Third and most comprehensive edition of Singapore Red List completed, with over 7,300 species assessed, more than double that of the second edition
24 Jun 2023
- ‘Ubin Connects: A Learning Symposium’ launched at Ubin Day 2023, highlighting Pulau Ubin’s potential as an outdoor learning classroom
- Friends of Ubin Network to commence discussions on shaping Pulau Ubin’s future
The National Parks Board (NParks) announced today at Ubin Day that the third and most comprehensive edition of the Singapore Red List has been completed. Over 7,300 species found across mainland Singapore and offshore islands such as Pulau Ubin have been assessed. This is more than double that of the second edition, with species from seven new taxa such as fungi and algae assessed for the first time. A joint effort between NParks, Lee Kong Chian Natural History Museum of the National University of Singapore (LKCNHM-NUS) and Nature Society (Singapore) (NSS), the updated Singapore Red List will guide planning and prioritisation of future nature conservation efforts such as habitat enhancement and species recovery programmes, reflecting the importance of continued research and monitoring to better understand and conserve our biodiversity.
NParks also announced initiatives to connect Singaporeans to the biodiversity, culture, and history of Pulau Ubin and Singapore, such as ‘Ubin Connects: A Learning Symposium’. The learning symposium was organised by NParks and its partners and was held today in conjunction with Ubin Day 2023. It brought Ubin villagers, educators, schools, and researchers together to explore the island’s potential as a learning classroom, so as to provide students with more opportunities for interdisciplinary and experiential learning set in nature.
Another initiative is the discussions led by the Friends of Ubin Network (FUN) on the future of Pulau Ubin. As the first tranche of projects under The Ubin Project to preserve and enhance the island have been mostly completed, FUN has commenced discussions to plan for future projects and will continue to engage stakeholders and the general public in shaping these plans. Altogether, these efforts will ensure that future generations can continue to enjoy the rustic and natural charm of Pulau Ubin, as well as the rich natural heritage of our City in Nature.
These announcements were shared at Ubin Day 2023, which was hosted by Mr Desmond Lee, Minister for National Development and Minister-in-Charge of Social Services Integration. To celebrate the occasion and in commemoration of 60 years of greening Singapore, Minister Lee, FUN members, and the community also planted 50 trees under the OneMillionTrees movement.
Updated Singapore Red List to guide future conservation efforts
The third and latest edition of the Singapore Red List is the most comprehensive one yet, with more than 7,300 species from 33 main taxa assessed in total, up from about 2,900 species from 26 taxa in the second edition. Seven taxa have been included for the first time, including aquatic bugs (freshwater), assassin bugs, Cnidaria (non-Scleractinia), Porifera (freshwater and marine), marine insects (Hemiptera), fungi and algae. For the 26 main taxa that were included in the second edition, over 4,500 new species have been added. The assessments for the third edition of the Singapore Red List were carried out across Singapore between mid-2019 and 2023 by NParks and a multidisciplinary group of taxonomic experts from LKCNHM-NUS and NSS.
Of the species with improved conservation statuses in the third edition of the Singapore Red List, several of them can be found on Pulau Ubin. These downlisted species include the Lesser Asian False-Vampire Bat (Megaderma spasma), Oriental Pied Hornbill (Anthracoceros albirostris) and Common Onyx (Horaga onyx sardonyx). Pulau Ubin is also home to a number of newly listed species, some of which are critically endangered, including the Greater Mouse-deer (Tragulus napu), Barred Eagle Owl (Bubo sumatranus), Malay Lacewing (Cethosia hypsea hypsina) and Ficus stricta. NParks will look into enhancing the resilience of these species to conserve the rich biodiversity of Pulau Ubin.
The updated Singapore Red List will be compiled into the third edition of the Singapore Red Data Book to serve as an authoritative reference for the conservation status of our local biodiversity to guide the planning and prioritisation of habitat restoration and species recovery efforts on Pulau Ubin and in Singapore, and help conserve the natural heritage of our City in Nature.
Learning symposium held for local teaching fraternity
‘Ubin Connects: A Learning Symposium’ is a ground-up initiative led by the FUN education workgroup. It gathered members of the local teaching fraternity to recognise Pulau Ubin’s potential as a learning classroom for future visits by schools and programmes for students. With the theme of “connectedness”, the Symposium aimed to foster partnerships between Ubin villagers, educators, schools and researchers, and connect future generations to Pulau Ubin’s biodiversity, culture and history.
Close to 40 participants, including school principals, heads of department and teachers, as well as key staff from the Ministry of Education, embarked on Discovery Guided Walks around the island, followed by student project presentations and a discussion to explore how Pulau Ubin can serve as a classroom set in nature for interdisciplinary and experiential learning.
A teaching package conceptualised and developed by the FUN education workgroup was also shared at the Symposium. The teaching package will be a starter kit for teachers to conduct their own classes and learning journeys on Pulau Ubin to increase awareness of the island’s rich natural and cultural heritage among students.
Community engagement key in shaping Ubin’s future
Launched in 2014, The Ubin Project aims to preserve Pulau Ubin’s rustic charm, natural environment, biodiversity and heritage for future generations of Singaporeans. To drive The Ubin Project, FUN was formed the same year, and comprises community stakeholders including nature enthusiasts, architects, historians, students, bloggers, Ubin villagers, educators, members from the nature and heritage communities, as well as representatives from recreation groups.
Over the years, projects under The Ubin Project have been progressively carried out, with the first tranche of projects mostly completed. Some notable projects include the freshwater wetlands restoration at Pekan Quarry and Sensory Trail Pond, upgrading the Pulau Ubin micro-grid to provide more villagers with clean electricity, and the opening of Ubin Living Lab for field research and citizen science. Guided by the Urban Redevelopment Authority’s Long-Term Plan Review, which guides Singapore’s development over the next 50 years and beyond, FUN has kicked off discussions to plan for the next tranche of projects to sensitively preserve and enhance Pulau Ubin.
In doing so, FUN will work closely with NParks to continue engaging stakeholders and the general public on how best to further enhance Pulau Ubin’s rustic and natural charm, promoting greater community stewardship as Singapore transforms into a City in Nature.
Ubin Day 2023
Ubin Day is a culmination of Pesta Ubin, a festival organised by NParks, FUN members and the community. First held in 2002, this is the twelfth time Ubin Day is being organised to celebrate the different facets of the island. During the two-week-long festival this year, more than 750 participants took part in 24 activities on Pulau Ubin, the largest number of activities since the pandemic, and learnt more about Pulau Ubin’s rich biodiversity and natural history through guided walks, cycling tours, kayaking and more.
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