NParks announces Forest Restoration Action Plan for Labrador Nature Reserve
The Plan aims for the restoration of habitats to safeguard and enhance Labrador Nature Reserve in the long term.
On Sunday (Nov 7), the National Parks Board (NParks) announced the Forest Restoration Action Plan for Labrador Nature Reserve. This will build on earlier efforts to safeguard and enhance the nature reserve, and chart future restoration efforts up to 2030.
The plan was first announced in 2019, in an effort to strengthen the ecological and climate resilience of our native forests by restoring ecological processes, and enhancing the biodiversity and ecological connectivity in the areas.
Labrador Nature Reserve has been pinpointed as the closest nature reserve to the city centre and is characterised by two rare and unique habitats, a coastal hill forest and a rocky shore, which are one of the last few remaining patches in Singapore.
It is also home to an abundance of unique and endangered biodiversity such as the Bakau Pasir (Rhizophora stylosa), a locally vulnerable mangrove species.
As such, NParks has taken the necessary steps to improve the habitats at the Labrador Nature Reserve, such as by replanting suitable native species, including the critically endangered Broad-leaf Fern (Dipteris conjugata), on slopes of coastal hill forest and extending the edges of the 10ha coastal hill forest through the planting of native coastal plants.
To further strengthen the ecological and climate resilience of this core habitat, NParks will be restoring a coastal beach forest in the 2.5ha area between the coastal hill forest and the sea.
This will provide a significant physical and ecological buffer for the coastal hill forest, as well as increased sources of food and shelter for the fauna of Labrador Nature Reserve and its surrounding environment.
The other habitat which is rare and unique, is the last remaining natural rocky shore on mainland Singapore.
The rocky shore comprises coral rubble, sandy substrates and seagrass beds, with rich intertidal faunal diversity. NParks has conducted intertidal surveys of the rocky shore and the seagrasses in collaboration with partners in the nature community.
In conjunction with the forest restoration efforts, compatible recreational uses will be relocated from the core areas to the buffers. There will continue to be opportunities for passive nature recreation, such as educational walks along nature trails, as well as for other recreational activities, at areas further away from the core areas such as the entrance area.
With the new Forest Restoration Action Plan, it will ensure the continued health of the habitat.
Furthermore, Keppel Corporation has contributed $1 million for a new Keppel Coastal Trail that will weave through the beach forest, in addition to their earlier pledge of $3 million to plant 10,000 trees, about half of which will be at Labrador Nature Reserve. Design and development of the trail will commence in 2022.
50th Anniversary of Tree Planting Day
Sunday was also Tree Planting Day, an event kick-started by former Prime Minister Mr Lee Kuan Yew on Nov 7. It is now celebrated as part of Clean and Green Singapore every November.
To commemorate the 50th anniversary, 50 coastal trees comprising 25 native species were planted at Labrador Nature Reserve, including locally extinct species such as the Twin-Apple tree (Ochrosia oppositifolia), and the critically endangered Pink-eyed Pong Pong tree (Cerbera manghas).
The annual tradition reflects Singapore’s commitment to and support of our climate resilience efforts, the City in Nature vision and the Singapore Green Plan.
Minister for National Development and Minister-In-Charge of Social Services Integration Mr Desmond Lee said: “As a small city-state, we face intense land-use challenges, as we strive to balance the many needs of a country, within the limits of our city. And as our people’s aspirations grow and our society evolves, we will need land to provide even more housing, healthcare and other amenities
“Our ambition to be a City in Nature is our way of responding to these challenges, by finding more innovative ways to weave nature into the fabric of our city.”