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Tue 08 May 2007
The Natural Heritage of Singapore, 2nd ed.
Category : news
A national heritage
When I was a student, we inspected every millimeter of "The City and the Forest: Plant Life in Urban Singapore " by Wee Yeo Chin and Richard Corlett which was published in 1987. It provided a fairly detailed account of the various plant species left in ecosystem types in Singapore today.
20 years later, I am pleased to announce a similar volume, that should be examined in detail by novice and naturalist alike, "The Natural Heritage of Singapore." This is actually the second edition whjch has been published recently with colour pictures.
The authors are familiar names in the biodiversity circle: Hugh Tan, Chou Loke Ming, Darren Yeo and Peter Ng, all Singaporean academics at the Department of Biological Sciences, National University of Singapore, with many decades of research experience in terrestrial and aquatic ecology, botany, zoology and conservation biology of Singapore and Southeast Asia amongst them.
This book was also built on the resources of the community and the many people they received help from, consulted and discussed the book with are listed in the acknowledgments and is equally fun to read!
This one you will understand
If it reads somewhat like a textbook, it is because it was inspired by the need to provide a text book for undergraduates in the National University of Singapore who took the "Singapore Studies" module. As such, the descriptions are straight-forward and several issues are discussed in an understandable manner as the text is meant for non-biologists.
This will allow a wide spectrum of readers to gain a grasp of our precious natural heritage that still survives today. When I was a kid, few local resources were available. With this and others that emerged since, many a young mind will get a head start and hopefully this will lead to sensible choices about and greater enjoyment of our natural heritage in our future.
The internet disconnect
The book sadly has not tapped the many credible and up to date resources about Singapore natural history that have emerged online since 1999. Well, that's food for thought for the 3rd edition perhaps.
The book chapters
The Natural Heritage of Singapore, 2nd ed. is now available at the National University of Singapore's Science Co-op for S$23.30 (next to the Lim Tseng Tjoe Lecture Theatre, LT27, see map). In major bookstores in town, e.g. Borders, Kinokuniya, MPH, Popular and Times, the cost is about $29.50. All prices cited with GST.