SINGAPORE - A new heritage trail on Singapore's maritime history will be launched later this month, said Senior Minister of State for Transport Janil Puthucheary on Wednesday (March 13).
He announced this at the inaugural World Congress on Maritime Heritage, which runs until Friday (March 15) at Resorts World Sentosa's Equarius Hotel.
Dr Janil noted that the congress - organised by the Consortium for International Maritime Heritage - coincides with Singapore's bicentennial year even though Singapore's "long and rich maritime heritage" predates 1819 to as early as the 14th century.
The new Singapore Maritime Trail will 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", will be launched on March 29. It will 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. Destinations for the newest trail are not yet available.
Dr Janil on Wednesday also spoke about the shift to sustainable shipping as well as the efforts to preserve marine biodiversity even as Singapore pushes ahead with further developing its status as a shipping hub.
"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 (IMO) aims 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 in 2017 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."