Sustainability Report

Our Sustainability Commitment

NParks is committed to conserving nature and biodiversity, nurturing greater community stewardship, and building capabilities within the organisation and industry to uphold Singapore’s reputation and standing as we transform into a City in Nature.

In February 2021, the Government unveiled the Singapore Green Plan 2030, a whole-of-nation movement to advance the national agenda on sustainable development. City in Nature, as one of the five key pillars of the Green Plan, will create a green, liveable and sustainable home for Singaporeans.

Sustainability Report

* This figure is largely due to the decrease in Singapore’s total population in 2021

Our Sustainability Strategies

Sustaining our City in Nature

Sustaining our City in Nature

Creating the best possible living environment through excellence in nature conservation, greenery and recreation.

Nurturing
								Communities

Nurturing Communities

Strengthening Singapore’s greenery and biodiversity in partnership with the community.

Creating a Great Workplace

Creating a Great Workplace

Developing our staff and taking care of their well-being.


Sustaining Our City in Nature

Conserving and Extending Singapore’s Natural Capital

NParks is responsible for maintaining and enhancing Singapore’s greenery for future generations. Our Nature Reserves safeguard primary and secondary rainforests which are core habitats for native biodiversity. They are also primary providers of ecosystem services like clean air and water. Nature parks have been established on the margins of the Nature Reserves, serving as complementary habitats and buffers. These buffers provide expanded habitats for Singapore’s native flora and fauna beyond the Nature Reserves, and also provide spaces for nature-based recreation.

Over the past two years, we have announced new nature parks such as the Khatib Bongsu Nature Park – a rich mangrove and mudflat habitat – and the Rifle Range Nature Park, a key buffer for our Bukit Timah Nature Reserve. NParks will continue to grow its network of nature parks, which will help preserve and enhance natural carbon sinks across the island.

Strengthening Connectivity between Green Spaces

NParks will continue to expand our islandwide connectivity networks so that Singaporeans will have greater access to green spaces near their homes. Today, over 370 km of park connectors have been established – more than seven times the length of Singapore from east to west. The eastern half of Phase 1 of the Round Island Route was launched in January 2022, covering a total of 75 km from Rower’s Bay to Berlayer Creek.

More islandwide recreational routes will be curated to provide more opportunities for Singaporeans to enjoy nature. In addition to the existing Coast-to-Coast (C2C) Central Trail, two new C2C trails running from east to west will be created: a 25 km C2C Northern Trail, from Khatib Bongsu to Sungei Buloh Wetland Reserve and a 62 km C2C Southern Trail, the longest cross island trail to date, from Changi Beach to Tuas.

Two new corridors running from north to south will also be added: a 34 km Central Corridor from Woodlands to the city, and a 18 km Eastern Corridor from Pasir Ris to East Coast Park via Bedok Reservoir. These islandwide routes will enhance the ecological connectivity between natural habitats and provide Singaporeans with a more immersive experience with nature. Over 9 in 10 households are now within a 10-minute walk from a park, and we aim to reach 100% by 2030.

An Ecological Profiling Exercise (EPE) was launched in 2021 to study the ecological profile of green spaces in Singapore, and to better understand their role in strengthening ecological connectivity. As part of the EPE, Clementi Nature Corridor was identified as an important ecological connector between Bukit Timah Nature Reserve and the Southern Ridges. NParks has also completed 170 km of Nature Ways, which mimic the multi-tiered structure of a natural forest to better connect our green spaces for animals like birds and butterflies and also beautify our city, provide shade, cool our surroundings, and improve our air quality.

Sustaining Our City
								in Nature

Intensifying Nature in Gardens and Parks

Children can traverse a bamboo tunnel trail at East Coast Parks' Coastal PlayGrove, planted in a way to evoke a sense of mystery and adventure. Nature playgardens like these encourage the young to explore and be comfortable in nature.

Intensifying Nature in Gardens and Parks

More than 40 percent of Singapore is covered in greenery, in the form of nature reserves, parks, gardens, roadside greenery, skyrise greenery and vacant statelands. NParks will be developing and redeveloping more than 300 ha of new and redeveloped parks which will feature more lush vegetation and natural landscapes by 2026, allowing Singaporeans to benefit from greater access to nature and its associated benefits on health and well-being.

The waterbodies within our gardens and parks will also be naturalised where possible, like how we have done so in Bishan-Ang Mo Kio Park and Jurong Lake Gardens. In addition, NParks is restoring mangroves in parks along Singapore’s coasts, such as Kranji Coastal Nature Park. These mangroves will function in tandem with engineering solutions to serve as coastal protection measures, to mitigate the effects of erosion brought about by storm surges and rising sea levels. NParks will continue to incorporate nature-based solutions in its coastal and riverine parks, to help build resilience against sea level rise and inland flooding.

