Nature conservation, progress must go hand in hand

The Singapore Government has long been reputed to be pragmatic in policymaking.

However, recent policies reflect a greater emphasis on nature conservation.

Two green plots will be set aside in a 30ha secondary forest in Lentor that will make way for housing ("Two plots to be kept in forest marked for clearing"; June 7), and corals affected by port development in Tuas will be relocated ("Wave of change in marine conservation"; June 6).

The importance of nature conservation should not be undermined.

Natural habitats are places where Singaporeans can recharge, away from the hustle and bustle of city life.

Nature reserves also have high educational value for students interested in botany and environmental studies.

Many Singaporeans are unwilling to allow nature conservation to slow down urban development.

They should recognise that, to achieve high living standards, we must not completely forsake our natural assets.

A balance needs to be struck between conservation and progress. Nature conservation should go hand in hand with urban development projects.

With greater emphasis on nature conservation, Singapore will, in time to come, be known as an island where nature co-exists with urban infrastructure.

Ng Zhi Qing (Miss)