SINGAPORE - A conscious effort is being made to minimise the environmental impact of the building of the new Mandai precinct and one of the key changes stemming from this is the re-siting of the new Bird Park from the north to land in the south that has less mature vegetation.
Also, the new Rainforest Park, which will include aerial walkways and treetop canopies, will be built in the northern area which has mature trees that can be integrated into the park, said Mandai Park Holdings (MPH). The park was originally slated to be built in the southern area of Mandai Lake Road, which is now the new location for the Bird Park.
Arrival plazas will be decentralised across two locations as this would help to spread out visitors and divert them away from sensitive areas near the nature reserves, said MPH.
MPH released on Tuesday (July 26) the results of an environmental impact assessment (EIA) that was done for the development of the future eco-tourism hub in Mandai.
The nearly 400-page report on the 64ha land was compiled by international consultancy firm Environmental Resources Management with input from local academics and stakeholders. It concluded that the majority of environmental impact associated with the development could be reduced to "small or below".
"We want sustainability and conservation to be at the heart of the Mandai project," said MPH group chief executive Mike Barclay.
"As we are committed to being a responsible steward for nature, we made a conscious effort to conduct the EIA at the concept stage of the project to allow key mitigation measures to be built into the design of the new Mandai precinct."
"We will continue to actively involve and engage the stakeholders to thoughtfully design the new parks, not just to minimise the impact but also to enhance the biodiversity on site," said Ms Neo Gim Huay, managing director of enterprise development and sustainability at Temasek International, which is overseeing the development.
MPH added that during construction and operation of the parks, there would be a Wildlife Protection Plan and Forest Restoration Plan to reduce impact to species and habitats.
Further assessment will also be carried out as the project progresses to ensure that mitigation measures remain relevant.
An Environmental Advisory Panel, comprising external experts, will be set up to monitor the implementation of the measures and advise on any necessary modification to the project.
Ms Neo said: "We would like the rejuvenated Mandai nature precinct to be a destination for all Singaporeans as well as to set a gold standard for environmental sustainability."
Members of the public can view the full report at www.mandai.com/eia and provide feedback from now until Aug 22.