Make judicious use of Singapore's green lung

The decision to expand Outward Bound Singapore (OBS) to Coney Island has been the subject of some discussion recently ("$250m Outward Bound campus for Coney Island"; March 25).

I particularly agree with Dr Aishworiya Ramkumar's assertion that the untouched rustic charm of the island will be potentially disturbed if man-made developments are allowed to proliferate there ("Keep Outward Bound Singapore campus out of Coney Island"; March 29).

While the Government is to be commended for expanding OBS' facilities to enable some 45,000 young people yearly to benefit from much-needed outdoor adventure exposure, the long-term eco-health of the island as a whole would invariably be affected ("OBS set to be rugged new melting pot"; last Thursday).

Potential development for housing and other needs will most certainly destroy the ecological appeal of the nature park and cause a decline in wildlife.

It cannot be envisaged that the island will maintain its purity and idyllic appeal.

Conservation of such habitats is of vital ecological significance.

The National Parks Board has acknowledged the rustic nature of the island and is keen to keep the park "as basic as possible" ("Safeguard rustic appeal of Coney Island Nature Park"; Jan 13).

Admittedly, the demands of modern times will present dynamic challenges and unpalatable choices for the preservation and conservation of nature.

But do we have to surrender Mother Nature to the machinations of man?

Let us support the process of adaptation. Perhaps the authorities could also ensure a more collaborative and consultative approach in future plans that impact our dwindling green environment.

V. Subramaniam (Dr)

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on April 07, 2016, with the headline 'Make judicious use of Singapore's green lung'. Print Edition | Subscribe