SINGAPORE - While the Government will take measures to protect the Singapore Botanic Gardens, all Singaporeans will have a part to play in maintaining the new Unesco World Heritage Site.
Minister for Culture, Community and Youth Lawrence Wong told Parliament on Monday that the gardens ultimately belong to all Singaporeans an it is their shared responsibility to upkeep it and pass on its legacy to future generations.
He added that Singaporeans can visit the Gardens often with family and friends, and cherish it as a place of historical significance and fond personal memories.
"We have a collective responsibility to keep the Gardens clean and well-preserved," he said, in response to a question from Mr Baey Yam Keng (Tampines GRC).
Mr Wong said that a World Heritage Site management committee that includes residents, experts and volunteers has been formed, and will discuss any future developments within the boundaries of the Gardens.
The National Parks Board also has a comprehensive volunteer scheme covering a wide range of areas, such as gardening, conducting guided tours and assisting in the curation and documentation of herbarium specimens.
On the part of the Government, he said the Urban Redevelopment Authority has a comprehensive land use planning framework to ensure that new developments near the Gardens are compatible with it.
For example, all new developments within a one-kilometre radius of the Bandstand cannot be tall enough to be visible from the Bandstand.
Second, to protect the more vulnerable heritage trees, any future developments will be carefully designed and located so that visitors are spread more evenly across the Gardens.
Third, the Government will continue to seek advice from Unesco experts to ensure the site is well protected.