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Next bound of The Ubin Project launched to ensure Ubin's heritage continues to be conserved together with community

22 Jun 2024

Builds on foundation laid over the past 10 years to enhance Pulau Ubin’s rustic and natural charm

Plans over the next decade include implementing more species recovery efforts, a dedicated Kampung House Restoration Programme, and the Ubin School initiative

Proposals developed following extensive discussions with Friends of Ubin Network


The next bound of The Ubin Project was launched in conjunction with the 10th anniversary of The Ubin Project today. Developed by the Friends of Ubin Network (FUN)[1] together with the Ministry of National Development (MND) and the National Parks Board (NParks), this set of proposals spans the five pillars of The Ubin Project.[2] It builds on projects that have been completed over the past 10 years to conserve native biodiversity and Pulau Ubin’s heritage, culture and history while facilitating environmental education and nature-based recreation. It also includes initiatives to support villagers. Key proposals to kick off the next decade include implementing more species recovery efforts, embarking on a dedicated Kampung House Restoration Programme, and rolling out the Ubin School initiative.


The Ubin Project was initiated in 2014 to conserve the island’s rustic charm, natural environment, biodiversity and heritage. The next bound of The Ubin Project is a holistic and long-term plan that charts efforts to ensure that Pulau Ubin’s natural and cultural heritage continues to be conserved in partnership with the community in the coming 10 years, until 2034. NParks and FUN will continue to work closely to implement the proposals, as well as engage stakeholders and the public on how to further enhance the island, to ensure that future generations can continue to enjoy the rustic and natural charm of Pulau Ubin in our City in Nature.


These announcements were shared at Ubin Day 2024, which was hosted by Mr Desmond Lee, Minister for National Development and Minister-in-Charge of Social Services Integration. Special guests included pioneer FUN members Mr Choo Yi Feng, Dr Chua Ee Kiam, Mr Marcus Chua, Ms Shamla Subaraj (representing her late husband, Mr Subaraj Rajathurai), and Ms Tan Beng Chiak. To celebrate the occasion and contribute to conservation efforts, Minister Desmond Lee, FUN members, and the community also planted 50 trees as part of the OneMillionTrees movement.


The Ubin Project

Launched in 2014, The Ubin Project received a variety of ideas from members of the public. These ranged from the conservation of biodiversity and heritage and support for education, to opportunities for nature-based recreation and trials of sustainable technologies. Over the past 10 years, over 30 projects have been progressively implemented together with the community under The Ubin Project. These projects include the Comprehensive Ubin Biodiversity Survey, species recovery efforts for targeted bird species like the Baya Weaver (Ploceus philippinus), Blue-throated Bee-eater (Merops viridis) and Red-wattled Lapwing (Vanellus indicus) by setting up a bird nesting area at Ketam Quarry, upgrading the Pulau Ubin Micro-Grid to provide more villagers with clean electricity, and an enhanced fire management response system for public safety.


The next bound of The Ubin Project

In 2021, NParks, MND and FUN kickstarted discussions to chart the future direction of Pulau Ubin. NParks and FUN will work closely to continue engaging stakeholders and the general public on how best to further enhance the island’s rustic and natural charm, while promoting greater community stewardship as Singapore transforms into a City in Nature.


Implementing habitat enhancement and species recovery efforts

NParks will continue to intensify ongoing habitat enhancement and species recovery programmes on Pulau Ubin. This includes planting up remaining degraded habitats[3] with native trees, replacing invasive and exotic plant species within existing forests with native plants, and introducing the Cinnamon Bush Frog[4] (Nyctixalus pictus) into Pulau Ubin’s habitats.


A new in-depth survey of mangroves will also be carried out to gather data on the biodiversity of Pulau Ubin’s mangroves. This survey is supported by OCBC as part of their contribution to the development of the OCBC Mangrove Park on the island. The data gathered will help guide NParks’ future conservation plans and strategies under the Nature Conservation Masterplan.


Developing a dedicated Kampung House Restoration Programme

As part of efforts to revitalise kampung life on Pulau Ubin and retain its heritage and rustic kampung charm, NParks has been working with the community to progressively restore kampung houses on the island. NParks has developed a dedicated Kampung House Restoration Programme which will kick off with the restoration of five non-residential houses for community and commercial use.


NParks also intends to involve individuals or groups keen to contribute to The Ubin Project in the adaptive reuse of these restored kampung houses. Passionate individuals or groups can put forward proposals to repurpose these kampung houses while retaining their cultural significance to the island.


Rolling out the Ubin School initiative

NParks is rolling out the Ubin School initiative in partnership with Outward Bound Singapore (OBS) and with the support of various primary and secondary schools. This involves a suite of programmes based at the existing Ubin Living Lab that aims to promote environmental stewardship among youths through multidisciplinary programming, experiential learning, and environmental education at Pulau Ubin.


Ubin Day 2024

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 13th edition of Ubin Day, celebrating the different facets of the island. During the two-week-long Pesta Ubin this year, more than 800 participants took part in 34 activities on Pulau Ubin, the largest number of activities held at the festival since 2020. Participants learnt more about Pulau Ubin’s rich biodiversity and natural history through themed guided walks for photography and birdwatching, kampung heritage tours, cycling tours, mangrove kayaking and more. For more information on Pesta Ubin, please visit

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[1] FUN was formed in 2014 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 recreational groups.

[2] The five pillars of The Ubin Project, which was launched in 2014, are Biodiversity Conservation, Community, Heritage and History, Education and Research, Sustainable Design and Practices, and Nature-based Recreation.

[3] These sites were previously used for granite mining, aquaculture, agriculture and settlements.

[4] The Cinnamon Bush Frog is a native species to Singapore and is under NParks’ Species Recovery Programme.

Last updated on 24 June 2024

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