SINGAPORE - A new five-year applied research partnership to focus on biodiversity and energy conservation promises to give a boost to Singapore's quest for sustainable tourism.
Launched on Wednesday (Jan 5), the applied research partnership will see Resorts World Sentosa (RWS) committing $10 million to the partnership with the National University of Singapore (NUS).
It aims to contribute towards the Singapore Green Plan 2030 and support Sentosa Development Corporation's plans to transform the island into a carbon-neutral destination by 2030, said RWS and NUS in a joint statement.
The partnership will also bring together NUS' expertise in engineering and marine sciences and RWS' position as a leisure and tourism destination that has sustainability as part of its business model, said NUS president, Professor Tan Eng Chye, who spoke at its launch event at the RWS Equarius Hotel Ballroom.
As part of RWS' expansion plan, the Singapore Oceanarium, which had its development first announced in 2019, is set to be three times bigger than the original S.E.A Aquarium.
It will include immersive and multi-sensory storytelling of the evolution of the oceans' inhabitants and unique representations of Singapore's coastal ecosystems, said Mr Tan Hee Teck, chief executive of RWS.
"The experiences it (Singapore Oceanarium) offers will inspire positive mindset change and drive call-to-action for the protection of our oceans and marine habitats," he added.
The oceanarium will also engage the community at large, delivering seminars and workshops from its explorers-in-residence and visiting scientists to establish itself as a centre of marine biodiversity education, conservation and research.
The RWS-NUS partnership will also carry out an initiative to identify marine species under threat, such as native crab species and marine plants, in and around Singapore, and implement rewilding programmes to restore the health of the species populations in Singapore's waters.
Minister of State for Trade and Industry Alvin Tan, who spoke at the launch event, said that the collaboration will provide opportunities for conservation, research and education in marine science, while reinforcing Singapore's appeal as a tourist destination.
He added that the partnership "contributes to sustainable development and preservation of our natural heritage, allowing future generations of Singapore families to continue to enjoy these special places".