AIA Singapore pledges $5 million to plant 16,666 trees over next five years

The AIA and National Parks Board tree planting event was led by Mr Desmond Lee (centre) at Rower's Bay at Lower Seletar Reservoir, on April 28, 2021. PHOTO: AIA SINGAPORE

SINGAPORE - Insurer AIA Singapore has pledged $5 million to plant 16,666 trees over the next five years in local parks and nature reserves, in support of the OneMillionTrees movement.

The movement is a National Parks Board (NParks) initiative that aims to plant more than a million trees across the island by 2030.

The $5 million contribution - the largest by an organisation - will go towards the Garden City Fund, a registered charity established by NParks to support projects such as tree planting.

The AIA pledge, made amid the firm's celebration of its 90th anniversary in Singapore, is part of a new green initiative involving a long-term commitment to a range of sustainability, health and social initiatives.

The anniversary itself was commemorated on Wednesday (April 28) morning, when 90 trees were planted at Rower's Bay at Lower Seletar Reservoir.

National Development Minister Desmond Lee said at the event that planting the trees will help intensify the greenery along park connectors, such as the 150km Round Island Route.

"It will provide lush green corridors that link communities, strengthen ecological connectivity between our green spaces, and enable park users to get closer to nature along these routes," he added.

He noted that more than 200,000 trees have been planted over the past year.

Wednesday's planting included critically endangered native species such as the penggu (Horsfieldia irya) and the powder-puff tree (Barringtonia racemosa) as well as the locally vulnerable marsh pulai (Alstonia spatulata).

These were selected as they can thrive in freshwater swamps, said NParks group director Adrian Loo.

Dr Loo added that the trees will help enhance the habitat for native wildlife in wetlands, such as the white-breasted waterhen (Amaurornis phoenicurus) and grey heron (Ardea cinerea).

AIA Singapore chief executive Wong Sze Keed said: "We're delighted to be taking proactive steps to advance the nation's Singapore Green Plan 2030, co-creating more naturalised green spaces and a more sustainable society for families to live healthier, longer, better lives together."

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