Land Use Plan: Worrying environmental impact

Straits Times Forum 2 Feb 13;

IN CONCERT with the release of the Population White Paper, the Government has unveiled its Land Use Plan on how land will be used in 2030 ("Plan to grow space for rising population"; yesterday).

Worryingly, this map shows major reclamation taking place in Pulau Tekong and Tuas, and possible changes to Pulau Ubin and the coastlines of Kranji, Mandai, Pasir Ris, Changi and Tanah Merah, as well as the Southern Islands of Pulau Hantu and Pulau Semakau.

Does this mean that valuable hot spots of native biodiversity such as Chek Jawa, and the mangroves and mudflats of the northern coastline (except for Sungei Buloh), as well as various small coral reefs and intertidal areas, would be lost forever?

Also, terrestrial nature areas such as Bukit Brown, which are home to rich native wildlife, are to become housing estates.

If we truly are to be a "City in a Garden", as the White Paper says, then we need to stop bulldozing the natural gardens that already exist in our backyard and replacing them with manicured parks.

Jonathan Tan Yong How

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