Beyond these, NParks will establish more therapeutic landscapes in gardens and parks, which can be programmed for seniors and children as well as cater to diverse conditions such as dementia and mood disorders. More Nature Playgardens with biophilic elements and natural materials will be introduced, for the young to engage in child-directed spontaneous play.

NParks also expanded the Species Recovery Programme in 2021 from 94 to 120 species and this will be increased to 160 species by 2030 as a key part of NParks’ efforts to strengthen the conservation of Singapore’s native flora and fauna. Ongoing habitat restoration and species recovery efforts have enabled Singaporeans to encounter and enjoy once-rare species of plants and animals in our green spaces, such as the Singapore Ginger (Zingiber singapurense) and the Sunda Slow Loris (Nycticebus coucang).

Restoring Nature into the
									Urban Landscape

Visitors can enjoy sweeping vistas of the waterfront at the boardwalk and lookout pavilion at Changi Bay. This is part of the Round Island Route that covers the eastern half of Singapore and is the island’s longest recreational connection that encircles Singapore in the east.

Restoring Nature into the Urban Landscape

We will continue to promote the implementation of skyrise greenery (including vertical green walls, green roofs, and rooftop gardens) to building owners and continue to green up covered linkways with trellis plantings, while enhancing landscape plantings at MRT stations.

We will intensify our greening efforts in Singapore’s industrial estates as well, which are currently among the hotter areas on the island. NParks is working with various stakeholders to increase the total number of trees across industrial estates, including Jurong Island, to almost three times as many, from nearly 90,000 trees to about 260,000 trees by 2030.


Nurturing Communities

Strengthening Community Stewardship

The support and involvement of the community is key to the success of our City in Nature vision. Amidst existing restrictions during the Covid-19 pandemic, NParks continued to engage the community via digital platforms to overcome the restrictions on physical events and to reach out to a wider audience. Examples include holding large-scale events like concerts virtually and curating hybrid festivals and programmes.

In November 2021, NParks also launched a new series of City in Nature Conversations webinars and workshops to further engage the public and increase mindshare of the City in Nature vision. More webinars and workshops are being planned for 2022 to further promote this vision and identify potential ground-up projects.

Since the launch of the OneMillionTrees movement in 2020 to plant a million more trees across Singapore by 2030, NParks has worked closely with key partners including the Friends of the Parks communities, Community in Nature (CIN) schools, Community in Bloom (CIB) gardeners, volunteers, nature groups, corporate partners, other organisations, as well as members of the public to champion initiatives surrounding tree planting efforts.

Strengthening Community Stewardship

Established in 2015, the Community Gardens Edibles Competition recognises the abilities of local gardeners and showcases their excellent harvests. Some of the impressive harvests include a 20 kg winter melon and a nearly 50 cm long lady's finger.

Strengthening Community Stewardship

Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Finance Lawrence Wong planting a native Tristaniopsis merguensis at the opening of Villa Verde Bridge, contributing to the nationwide target to plant one million more trees by 2030.

More than 31,000 members of the community have joined us in tree-planting activities across the island, some of whom have also been involved in the processes leading up to and following tree planting. For instance, over 600 native tree saplings and 1,500 native seeds have been delivered to community nurseries in 43 schools. These plants will be nurtured within school compounds and planted across Singapore when matured.

The nationwide CIB gardening movement aims to bring residents together to foster community spirit and active stewardship of our City in Nature. Today, there are more than 1,700 community gardens across Singapore, set up and managed by our community gardeners. NParks will continue to work towards the target of building 3,000 CIB gardens by 2030.

Under the expanded CIB framework, NParks launched the Gardening with Edibles initiative to encourage Singaporeans to grow edibles at home as part of Singapore’s vision of Growing our City in Nature, where the community plays a key role in the ownership and stewardship for nature which will bring forth benefits of health and well-being. This initiative saw an overwhelming response from the public. Free seed packs consisting of a leafy and fruited vegetable variety were distributed to close to half a million households across Singapore in June 2020. This was an innovative way for NParks to introduce greenery into residents’ homes at a time where many stayed indoors due to the Covid-19 pandemic. A suite of digital resources and engagement programmes on social media complemented this programme, assisting residents in their gardening endeavours.

In October 2021, NParks made available another 400,000 seed packets to the public as part of the Singapore Garden Festival Horticulture Show. Concurrently, NParks also launched the Social Enterprise Community Urban Farm (SECUF) Grant to facilitate the creation and running of community gardening hubs in the heartlands. SECUFs aim to further promote edibles gardening in the community and also provide micro-employment and volunteering opportunities to residents in the community, especially seniors and the less privileged.

Getting Involved

We have more than 56,000 volunteers who play an integral role in helping to achieve our vision of making Singapore a City in Nature. Our network of volunteers includes community gardeners from the CIB programme, citizen scientists from the CIN initiative, and members of Friends of the Parks, amongst others.

