WILDLIFE RESERVES SINGAPORE SIGNS MOU WITH WILDLIFE CONSERVATION SOCIETY

TO COLLABORATE ON FIELD CONSERVATION AND PUBLIC EDUCATION TO PROTECT BIODIVERSITY IN THE FACE OF GLOBAL CLIMATE CHANGE AND HUMAN ENCROACHMENT

Singapore, January 29, 2010Wildlife Reserves Singapore Pte Ltd (WRS), the parent company of Jurong Bird Park, Night Safari and Singapore Zoo, together with its recently established Wildlife Reserves Singapore Conservation Fund (WRSCF) today signed an agreement to collaborate with the Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS), based in New York, and Wildlife Conservation Society Singapore Limited (WCS Singapore) on field conservation and public education to protect biodiversity in the face of global climate change and human encroachment.

The Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) was signed between Ms Claire Chiang, Chairperson of both WRS and WRSCF; Mr Ward W Woods, Chair of WCS and Dr Steven E Sanderson, President and CEO of WCS and Chair of WCS Singapore, in the presence of President S R Nathan, Patron of WRSCF.

This MOU marks the start of a stronger commitment to protect biodiversity, not just in Singapore, but in Asia and around the world. Through the joint commission, representatives from all four parties will co-operate to undertake field conservation projects and share best practices and technical expertise contributing to wildlife conservation. They will also collaborate to promote public education and increase awareness on conservation issues.

“At WRS, an unprecedented level of effort has been invested to conserve and protect biodiversity. To strengthen our commitment, WRSCF was established last year, primarily to conserve endangered native wildlife. This MOU represents another important step forward in our ongoing commitment to preserve our ecosystems and precious wildlife species, many of which are already threatened and in dire need of protection,” said Ms Chiang.

Established in 1895, the Wildlife Conservation Society has built a strong global conservation network to become the world’s most comprehensive conservation organisation. WCS currently manages about 500 conservation projects in more than 60 countries and educates millions of visitors on important issues affecting our planet at the five parks they manage in New York City, including the Bronx Zoo, New York Aquarium, Central Park Zoo, Prospect Park Zoo and Queens Zoo.

“Our new partnership with Wildlife Reserves Singapore represents an important step for WCS and the conservation of wildlife in Asia,” said Mr Woods. “WRS’ conservation efforts and programmes have won worldwide acclaim. We look forward to spearheading new initiatives together and developing a regional centre of excellence for the protection of Asia’s most endangered wildlife.”

“We share WCS’ clear mission to save wildlife and wild places across the globe. That is why I am so proud to be part of this joint collaboration to bring our conservation programme to the global arena. This partnership will pave the way for future collaborations and open many doors for all four parties to work towards their shared goal of protecting global biodiversity,” added Ms Chiang.

With this MOU, the four parties will coordinate efforts on research methodologies and the exchange of multiple sources of knowledge, leading to action plans for conservation, education and key priorities for the management of biodiversity. Working in Asia since the early 20th century, WCS has partnered with national and regional governments, local communities and other scientific organisations to protect Asia’s incredible diversity of wildlife and wild places — to bolster environmental policy, train new generations of environmental stewards, support sustainable livelihoods, and connect protected areas. Some notable WCS projects include: working with the government of Cambodia to establish the Seima Protection Forest, created to protect wildlife and conserve carbon; and an ongoing effort to save tigers across Asia (WCS is committed to increasing tiger populations by 50 percent across 10 landscapes by 2016).

In the areas of conservation and research, WRS parks in Singapore have undertaken multiple projects, which focus on species such as the oriental pied hornbill, pangolin and orang utan, through collaborations with various organisations and institutions. Recent conservation efforts include hosting a regional Asian pangolin conservation workshop. All WRS parks are designated wildlife rescue centres by the governing authority.

WILDLIFE RESERVES PARKS COMMEMORATE WORLD ENVIRONMENT DAY

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.