise, it would be tragic to witness the extinction of the straw-headed bulbuls in the wild happening right under our nose when we already have the knowledge and the means to protect them and their natural habitats, especially since Singapore has only about 200+ individuals left (in mainland Singapore, as of 2021) and is their last stronghold in Southeast Asia, if not the world.

Why we should focus on redeveloping brownfield sites to meet demand for public housing

Finally, we believe that our dialogue to promote environmental sustainability in the community wouldn’t be complete without a brief discussion about HDB’s announcement of strong demand for public housing in Singapore, as it has been cited as a major reason for the need to clear our secondary forests for housing development.

We note that the strong demand for public housing (whether BTO, resale or rental) tends to occur mainly in housing estates close to downtown, such as Bendemeer, Kallang, Queenstown and Redhill, whereas news reports have shown that initial applications for new BTO flats in western parts of Singapore, such as Tengah and Bukit Batok West, tend to be lower than those in Toa Payoh and other central locations in Singapore.

As stated by HDB in June 2022, “There were about 19 BTO projects that had flats with first-timer application rates of 1.7 or lower. The locations for these BTO projects included areas in Bukit Batok, Jurong West and Tengah for non-mature estates, and in Tampines for mature estates.”

Hence, we feel that our focus should be more on redeveloping brownfield sites for SERS, VERS and BTOs (such as in the case of the recent Tanglin Halt and Ang Mo Kio SERS projects as well as redevelopment of Mount Pleasant and Keppel Club golf course for public housing), rather than sacrificing the forests in ecologically sensitive areas and along the nature corridors identified by NParks in their Ecological Profiling Exercise (EPE), which include Bukit Batok nature corridor and Clementi nature corridor.

As also noted in the above blog, the news reported last year that many people buy property just to sell them in 5-10 years upon meeting the Minimum Occupation Period (MOP) to make quick profits, instead of staying long-term.  

Hence, if we keep on building new BTOs and condos in the vicinity to cater to such frivolous housing demands instead of redeveloping brownfield sites elsewhere for genuine buyers who want to stay long-term, we not only may make it more difficult for Singaporeans to find affordable public housing given the space constraints, but also unwittingly sacrifice our precious few forest habitats, such as along Bukit Batok nature corridor, to build housing and widen roads mainly to cater to the rich and privileged who could afford to buy housing for property investment/speculation and drive cars.

There is also a chance that Singapore may eventually experience an oversupply of HDB flats, as noted in a commentary by Stacked Homes dated 20 October 2022, in view of the ageing population (and the global warming fallout).

Our proposals

In view of the climate emergency, biodiversity loss and public health crisis facing us, as well as in the spirit of participating in Forward SG, may we ask URA, HDB, NParks and other relevant agencies to seriously consider the following proposals:

  1. Increase MOP from 5 years to 10 or more years for new BTO flats (especially those that will be built in greenfield sites), so as to discourage people from buying new property purely for short-term investments and profits at the expense of the forests and forest-dependent wildlife.
  2. Make resale/rental flats more affordable/accessible, optimise the allocation of Sale-Of-Balance flats, and make it compulsory for those who own private housing to give up and sell back their public housing flat to HDB because subsidised public housing should not be used for profiteering.
  3. Avoid any further deforestation along Bukit Batok nature corridor (including BBHP Hill 1 and 2 area) and in Tengah forest, so as to maintain ecological connectivity, climate resilience and a liveable environment for humans and wildlife between Western water catchment and Central catchment nature reserve, and focus on redeveloping brownfield sites (such as old industrial sites, underutilised or vacant lands, abandoned schools, golf courses whose leases are expiring soon, etc) elsewhere.
  4. Adopt the Degrowth or Doughnut economic model to ensure that we respect our social foundation and ecological ceiling, so that every Singaporean will lead their life with dignity, opportunity and community within the means of our environment.
No further deforestation along Tengah nature way (at least 30-50% of the original forest with eco-links at both western and eastern ends) and Bukit Batok nature corridor should be carried out, in order to prevent further habitat fragmentation and avoid disrupting the ecological connectivity between the western water catchment and the central nature reserves. (Photo by Jimmy Tan)

Although Bukit Batok Hillside Park area is relatively small and seemingly insignificant compared to other bigger forests in Singapore, it may well be our weakest link because any further disruption along this part of Bukit Batok nature corridor may irreversibly affect the safe movements of fauna (including pollinators and seed dispersers vital for our food security) between Western water catchment and Central catchment nature reserve. The physical and mental well-being of our residents living in the vicinity is also at stake, as shared earlier.

