Botanic Gardens puts World Heritage on show

The Singapore Botanic Gardens has launched a new exhibition called Exploring Our World's Heritage. It comes in the wake of its induction as a Unesco World Heritage Site last July.

Visitors will get to learn more about the Unesco World Heritage Convention and the outstanding universal values a site must illustrate to qualify for listing.

This includes being an ex- ample of traditional human settlement, being an outstanding example of ongoing ecological or biological processes, or having exceptional beauty.

The Botanic Gardens met two - having a historical landscape, and playing a role in the interchange of human values.

The next section zooms in on the diverse heritage sites within South-east Asia itself. They include the Baroque churches of the Philippines, Thailand's Ban Chiang archaeological site - a prehistoric human settlement - Vietnam's Ha Long Bay seascape of about 1,600 limestone islands and outcrops, and Malaysia's Melaka and George Town.

The free exhibition is parked at the CDL Green Gallery on Holttum Lawn. It starts today and runs till Nov 20.

The Gardens' director Nigel Taylor had laid out plans for the exhibition early on. He said: "Now that we're part of the club we can talk about it, you see."

The Gardens' senior deputy director of operations Koh Poo Kiong said the aim of the showcase is to educate visitors on what a Unesco World Heritage Site title means for the Gardens, as well as to encourage them to explore other heritage sites during their travels.

Students can fill in activity sheets as they walk through the space, he said, adding that it could be particularly useful for Primary 6 pupils as their Social Studies curriculum features a section on the Unesco accolade.

He said: "It is certainly worth coming to look at it with your family and friends to learn more about the gems here and in our region, and get inspired to visit the other global heritage sites."

Poet Edwin Thumboo has penned a poem for the Gardens, which will be on show at the exhibition.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on March 12, 2016, with the headline 'Botanic Gardens puts World Heritage on show'. Print Edition | Subscribe