PM Lee: Steps soon to preserve Ubin's charm
A series of initiatives are being planned to retain Pulau Ubin as a rustic haven.
These include planting trees, supporting the recovery of endangered bird species and studies on the erosion of the island's shoreline, which has receded by as much as 40m in areas in the north, The Straits Times reported.
The ideas are the first from the Ubin Project to be put into action, Minister of State for National Development Desmond Lee, who is overseeing the effort, was quoted as saying.
Since the project was announced in March, members of the public have contributed more than 2,000 ideas on keeping Pulau Ubin's special character.
A Friends of Ubin Network (Fun) was formed to facilitate discussions between citizens and the authorities.
Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong, who visited the island yesterday for Ubin Day, brought up these efforts as an example of how Singaporeans can do their part for the environment and Ubin.
"With Fun, we can do much more," he said.
Mr Lee, who posted a video yesterday of his Ubin visit, mentioned preserving nature and biodiversity, documenting Ubin's heritage and culture, pursuing outdoor activities and making the island a field lab for students as well as a "cradle for sustainable living".
"I'm glad that through this, we have involved many Singaporeans interested in Ubin to come up with ideas and to pool the ideas so we can do something about it," he said.
Mr Lee recalled how he had visited the island for seafood and cycling and spent 17 days there as a teenager on an Outward Bound School programme.
"I've accumulated many good memories of Ubin - like many Singaporeans. And I hope our children, too, will also have the chance to do the same as they grow up," he said.
He paid tribute to the volunteers and students who took an active interest in preserving, recording and enhancing Pulau Ubin so that it "continues to be part of our shared heritage and shared memories".
New and surprising things continue to be discovered on Ubin, he noted, mentioning in particular endangered mangrove trees like the Eye of the Crocodile.
This tree species will be a target of recovery efforts, and 11 of 200 such trees known to exist in the world can be found on Ubin.
"Collectively, we have developed a vision of Ubin that will honour our past, treasure our present, and shape our future," he said.