New mangroves to be planted at Sungei Buloh Wetland Reserve to enhance conservation

Minister Khaw Boon Wan touring the newly opened Mangrove Broadwalk at Sungei Buloh Nature Reserve.
Minister Khaw Boon Wan touring the newly opened Mangrove Broadwalk at Sungei Buloh Nature Reserve. ST PHOTO: YEO KAI WEN

SINGAPORE - A new arboretum - collection of trees - at Sungei Buloh Wetland Reserve will soon house about half of the world's true mangrove species to enhance its conservation.

To be planted over the next two years along a 500m stretch at the Sungei Buloh Wetland Reserve Coastal Trail, the arboretum will have 2,000 native mangrove trees across 35 true species, which grow only in intertidal environments. Currently, the wetland reserve has about 30 true mangrove species.

The project will enable Singapore to conserve species such as the globally critically endangered Eye of the Crocodile - which has only 200 mature trees in the world.

The local manufacturing facility of Japan-based soy sauce maker Kikkoman Corporation also on Monday announced a $500,000 sponsorship for the new mangrove arboretum. This is to mark Kikkoman Singapore's 30th anniversary.

Coordinating Minister for Infrastructure and Minister for Transport Khaw Boon Wan launched the opening of the arboretum on Monday by planting a locally endangered mangrove tree called the Dugun along with Mr Yuzaburo Mogi, honorary chief executive officer and chairman of the board of directors, Kikkoman, and Ambassador of Japan to Singapore Mr Haruhisa Takeuchi.

Planting work is already underway and about 80 students were also present at event to plant 200 mangrove trees.

Sungei Buloh Wetland Reserve is the largest mangrove forest in Singapore, and is home to almost half of true mangrove plant species in the world.

The reserve became Singapore's first Asean Heritage Park in 2003, and is recognised as a site of international importance for migratory birds.

kcarolyn@sph.com.sg