Singapore, June 5, 2008 – In line with the 2008 World Environment Day slogan “CO2 Kick the Habit! Towards a Low Carbon Economy,” Jurong Bird Park, Night Safari and Singapore Zoo symbolically planted 75 tree saplings and 120 shrubs on June 5 in recognition that deforestation not only affects animals’ habitats but also affects climate change.
The tree planting was carried out by employees of all three parks and took place at the new and upcoming attraction in Singapore Zoo called Rainforest Kidzworld, slated to be opened later this year.
The symbolic planting is only a fraction of the 20,000 more trees, palms, shrubs, ferns, grasses and epiphytes that will eventually be nurtured within the entire Rainforest Kidzworld area. Interestingly, plants with intriguing animal names were chosen to kickstart the greening of this area. These include Spider Lily, Cat’s Whisker, Peacock Flower, Snake Weed, Butterfly Ginger and Tiger Orchid.
“The tree planting is a significant occasion for us at Jurong Bird Park, Night Safari and Singapore Zoo as it is in accordance with our mission to not only conserve endangered animals but to also preserve biodiversity. As we continue to transform the Parks into Rainforest Parks, we hope to also bring the message across to the public on the need to preserve and grow more trees,” said Ms Fanny Lai, Group CEO, Wildlife Reserves Singapore.
More than 60 employees from the three parks let loose their ‘green fingers’ and planted the saplings in an effort to do their part for the environment.
Of the more than 298,000 species of plants in the world, the IUCN 2007 Red List indicates that 70% are threatened. In Asia alone, this numbers 3,113 species of plants. The world is losing its tropical forests at an alarming rate, owing mainly to agricultural expansion. Native plant species are facing extinction, and a net increase in greenhouse gases is contributing to global climate change, increased soil erosion, drought and flooding. This environmental degradation forces farmers to clear even more land to grow food for their families.
There are more than 1.5 million trees and shrubs in Jurong BirdPark, Night Safari and Singapore Zoo. Each year more than 70,000 trees and shrubs are planted, replanted and established to maintain our rainforest.
In addition to the tree planting activity, to instill the habit of recycling amongst visitors, the Zoo also placed a paper recycling bin at the exit for visitors to dispose of their paper products, including unwanted maps and brochures at the end of their visit. The paper will in turn be recycled. Recycling bins for other materials such as plastic and aluminum are also placed at significant areas around the parks.
Jurong BirdPark, Night Safari and Singapore Zoo hopes guests will take away with them the green message of recycling, and subsequently start their own recycling initiative at their homes or workplaces.