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Sungei Buloh Wetland Reserve's 31-hectare extension opens to the public

05 Dec 2014

NParks announces 50% increase in volunteers from 2013 at its annual volunteer appreciation ceremony


Singapore, 6 December 2014 – Minister of State for National Development, Mr Desmond Lee, officiated the opening of the Sungei Buloh Wetland Reserve’s (SBWR) 31-ha extension this morning, marking the completion of phase two of the SBWR masterplan. At the opening, MOS Lee announced that work on phase three of the masterplan has begun, and will be completed by end-2017.


Phase three of SBWR masterplan

The third phase of the SBWR masterplan, previously announced in 2008, includes the sensitive enhancement of two conservation areas: the western end of the Reserve, where Cashin House is situated, and the Kranji Marshes. With the intention to keep the activity in the area low, nature appreciation of coastal habitats, education and outreach will take centre stage at the 6.16ha western end of SBWR. The about 56ha freshwater Kranji marshes, home to unique biodiversity, will be enhanced to attract more marsh birds like the Purple Swamphen, and to include shelters and trails for better visitor access. (For more information, please refer to the media factsheet appended on SBWR Masterplan: Phase 3.)


Speaking at the opening, MOS Lee said, “In 2008 the draft Sungei Buloh Master Plan was unveiled, demarcating fringe areas around the Reserve that would help to reduce the pressure on it due to increased visitorship. This is in alignment with the Master Plan’s three strategic thrusts of ensuring a living wetland, encouraging bio-learning and enhancing the reserve as a destination with a difference. This new Sungei Buloh extension with its nature trails and visitor centre is the result of phase 2 of the Master Plan, and will allow visitors to continue enjoying the wetlands while also allowing the existing parts of Sungei Buloh to be a more tranquil sanctuary for wildlife.”


Opening of Sungei Buloh Wetland Reserve Extension

The Sungei Buloh Wetland Reserve extension opens today to members of the public. The 31-hectare extension has rich mangrove and coastal forests, which are home to diverse species of fauna such as crabs and mudskippers and complements the habitats in SBWR (Neo Tiew area). It will be able to provide new outdoor recreational and educational activities that the SBWR (Neo Tiew area) will not be able to. With the opening of the new visitor centre, new programmes will be offered at SBWR.  Six new guided walks will be conducted on Saturdays by volunteers. (For more information on the SBWR extension and guided walks, please refer to the media factsheets appended.)


SBWR is the largest mangrove forest in Singapore, and is home to almost half (33 of 73) of true mangrove plant species in the world. The Reserve became Singapore's first ASEAN Heritage Park in 2003, and is recognized as a site of international importance for migratory birds.


Volunteer appreciation

In celebration of International Volunteer Day, NParks held its annual NParks Volunteer Appreciation Day today. In recognition of their long-term commitment, 14 NParks volunteers were awarded long services awards. Thirteen of the volunteers were recognised for 10 years of service and one for 15 years of service.


NParks reported a 50% increase in active volunteers from last year, the highest rise in its volunteerism rate since the volunteer programmes began in the 1990s. “Today, we acknowledge the contributions of our more than 1,500 active volunteers who give their time generously to help make our City in a Garden a beautiful place to live in. Every contribution counts, and the fruits of your labour will be evident in due time. For example, the group of about 50 SBWR pioneer volunteers who appreciated the importance of conserving the site, and dedicated their time to the cause, have much to be proud of today. We look forward to working with more passionate volunteers as we continue our greening journey.” said Mr Kenneth Er, CEO, NParks.


To date, 1,500 volunteers actively devote their time and energy to spreading their love for nature, 500 more than the figure recorded in 2013. This increase is in line with national trends, with the 2012 National Volunteer & Philanthropy Centre (NVPC) Individual Giving Survey reporting that 1 in 3 persons, or 32.3% of the population surveyed, volunteered. This is the highest rate recorded by NVPC since such research began in 2000.


SBWR’s growth over the years was made possible through the contributions of many volunteers. One of NParks’ pioneer volunteers, Mdm Kwan Sau Kuen, started leading guided walks at Sungei Buloh more than 15 years ago. Her most memorable experience at Sungei Buloh was when she led a group of senior citizens around the reserve, and they ended up teaching her a thing or two. “They were able to point out the different species of fish to me and tell me which were edible!” she laughs. “It was lovely to be able to learn from visitors and grow as a guide.”


NParks welcomes more people who are passionate about greenery and nature to join its volunteer programme at For more information, please refer to the factsheet on the NParks Volunteer Programme. 

Factsheet: SBWR - Masterplan Phase 3

Factsheet: SBWR - Past, Present and Future

Factsheet: Pioneer Volunteers

Factsheet: Volunteers

Last updated on 06 April 2021

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