The National Parks Board (NParks) recently unveiled the Forest Restoration Action Plan for the Bukit Timah Nature Reserve, Central Catchment Nature Reserve and Nature Park Network. The Action Plan will chart the restoration that will be undertaken over the next 10 years to regenerate the secondary forests in the Nature Parks buffering the two Nature Reserves, as well as disturbed patches within the Reserves. This will assist the forests to regenerate and approximate a mature forest landscape in time.
The Action Plan seeks to strengthen the resilience of our native rainforests by restoring ecological processes, and enhancing the biodiversity and ecological connectivity in these areas. This will improve the habitats for native biodiversity. It is also timely to assist with the succession of the early secondary rainforests to more mature and diverse rainforests over time. This will strengthen the resilience of our forest landscapes to climate change, and will be achieved through a science-based approach that will involve the sustained planting of native rainforest species.
The approach will comprise the planting of a framework of native species that are nitrogen fixing to naturally improve the soil condition, and those that will attract dispersers and pollinators. The regenerating forest will be assisted further by the removal of invasive weed species. Dominant primary rainforest species, which might be limited by dispersal or are rare in occurrence, will also be introduced. In restoring these forests, efforts will also be directed towards the regeneration of riparian vegetation alongside natural streams to further conserve this sensitive habitat.
The Forest Restoration Action Plan is integral to NParks’ habitat enhancement and restoration programme under its Nature Conservation Masterplan (NCMP). Launched in 2015, the NCMP charts Singapore’s plans for biodiversity conservation.
The Action Plan was announced during a recent tree-planting session to mark the commencement of restoration efforts at the upcoming Rifle Range Nature Park, which will be completed in 2020. It is one of the areas to be restored under the Action Plan.