We are only as strong as our weakest link, for we are all members of the same body and citizens of the cosmos, and if the most vulnerable among us suffer as a result of climate emergency, we all suffer together as one. As rightly noted in the vision that Dr Amy Khor has for Hong Kah North (which can be applied for the entire Singapore) - may we build “a place where no one is left behind, but everyone progresses together, each at his own pace”. This can be achieved by adopting the above-mentioned proposals, which include conserving and restoring the forests in Bukit Batok nature corridor and Tengah nature way, to prevent further habitat fragmentation, boost climate resilience, and protect our health, well-being, safety and long-term survival.

Thank you for your attention, and we look forward to continue working with you and Dr Amy Khor on promoting environmental sustainability in the community.

Yours sincerely,

Jimmy Tan San Tek, Bukit Batok East resident

Denise Liu, Bukit Batok West resident


Dr Amy Khor, Adviser to Hong Kah North SMC Grassroots Organisation

Mr Desmond Lee, Minister for National Development of Singapore

[Main text edited slightly to ensure clarity and reflect the latest updates as of 1 January 2023]

The plight of the parakeets in Tengah forest

Although red-breasted parakeets are globally near-threatened, they are considered introduced non-native species in Singapore.

There are concerns that the more urban-adaptative red-breasted parakeets may establish their populations at the expense of the forest-dependent native long-tailed parakeets.

Both parakeet species have been displaced by habitat loss in Tengah forest in recent years, and many are seeking refuge in roadside trees in Choa Chu Kang town nearby.

Alas, their noise has resulted in some residents complaining to the authorities, who have captured many of the parakeets in order to cull the red-breasted parakeets.

Then again, culling appears to be a band-aid solution to a deeper problem of deforestation and loss of habitats.

The native long-tailed parakeets, which are globally vulnerable, continue to face the threat of extinction as long as they lose their forest habitats, not so much because of the so-called competition from the red-breasted parakeets.

Hence, the call to conserve at least 30-50 percent of Tengah forest remains as urgent as ever, for this and many other reasons.

My proposal to NParks et al on conserving and restoring mangroves in Jurong river and Pandan river

Panoramic view of Jurong river mangrove mudflats (Photo by Jimmy Tan)

Below is my message sent to National Parks Board (NParks) on 9 December 2022:

Dear Sir/Madam,

I would like to propose to NParks and other relevant agencies to conserve and restore Jurong river mangroves and designate Pandan river mangroves as a nature park or wetland reserve.

The purpose is to complement the roles of the current nature reserves, such as Sungei Buloh wetland reserve, and other nature parks, to strengthen Singapore’s climate, ecological and social resilience, in view of the current climate emergency.

Location of Jurong river (which flows through Jurong Lake Gardens) and Pandan river (which flows past Dover-Ulu Pandan forest towards the sea) in southwest Singapore. A visitor centre for the proposed Sungei Pandan wetlands reserve could be built next to Pandan river tidal gates, not far from the upcoming Pandan Reservoir MRT station. An ecological corridor could be designated to link both proposed conservation sites. (Base map: Google Maps)

1. As noted by Nature Society (Singapore) in their post dated 13 September 2022, Jurong river and Pandan river are among the 3 remaining mangrove patches in the southern sector of mainland Singapore (the third one is Berlayer Creek).

They have identified a green area in the vicinity that is contiguous with the Old Jurong Line and a corridor for wetland bird species from the Southern Islands, thus giving us the opportunity to preserve both our natural and historical heritages.

