Third maritime heritage trail to be launched on March 29

Senior Minister of State for Transport Janil Puthucheary speaking at the first World Congress on Maritime Heritage, held at Resorts World Sentosa's Equarius Hotel, yesterday.
Senior Minister of State for Transport Janil Puthucheary speaking at the first World Congress on Maritime Heritage, held at Resorts World Sentosa's Equarius Hotel, yesterday.PHOTO: RESORTS WORLD SENTOSA

A new heritage trail on Singapore's maritime history will be launched later this month, said Senior Minister of State for Transport Janil Puthucheary yesterday.

He was at the opening of the inaugural World Congress on Maritime Heritage, which runs till tomorrow at Resorts World Sentosa's Equarius Hotel.

The congress, organised by the Consortium for International Maritime Heritage, coincides with Singapore's bicentennial year, but Dr Janil noted that Singapore's "long and rich maritime heritage" predated 1819.

The new Singapore Maritime Trail would offer participants "a glimpse into maritime trade and activities in the past, and how these have shaped Singapore's culture, language and identity", he said.

The Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore (MPA) said the new trail, with the theme "Our Legacy", would be launched on March 29, and would be the third such trail since the MPA began its Singapore Maritime Trail initiative in 2014.

The other trails - all of which are free and occur once a month - take visitors to Clifford Pier, Keppel Harbour and the Singapore Maritime Gallery. The destinations for the newest trail are not yet available.

Dr Janil also spoke about the shift to sustainable shipping as well as efforts to preserve marine biodiversity even as Singapore pushed ahead with further developing its status as a shipping hub.

Around 170,000 people are employed in the maritime sector, which contributes around 7 per cent to Singapore's economy.

"As maritime trade continues to grow, we are witnessing a stronger emphasis on sustainable shipping, and the need for the international maritime community to do more," he said, noting that the International Maritime Organisation aimed to cut greenhouse gas emissions from shipping by half by 2050.

Singapore already has several sustainable shipping initiatives in place, Dr Janil said.

For example, it is one of 12 ports worldwide taking part in the liquefied natural gas (LNG) bunkering port focus group, set up two years ago, to develop a global network of LNG bunkering facilities to encourage the use of LNG for shipping.

Dr Janil also pointed to the fact that about 2,300 coral colonies were moved from the Sultan Shoal near Tuas - where Singapore's new mega port is expected to be ready by 2040 - to waters at St John's and Sisters' islands.

"Singapore remains committed to work with like-minded partners and states to forge a better and brighter future for all," he said. "We owe that to our future generations."

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on March 14, 2019, with the headline 'Third maritime heritage trail to be launched on March 29'. Print Edition | Subscribe