Unesco decision on Botanic Gardens World Heritage status expected this week

The iconic Tembusu tree at the Singapore Botanic Gardens.
The iconic Tembusu tree at the Singapore Botanic Gardens. ST PHOTO: KUA CHEE SIONG

SINGAPORE - The wait could soon be over for a decision on whether the Botanic Gardens should be inscribed as a World Heritage Site.

Minister for Culture, Community and Youth Lawrence Wong will attend the 39th session of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (Unesco) World Heritage Committee meeting in Bonn, Germany, between Friday and Sunday this week, with a result expected to be announced in that time.

Mr Wong, who also chairs the Singapore National Commission for Unesco, will be accompanied by officials from the Ministry of Culture, Community and Youth (MCCY), Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the National Heritage Board, and the National Parks Board.

The Unesco World Heritage committee meets every year to discuss and decide on issues relating to the world's cultural and natural heritage.


It will also decide on the inscription of new World Heritage Sites and their management.

Angkor Wat in Cambodia and London's Royal Botanic Gardens are among sited to have been inscribed.

The Botanic Gardens' will be discussed and decided over the next few days by a 21-member committee, the MCCY said on Thursday.

It added: "The bid signals Singapore's commitment to the conservation of a Gardens that Singaporeans and visitors have a fondness for, and can continue to enjoy in years to come."

The 155-year-old Botanic Gardens was nominated in 2012 for Unesco status and official documents for the bid were submitted last year. It showcases more than 10,000 types of plants and draws more than four million visitors annually.