New S$2m facility on Pulau Ubin to educate public about the island

The Ubin Living Lab will provide groups with an outdoor classroom to learn about the island's history, nature and heritage, while supporting field researchers with scientific work.

Loke Kok Fai Channel NewsAsia 27 Feb 16;

SINGAPORE: A new 2.1-hectare facility for field studies, education, research and community outreach on Pulau Ubin opened on Saturday (Feb 27), providing groups with an outdoor classroom to learn about the island's history, nature and heritage, while supporting field researchers with scientific work.

Called the Ubin Living Lab, the S$2 million facility is located at the former Celestial Resort site on the southwestern tip of the island. At present, the site consists of two refurbished buildings to house laboratories, a gated outdoor campsite and a sheltered hall block.

Among the first groups to use the facility are students from ITE East and Republic Polytechnic, who will set up nesting boxes around the island for the Blue-throated Bee-eater and roosting boxes for bats.

It was first announced in November 2014 as one of the initiatives of the Ubin Project - a Government effort with the community aimed at protecting the island's natural environment, and preserving its rustic state. The idea was first mooted by members of the Friends of Ubin Network of volunteers, nature enthusiasts, education groups, island residents and other stakeholders.

Officiating the opening of the new lab was Senior Minister of State for National Development Desmond Lee, who described the lab as "an example of what the community and the Government can do together in partnership".

"With more of us using the Urban Living Lab and continually sharing suggestions and feedback, we will continue to enhance the programmes and facilities," said Mr Lee. "And when that happens, we can look forward to enhanced utilities and also pilot projects of sustainable technologies such as water treatment systems."

- CNA/kk

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