Singaporeans will welcome the Housing Board's announcement that it has revised plans for the 33ha Dover Forest, with public housing expected to be launched in the eastern half next year while the western half is to be left to preserve its biodiversity. The young secondary forest plot in western Singapore had been zoned for residential use since 2003, but plans were tweaked after scientific studies and nature enthusiasts flagged its conservation value. Conservation experts and Dover residents themselves have hailed the HDB's decision as a gain for nature and citizens, both in the present and in the future. The HDB's move reveals how the twin demands of economic development and ecological sustainability do not have to be a zero-sum game, but can be about how different demands should and can be reconciled through consultation and with enlightened public policy.
Also of particular interest is the identification by the National Parks Board of an "animal corridor" - a series of linked green patches between the Bukit Timah Nature Reserve and Southern Ridges that wildlife can travel through. Called the Clementi Nature Corridor, it will pass through a nature park that will be carved out from the western half of the Dover Forest site. According to the authorities, the corridor would provide urban planners with an overview of how wildlife connectivity in the area could be maintained, even if developments take place in the area later.
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