2. Although parts of the banks along Jurong river and Pandan river have been concretised or reinforced due to industrialisation since the 1960s-1970s, some mangroves (and back forest vegetation) and mudflats remain, as also noted by MND minister Desmond Lee in the aforementioned post.

These mangrove habitats support a diversity of flora and fauna, including endangered Nipah palms, smooth-coated otters, horseshoe crabs and threatened giant mudskippers, as well as resident and migratory shore birds, many of which were spotted by my hiking buddies and me during our recces and environmental clean-up sessions.

Smooth-coated otters swimming along Jurong river mangrove mudflats on 8 September 2021

A crocodile was also spotted in the West Coast area yesterday (8 December 2022), which I believe testifies to a gradually recovering ecosystem, in spite of the environmental impacts of industrialisation and land reclamation in recent decades.

Hence, restoring Jurong river mangrove mudflats and protecting Pandan mangrove wetlands can ensure that these native flora and fauna can continue to survive, and in turn help the mangrove ecosystem to become more established through the interconnected web of species interactions (including seed dispersal, pollination, prey-predator relationships, etc).

3. By having a bigger and healthier mangrove ecosystem, Singapore can benefit from greater carbon sequestration (since mangroves can sequester more carbon than tropical rainforests) and protection of the coasts from rising sea levels and resultant floods.

For example, as recent as 17 April 2021, Ulu Pandan river canal experienced flash floods as a result of the intense rain and high tide.

Earlier today (9 December 2022), I noticed that Pandan river was almost full capacity near the tidal gates around 1 pm plus during high tide – see link for pictures.

Given that Singapore may experience rising sea level up to 1 metre by the year 2100, having more mangroves along the coast can help stabilise the mudflats, build higher ground and mitigate floods to some extent, which can help reduce the socio-economic costs of flood damage, since we cannot solely rely on engineering solutions due to high costs, resource-intensiveness, reliance on global supply chains, and other factors.

4. Economically speaking, Singapore can benefit from the restoration of mangroves in Jurong river and Pandan river in terms of not only flood prevention but also ecotourism. For example, with the expected completion of Pandan Reservoir MRT station by 2027, both rivers will be much more accessible to visitors and tourists. 

The (UNEP) report outlines that every $US1 invested in restoration creates up to $US30 in economic benefits. “Restoring our ecosystems will help avoid 60 per cent of expected biodiversity extinctions,” Atallah says. “It will also help absorb carbon and crucially, help us adapt the effects of the climate crisis.”

Why nature holds the key to meeting climate goals” (UNEP, 15 November 2022)

I believe that a new Sungei Pandan wetland reserve can help draw more international tourists to visit Singapore, given that mangroves are unique to only certain tropical coastal areas. It can also help ease visitorship in Sungei Buloh wetland reserve, as too many human visitors may cause stress to the wildlife there (just as too many visitors in the central nature reserves may also be detrimental to the sensitive wildlife, hence the need for buffer nature parks outside the nature reserves).

Some wildlife sightings in/around Pandan river mangroves in May 2022 (Photos by Jimmy Tan)

Having the new Sungei Pandan wetland reserve can also facilitate school and public education and foster scientific research on mangrove habitats and their manifold benefits.

5. Last but not least, residents and people working in the highly built-up industrial estate around Jurong river and Pandan river can benefit from having access to cleaner air, cooler environment and more dense greenery in the neighbourhood, which is good for both physical and mental health. 

This in turn will help them save costs of electricity bills (from using air conditioning) and costs of medical bills (from falling sick due to stress, heat injuries caused by heat waves or rising urban heat island effect, and so on).

Protecting and restoring the mangrove forest in Pandan river will bolster its role as a water catchment for Pandan reservoir and as a nature-based solution to rising sea levels and urban heat island effect. (Photo by Jimmy Tan; base map from NParks)

I understand that Singapore is considered land scarce, and I believe the above proposal does not involve having to sacrifice much land zoned for other purposes, since the mangroves in Jurong river and Pandan river already exist, and the main work to be done is to first protect them as nature areas, so that we can focus on making these environments more habitable and conducive for both humans and non-human residents (and more pleasant and attractive for visitors as well).

