SINGAPORE: The National Parks Board (NParks) will plant 170,000 more trees in industrial estates over the next 10 years, nearly tripling the current tree population of 90,000, announced National Development Minister Desmond Lee on Monday (Oct 26).
These will come up to 260,000 trees by 2030, said NParks and JTC in a media release, adding that the trees will be planted in a “multi-tiered manner”.
The agencies said the aim is to cool these industrial areas, which are some of the hotter areas in Singapore, and improve air quality.
"At the same time, this will create a more attractive and conducive work environment by bringing the therapeutic effects of greenery closer to people's workplaces," they said.
According to Mr Lee, the trees will be planted along roads and will be made to resemble the "look and feel of natural forests".
“(It will be a) planting regime that’s more intensive, that greens up the place more, beautifies it but also seeks to replicate some of the forest structures that we see.
“They will also provide pedestrians with shade and respite from the heat,” said Mr Lee, who was speaking at a tree planting event on Jurong Island where he and other community partners planted a total of 100 trees.
This is part of the One Million Trees movement announced earlier this year, where NParks said it aims to plant one million trees in Singapore by 2030.
NParks had also announced that it planned to plant 100,000 trees in industrial estates - now upped to 170,000 trees.
MORE GREEN SPACES, ENVIRONMENTAL SENSORS
By 2030, there will be 100ha of new green spaces, like parks and roadside greenery, in Seletar Aerospace Park, Punggol Digital District, Sungei Kadut Eco-District and Jurong Innovation District.
This, along with “intensive tree planting” under the One Million Trees movement, will mitigate the Urban Heat Island effect, said NParks and JTC.
One example of a newly added green space is the 3.2ha Hampstead Wetlands Park at Seletar Aerospace Park, opened in April this year.
“Complemented by at least 10 hectares of roadside greenery, visitors are able to get closer to nature. The Wetlands Park has proven to be popular with visitors including residents from other parts of Singapore,” said NParks and JTC.
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NParks and JTC will continue to add green spaces, including at least 56ha of parks, park connectors, roadside greenery and Nature Ways - routes with specific plants to facilitate the movement of birds and butterflies - in Sungei Kadut Eco-District by 2030.
They will link the Sungei Kadut Eco-District to nearby green spaces, like those within the Sungei Buloh Nature Park Network and the Rail Corridor.
Meanwhile, NParks will deploy a network of environmental sensors in the Jurong area, including Jurong Industrial Estate and Jurong Island, to collect data on ambient temperature, relative humidity and wind speed.
“The data that will be collected through these sensors will support ongoing research projects, and help us to develop better greening strategies to cool our city,” said Mr Lee.
The tender for the environmental sensors will be called by the end of 2020.
GREENING JURONG ISLAND
Some of the 170,000 trees will be planted on Jurong Island by 2022.
Out of the targeted 34,000 new trees on Jurong Island, nearly 13,000 have already been planted during the period between March 2019 and October 2020. When the remaining 21,000 trees have been added, the total number of trees on the island by 2022 will be 44,000.
“Trees planted on Jurong Island are selected for their hardiness and drought tolerance, and ability to add shade, colour and vibrancy to the island,” said NParks and JTC.
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More than 70 companies and organisations from the Jurong Island community have contributed to its greening, by donating around S$740,000 to support more than 2,400 trees on the island.
“The close partnership we have here is a good example of how we can all become stewards of greenery and nature, for our homes, our neighbourhoods and our workplaces,” said Mr Lee.