Keppel pledges $3m to plant 10,000 trees in S'pore to help meet 1 million target by 2030

Minister for National Development Desmond Lee (left) hailed Keppel's commitment as "instrumental" in transforming Singapore. PHOTO: NATIONAL PARKS BOARD

SINGAPORE - Keppel Corporation has pledged $3 million to plant 10,000 trees here over five years, in support of the nationwide effort to grow one million trees by 2030.

On Monday (May 3), Keppel contributed 50 trees to Labrador Nature Reserve as part of its plan to add about 5,000 trees to the 22ha area.

Among them is the critically endangered tapu tree species (Melochia umbellata), which was not known to grow in Singapore until it was discovered along a canal of Sungei Jurong in 2018.

Minister for National Development Desmond Lee hailed Keppel's commitment as "instrumental" in transforming Singapore into a City in Nature and mitigating the effects of climate change and urbanisation.

Along with volunteers and representatives from Keppel and the National Parks Board (NParks), Mr Lee, who is also Minister-in-charge of Social Services Integration, planted coastal forest trees that included critically endangered or vulnerable ones such as the sea teak (Podocarpus polystachyus) and small-leaved nutmeg (Knema globularia).

The flora joins the rich diversity of plants that dot different habitats in the nature reserve, which contains mainland Singapore's only remaining natural rocky shore. They include a local critically endangered fern called the broad-leaf fern (Dipteris conjugata) found only at Labrador Nature Reserve and the Western Catchment area.

The 5,000 coastal trees will help support the rich biodiversity of Labrador Nature Reserve, which is home to over 100 species of birds and 40 butterflies, NParks and Keppel said in a joint statement on Monday.

They will also strengthen the ecological connectivity to other green spaces such as the mangroves at Berlayer Creek and the forests of the Southern Ridges.

Keppel Care Foundation chairman Lee Boon Yang said: "In addition to being part of a nature-based solution to combat climate change and reduce the ambient heat of urban areas, the 10,000 trees (over the next five years) will enhance biodiversity and further beautify our city."

Professor Leo Tan, chairman of NParks' Garden City Fund, said: "We hope that other companies and individuals would similarly be encouraged to play an active role in restoring and conserving our natural heritage, thus helping to transform Singapore into a City in Nature."

Apart from Keppel, other companies such as Deloitte, Rhodium Resources, OCBC Bank and Chanel have also pledged to plant trees.

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