Going further, we can redevelop old industrial sites in this part of Singapore, since many of the single-storey or low-rise industrial buildings built in the 1960s and 1970s are old and possibly run-down or underutilised, so that we can rebuild taller and more integrated modern industrial buildings in order to optimise land space fully.

The island-state’s sixth national report to the UN Convention on Biological Diversity, submitted in 2020, said: “Due to the limited land area in Singapore, our natural areas tend to be small and isolated.” But to maintain the biodiversity of these areas, it is important to connect the green spaces, restore habitats and implement species recovery projects, among other efforts, the document added.

Protecting 30% of planet’s forests and habitats can save 1,000 wildlife species: Study” (The Straits Times, 5 December 2022)

Thank you for your attention, and I look forward to your favourable response.

Yours sincerely,
Jimmy Tan San Tek

“Counter-imagining the Dystopia” Photo Exhibit

My first forest experience was in MacRitchie forest during secondary school, which organised a cross-country run event every year.

Since the forest is part of the central catchment nature reserve, it is in no danger of being cleared.

Since then, I had taken forests in Singapore for granted.

It wasn’t until 2016 when I saw firsthand how one secondary rainforest after another was razed to the ground by bulldozers.

First was Bidadari forest, followed by Lentor forest, and then Tengah forest.

Then came news reports of roadkills and human-wildlife conflicts, mainly due to deforestation in Mandai, Punggol and Pasir Ris.

Finally, revelations of development plans in Bukit Batok hillside park area, Clementi forest and Dover forest in 2020 were the last straw that compelled many concerned citizens to advocate the conservation of our remaining forests.

Lately, as I revisited MacRitchie forest, I realised how fortunate it has escaped the axe, after having been regenerating from human disturbances 150-200 years ago.

As I survey the lush greenery, I hope that the photographs of this forest will inspire action to be taken to conserve and restore the forests outside of the nature reserves for climate resilience, biodiversity protection and public health management.

The OML photo exhibition hopes to bring together leaders who provide active resistance that challenge our social, cultural, economic, environmental, and imagination crises and open thresholds to foresee the shape of what can become possible.

One challenge of advocating nature conservation and environmental sustainability is not to fall into the doom-and-gloom fatalism (which I occasionally find myself meandering into).

Hence the need for “counter-imagining the dystopia”, which is the theme of this OML (One Million Leaders) Photo Exhibit, organised by NELIS Global.

The exhibit showcases visions of a more beautiful, compassionate, regenerative future that already exist.

After all, we live in a world where contradictions and paradoxes exist, as I have come to realise.

Whether we are for nature conservation or economic development, we find ourselves inextricably enmeshed between the two spheres.

For example, since we live in a monetary-based society, nature conservation advocacy work requires funding to be successful.

Similarly, no business can remain sustainable without relying on the regenerative nature of the natural environment.

Perhaps it is a matter of where the resources are channeled to.

For example, are they used to protect the environment, biodiversity and thereby our physical and mental well-being?

Are they also used to promote nature awareness?

On this note, I am glad to have my three photos – together with other amazing photos by other photographers – contributing to the success of the OML Photo Exhibit in Tokyo, Japan, which I learnt “was very well received”.

The online gallery is found here.

Their video, heartfully received by NELIS’s audience on the 5th of November, is helpful for their ongoing Web Expo awareness campaign this month.

Feel free to watch and share the link.

If you feel inclined to help support this Web Expo movement, may I invite you to share the post and/or purchase any of the photos in the online gallery?

By doing so, you will be supporting the OML Programs running worldwide (OMLA -Africa-; OMLATAM -Latinamerica-; OMLAS -Asia-; OML-MENA -the Middle East & North Africa-).

You will also be supporting the local doers, dreamers, and their communities or initiatives working towards “one world in harmony”.

P.S. For the purchase of each photo, 50% of the funds goes to NELIS/OML and 50% to the photographer.

Dover Forest East walk, 22 October 2022

Thanks to environmental educator Tan Hang Chong for briefing us on the natural and cultural heritage of Dover Forest, to Andrew Tay for co-leading the hike, and to everyone for being part of the nature appreciation experience.

