Singapore government press release, 14 January 2002: Deferment of reclamation works at Pulau Ubin
MINISTRY OF NATIONAL DEVELOPMENT PRESS STATEMENT
DEFERMENT OF RECLAMATION WORKS AT PULAU UBIN
1. The Ministry of National Development (MND) has decided to put off the land reclamation works at Pulau Ubin for as long as the island is not required for development. This will allow Chek Jawa to be retained in its natural state. The rustic nature of Pulau Ubin will be preserved for as long as possible. The long-term planning intention for Pulau Ubin remains as stated in the Concept Plan 2001.
2. The reclamation works at Chek Jawa was originally scheduled to begin in Dec 2001. Since the middle of 2001, nature groups and individuals with special interest in Chek Jawa have highlighted the rich biodiversity of the area and provided insightful feedback.
3. On 20 December 2001, MND announced the interim decision to defer the reclamation to study how the reclamation profile at Pulau Ubin could be modified such that the marine life at Chek Jawa would not be adversely affected.
4. A team made up of experts from the National Institute of Education, the Raffles Museum of Biodiversity Research and other interested individuals submitted a report which highlighted that in order to ensure the survival of the marine ecosystems at Chek Jawa, reclamation works on Pulau Ubin should be put off.
5. The Nature Society, in a report coordinated by its conservation committee, came to the same conclusion. Both reports ascertained that if reclamation must be carried out, it should be limited to only a very small area of Pulau Ubin in order not to harm the fragile ecosystems at Chek Jawa.
6. MND has assessed that it is not cost-effective to reclaim such a small area and has therefore decided not to proceed with reclamation works at Pulau Ubin for as long as the island is not required for development.
Managing Chek Jawa
7. In order to protect the marine life at Chek Jawa, NParks is setting up a committee comprising representatives from the Nature Society, Raffles Museum of Biodiversity Research and other experts to work out a comprehensive plan to maintain Chek Jawa's unique ecosystem for the continued enjoyment of all.
8. Among other things, the committee will look into the provision of appropriate amenities like board-walks and trained guides. Research and surveys will also be conducted to monitor the health and condition of the marine flora and fauna at Chek Jawa.
9. Mr Mah Bow Tan, Minister for National Development, says, "Land in Singapore is scarce. There will always be competing needs for land for development and national security needs. The decision not to reclaim Pulau Ubin at the moment has been made only after we have weighed the trade-offs and carefully considered the land use implications. This episode is a positive example of consultation and collaboration between the Ministry and the stakeholders which has resulted in a win-win situation. The Government will continue to take a balanced and pragmatic approach to land use planning."
MINISTRY OF NATIONAL