Aged from nine to over 80, they range from students, homemakers and working professionals, to retirees. Many of them volunteer because they appreciate the opportunity to learn about and contribute towards our conservation efforts. Volunteers often become advocates of our messages and our ambassadors to the community, and share with others important biophilic issues, as well as insights and perspectives of living in a city rich in nature and biodiversity.

We will expand NParks’ outreach programmes to grow our volunteer base to 70,000 by 2030. NParks will build up its CIN initiative by involving more schools and partners in reforestation efforts and citizen science projects and expand the CIB programme through the provision of more allotment gardens and encouraging the planting of edibles.


Creating a Great Workplace

Learning and Development

Staff are encouraged to grow their professionalism, build capabilities and provide service excellence. NParks develops staff through a competency development framework focusing on business, operational and people excellence.

CUGE and professional certification bodies conduct in-depth training for operational staff, including formulating a specialised roadmap to develop professional arborist competency

Corporate staff can get certified by industryrecognised agencies such as the Institute of Singapore Chartered Accountants and Institute for Human Resource Professionals.

NParks Human Resource branch has also rolled out the refreshed NParks Competency Framework to guide staff in identifying suitable development opportunities for upskilling and reskilling.

Staff with Professional Operational Certifications: (as of 2021)

118  Certified Park Managers

122  Certified Practising Horticulturists

253  ISA Certified Arborists

36     Certified Playground Safety Inspectors

11     Project Management Professionals

Expanded Vocational and Skills Allowance Framework

To encourage officers to deepen their professional expertise in NParks’ core job areas and facilitate greater deployability of staff, officers who possess certifications recognised under NParks’ Vocational and Skills Allowance Framework are eligible for a monthly allowance.

Additionally, the list of certifications that qualify officers for the allowance has been expanded to encourage officers to deepen their professional development. This includes certifications in Field Epidemiology (Veterinary & Animal Health) and Advanced Animal Welfare & Behaviour (Cat and Dog).

Competency-Based Renumeration

We will continue to professionalise the role of an NParks officer and improve the attractiveness of a career in NParks. Progression and remuneration will recognise officers’ skills and competencies and support and encourage continuous movement of officers (horizontal as well as vertical) throughout their career. Officers will be encouraged to pick up additional competencies relevant to NParks’ work, which will be supported by the enhanced vocational and skills allowance framework.

Staff Well-Being

The Staff Well-Being Committee (SWBC) works with the Human Resource branch and Staff Union to organise activities that engage our workforce. In FY 2021, SWBC organised a specially curated range of events with a key focus to engage and bring together all staff in the NParks family during the Covid-19 pandemic.

As most staff were telecommuting due to the pandemic, the committee delivered these programmes and activities primarily on e-platforms, which helped to engage staff while they worked from home and for all staff to participate safely. Most of the activities planned were related to ensuring staff mental well-being and included talks/sharing of ideas to manage mental health. The committee will continue to have more emphasis on activities related to staff mental well-being going forward.

Together with the three sub-committees, namely Social & Recreation, Healthy Lifestyle and Kindness, over 30 events have been planned. Some of the events organised, aimed to encourage across the board participation, include decoding stress at work, a hypertension talk by external speakers and the National Steps Tracker NParks Corporate Challenge, among others.

In February 2022, gift packs were delivered individually to all NParks officers, among others

Staff Well-Being

A selection of snacks and vouchers was distributed to staff as a token of thanks and appreciation for the work well done in the past year.

East Coast Park

The Staff Well-Being Committee

Healthy Lifestyle

Healthy Lifestyle
Promotes active and healthy living by encouraging staff to participate in sports interest groups and through lunchtime talks.

Social & Recreation

Social & Recreation
Provides avenues for selfimprovement and learning while networking with others through learning journeys and workshops.

Kindness Movement

Kindness Movement
Nurtures a culture of kindness, compassion and volunteerism among staff for the less privileged in our society.

NParks Family

For staff who have left or retired from their service in NParks, we continue to engage them by organising activities for them as alumni members – our NParks Family. In 2021, we provided complimentary copies of the book Celebrating our City in Nature to the NParks Family alumni. In September, we also invited ex-staff, Mr Long Seen Hui, now Director for Urban and Landscape Design at Ramboll Studio Dreiseitl, to give a talk on the complex and dynamic relationship between landscape urbanism and engineering for NParks staff at Hort Colloquium, an internal platform to share best practices on horticultural and greenery-related knowledge with fellow colleagues.

Recognition and Awards

Each year, deserving staff are recognised for their exemplary service and work via the Excellent Service Award and Divisional Star Award. In 2021, 37 staff were commended for providing excellent service to internal and external customers.

This past year, 238 staff received their Long Service Award for their contributions towards building and caring for our City in Nature.