Though Dover Forest is a regenerating secondary forest with a history of rural settlements and agricultural practices, it is also part of the former Pandan forest reserve and – going further back in time – the original primary rainforests.

Hence, the forest retains the rugged appearance of wild nature, with naturalised streams and forest-dependent wildlife such as lineated barbets, hill mynahs and raptors, which aren’t found in the usual parks and gardens.

I realised the sounds are made by a hill mynah. Incidentally, hill mynahs are one of the key indicator species, according to NParks’ Ecological Profiling Exercise. Hence, by right, Dover Forest East ought to be recognised as an important ecological corridor, instead of being dismissed for supposedly “having less biodiversity than Dover Forest West”.

We felt the coolness of the forest interior amidst the densely growing trees and their evapotranspiration effect.

We breathed in the immune-boosting phytoncides released by the lush evergreen natural vegetation, which provides an immersive forest therapy experience.

Some of the iconic trees in Dover Forest East

We enjoyed the spontaneous discoveries of rare or unusual flora and fauna, which cannot be replicated in manicured parks and gardens where cultivated plants look orderly and predictable.

Critters of Dover Forest East

We appreciated the usefulness of the deep loamy soil and plant roots that absorb rainwater and help prevent floods and landslides along Ulu Pandan river, even as we are experiencing more inclement weather brought about by human-induced climate change.

All in all, it is a memorable experience with invaluable lessons from Mother Nature, who is sovereign over us all, despite the self-proclaimed sovereignty of an island-state that endeavours to be a City in Nature.

Inter-University Environmental Conference (IUEC) 2022 – Conversations for change beyond SGP2030 (Perspectives on Energy Reset & City in Nature)

On 9 October 2022 (Sunday), I attended the afternoon session of Day 2 of the Inter-University Environmental Conference 2022. It is the largest youth-led sustainability conference in Singapore, jointly organised by students from the 8 major universities of Singapore.

The 2-day conference features 5 panel dialogues with representatives from 5 ministries, academics, and youth leaders to advance conversations about SG Green Plan 2030. (Picture credit: IUEC2022 Partnerships Team)

The conference facilitates focus group discussions, open debates and exhibitions with government representatives, youth leaders from our favourite organisations, and fellow participants.

The Conference Partnerships Team has kindly provided their bite-size booklet on all we need to know about the SG Green Plan.

During the Energy Reset dialogue, over 40 questions were asked by members of the audience for the panel speakers to answer.

The questions asked at the Energy Reset dialogue include the following:

How will Singapore decarbonize the economy that’s so reliant on $ from fossil fuels while we’re shifting away from using them ourselves?

how can singapore take accountability for the emissions it facilitates but isnt directly responsible for (e.g. refineries, airport)?

Nuclear power has become exponentially more safe and, in the near future, can become more compact. Does/should it have a future in Singapore?

Cross Island Line will be built under Central Water Catchment? Thoughts?

Singapore is considering nuclear energy. Do you think the market will consider nuclear energy as an alternative to fossil fuels (which are cheaper)?

is there any way we can pursue electrification without increasing demand for extractive, harmful mining practices around cobalt, lithium etc?

Is there room for nuclear power in singapore?

Has Singapore figure a solution for recycling solar panels that are implemented in the solarnova project

Why is nuclear fusion not currently used in the electrical energy generation industry ?

With Singapore’s current reputation as a massive oil hub, how can we become a profitable renewable energy hub with quick reduction on fossil fuel dependence?

How is the research and development for fusion reactors in Singapore?

it seems like energy reset will cause a significant impact on marine life, is there a way to go about energy reset without impacting biodiversity?

Are there solid plans for Singapore to de-emphasize car-based transport infrastructurally?

What needs to be done to mine lesser minerals to prevent exploitaton of Least Developed Countries by Developed Countries to achieve their climate goals?

Are there enough actions to incorporate solar into our electricity mix (XT’s not-pofma slide showed 3%), and what more can we do?

Electric bus fares are rising with other public transports. How can we encourage less carbon when fewer people are willing and able to pay for public transport?

