SINGAPORE: To commemorate its 10th anniversary, Gardens by the Bay on Sunday (Jun 5) launched Wonderful Wetlands, a series of public lectures and science activities centred on the mangroves planted at Kingfisher Wetlands.
Members of the public can help to collect data for mangrove monitoring and learn more about blue carbon and coastal ecosystems through public lectures.
The public will also be able to trial a pilot augmented reality tour of the wetlands.
Wonderful Wetlands, which is sponsored by Temasek and SG Eco Fund, will also enable the community to gain a "deeper understanding" of nature-based solutions to combat climate change, said Gardens by the Bay.
Minister for National Development Desmond Lee launched the programme on Sunday by planting more mangroves at Kingfisher Wetlands, used as a "living laboratory" to support blue carbon science research.
"These native mangroves planted will serve as habitats to strengthen our conservation efforts, and contribute to our efforts to plant one million more trees islandwide between 2020 and the end of this decade in 2030, under our OneMillionTrees movement," said Mr Lee.
The Gardens has also been working with the NUS Centre for Nature-based Climate Solutions and DHI Water and Environment to study the wetlands since last year, said Gardens by the Bay.
"Mangroves take in carbon, and are regarded as a natural way of reducing the amount of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere.
"They can sequester more carbon than rainforests, with most of this carbon stored in their sediments. This is what is known as ‘blue’ carbon - the carbon captured by coastal and marine ecosystems," it said.
There are more than 200 mangroves and mangrove associates at the Kingfisher Wetlands, which opened last November.
COLLABORATIONS WITH ITE, RP
Gardens by the Bay also signed Memoranda of Understanding (MOUs) with the Institute of Technical Education and Republic Polytechnic on Sunday.
"Key areas of collaboration include the adoption of the Kingfisher Wetlands in horticultural maintenance by ITE, and mangrove monitoring with RP," said Gardens by the Bay.
The Gardens said it will be offering six book prizes every year to ITE students pursuing their NITEC studies in Urban Greenery and Landscape, and Higher NITEC in Landscape Management and Design.
As for RP students, they will be able to take part in mangrove monitoring sessions, which include measuring the height and girth of mangroves to determine their health.
The Gardens will also work with RP’s School of Management and Communication "to co-develop digital marketing platforms to promote and cultivate a sustainability mindset among youth", it said.
Wonderful Wetlands and the collaboration with ITE and RP are part of Gardens by the Bay’s efforts to expand its focus on sustainability 10 years after it opened its doors.
Gardens by the Bay’s CEO Felix Loh said it is "more important than ever" to focus on sustainable solutions as the "world bounces back from the pandemic".