German policy of $9 a month for trains feasible for SG?

Will hydropower be used in Singapore?

If dont import energy then get from where hah

Apart from taking public transport, how can individuals make a difference?

Is there any other alternative to making electric batteries? Since it does have negative impacts on the environment too (ocean pollution)

What are some of the strategies for demand reduction of energy?

How is SG handling the waste generated from the lithium batteries of EVs?

Why dont we dig up landfills to extract materials

Should reduction of energy (on industrial levels especially) have a bigger role in this conversation?

Is SG’s efforts to make the air-con more efficient? Eg, the bldg is so cold today & temp can be adjusted so that less energy is used & everyone feels comfotable

How can the government push for industries to reduce their energy use since they contribute the most? (edited)

Do you think investing in asteroid mining for resources would be a good alternative to mining for resources?

Seems like usage of energy is also a matter of choosing the less evil. In your opinion, what is that ‘less evil’ we can pursue more aggressively?

What are some ways the public transportation sector can increase efficiency and lower emissions in SG?

Does reducing our energy demands mean that progress as a whole country will be stunted for a bit given that there will be a transition phase which takes time

Technology is used to improve energy efficiency, but technologies are also the culprit of carbon emissions e.g. Data Centre, how do we strike a balance?

how do we change social paradigms that value and encourage private car ownership?

How will we prioritise forest conservation since extracting minerals for making electric vehicles etc via mining has environmental and human rights concerns?

are there any corporate governing bodies that could set net zero targets for shipping or energy usage?

Another environmental impact of EVS is the battery recycling. Does Singapore have a plan for that?

What can MOT do to encourage cycling as a mode of transport, like in some European countries?

What Singapore have done in energy reset? what can the youth do to make It better way for Singapore

What about tidal energy?

There are studies being conducted for the cross island line, on how it would affect the nature there, and it seems like it wouldn’t as it would be built deeper

Up next is a series of talks by panel speakers, Dr Shawn Lum, Mr Syazwan Majid and Mr Tan Kiat How, who offered various perspectives about Singapore as a City in Nature.

“City in Nature – The Orang Pulau Perspective” shared by indigenous islander Mr Syazwan Majid, Wan’s Ubin Journal

For example, we learnt that Singapore is more than just an island nation, for we are a nation of islands.

We also learnt about the plan by the Ministry of National Development (MND) for transforming Singapore into a City in Nature, with the help of community stewardship.

During the open debates at the foyer, the participants wrote their answers to pertinent questions about nuclear energy, forest conservation, and so on.

One of the questions at the open debates is:

“Should Singapore immediately halt all clearing of forests and large expanses of land (eg Dover forest/western catchment)?”

I wrote one of my answers as follows:

“Quality of green spaces matters, in terms of ecosystem services, biodiversity, ecological connectivity, etc (not just quantity), so forest conservation must be done in tandem with the one million tree planting programme.”

During the City in Nature dialogue, over 50 questions were asked by members of the audience for the panel speakers to answer. These questions include:

what are the various panelists’ opinions on otters and what actions should we take in response to the increasing prevalence of otters related interactions?

The key targets of the SG green plan mostly focuses on green spaces. Will there be more commitment to protect our blue spaces as well?

How do you negotiate between building new green spaces (e.g. the parks you mentioned) and keeping existing spaces (e.g. Dover Forest)?

How can cultural preservation work hand-in-hand with the city in nature movement?

Biophillia is great but what about making this functional i.e. biodiversity value of the space, ecosystem service valuation?

Do you think culture can be a double edged sword, and we should denounce certain activities we deem unsustainable, or should we trust it throughout ?

Hello! Do you think that planting multi-tier roadside verges will increase the chances of roadkill/wildlife-vehicle collisions?

what are consequences of focusing too much on tangible benefits of nature and ecosystem services? good for humans =/= good for wildlife

Is there space for indigenous people in Singapore?

Why don’t we talk about indigenous practises more in mainstream narratives of sustainability and living harmoniously with nature

How is “nature” being defined in City of Nature?

What can urban designers/ planners learn from indigenous ecological knowledge?

Are strips of park connectors, high-rise bound urban parks, and limited ecological complexity suffice in the greater plan of ecological connectivity?

What’s the definition of a park? Some “parks” are just one tree one bench one path

Is de-urbanization possible? Why look for nature based solutions instead of stopping the problem…

how can we bring singaporean to be more appreciate /self awareness more nature around us.

I work with architects, when they plan for nature areas, they ask ‘why care about the animals? They add no value to people’? How will we change this mindset?

What is your definition of nature? (edited)

will history/social studies in school change to teach young sgeans abt our indigenous roots?

Many of the forested areas are cleared for developmental purposes(e.g. punggol for housing) How can these tree cover be brought back in the now developed areas?

what plans are there for older buildings to integrate into nature (not just new-build ones to have green walls)?

Is there more or less native species in Singapore over the years?

Why not instead of greenery only, we can include farms ?

There is a concern for animals being extinct in the near future due to climate change and it’s effects. What work can we do to prevent this from happening?

Are we going to continue exterminating bees when green corridors attracting more bees to build hives closer to residents. Bee are Keystone species to ecosystem.

Otter populations will self regulate, pls otter-proof your house if you want to keep koi or other fishes

This building is an example of so much Aircon. Are we making any progress in this regard?

How can we encourage biophilia and expand parks while developing and our remaining secondary forests? How can we negotiate this tension?

Can we relocate beehive instead of exterminate by releasing toxic chemicals? How can we manage wild bees in a more sustainable way?

Will we consider reduced or negative economic growth to reduce the land use pressures?

Is there a possibility of mandating private developers and HDB to educate potential buyers of possible wildlife conflict in the area?

Are there any plans for food forests?

beyond gardens and parks, what interactions w nature will singaporeans have in the future?

How big of a priority do you think it is to maintain local biodiversity in its development journey? Considering land use for energy, defence, industrial etc

Some spaces are slated for development in a long time, but these secondary forests become homes for many wildlife. How do we mitigate the loss of these wildlife

Is there any available effort for sustainable fishing and harvesting practices?

Why do we need to exterminate bees when we can humanely rehoming them? They are important to our ecosystem?

Can we focus on conserving forests instead of just planting trees, as research shows 10 ha of forests can cool over 300 m, while rooftop gardens only up to 4 m?

How do you prepare people to live in our city in nature, including certain lifestyle adjustments they may have to make.

Does Singapore can achieve 100% greenery country in earth?

Can more people be taken through green spaces and nature on their commute to work or school? For example, MRT lines or shuttle routes going through them, quietly

what can sg’s current aquaculture R&D efforts learn from orang laut/other indigenous fishing practices?

Why is the EMMP tossed out the window when the development phase reaches landscapers and architects?

Other than ecosystem services, can we shift to value the biodiversity in a less-human centric manner?

As we become a city in nature, there will be many more encounters with wildlife. How can we manage potential human wildlife conflicts? (edited)

Why we cannot stick to nature rather than investing new technologies? By reducing, we can rather not use the technologies like before.

Would you consider more co-living typologies to reduce the need to develop land for residential buildings?

Is there any recent examples of Singapore heritage construction techniques embedded in modern real estate projects?

how do Singapore implement more VIA project or activities to spreading awareness of importance of city in nature

But bringng about green takes a lot of time. Eg, to grow trees. Is there anything that can be done?

By 2023 will there be more planting over the HDB flats? What can we expect by 2023 for City of Nature?

how to Singapore bring closer to children to let them know what’s is the important of greenery country.

With more natural green spaces, can there be more danger posed to people passing through, especially at night?

Can we conserve 50% of Tengah forest as it connects western and central catchment areas & has critically endangered species like pangolins, so to avoid ecocide?

How may we discern between real housing “needs” (eg long term homes) and superficial housing “wants” (eg selling BTO upon meeting 5-year MOP for quick profits)?

Kudos to the youths for organising and participating in this landmark environmental conference. May it inspire many positive changes to be made for our environment, flora and fauna, and ultimately our well-being.