Opening Remarks by Minister Desmond Lee on Enhancement of Greenery in Industrial Estates

Oct 26, 2020

I am happy to join all of you this morning.

I would like to first thank colleagues from both NParks and JTC for organising this event under COVID-19 restrictions. I would also like to thank our partners and stakeholders for joining us at this community tree-planting on Jurong Island. This is our first such tree-planting event in an industrial estate under our One Million Trees movement. 

Today, we will be planting 100 trees, here on Jurong Island, with our partners. This is, in essence, part of our push to transform Singapore into a City in Nature. 

These efforts, together with many others, will help mitigate the effects of climate change, and provide Singaporeans with a more liveable and sustainable environment. 

One of our key strategies is to intensify greenery in our industrial estates, which are among the hotter areas in Singapore. By planting trees, we will cool the environment, improve air quality, and beautify the surroundings for the people who work there.  

We have made good progress so far. For instance, NParks and JTC opened the 3.2 ha Hampstead Wetlands Park in Seletar Aerospace Park in April this year. This park provides a green sanctuary for the workers, as well as the surrounding community. It also restores important wetland habitats for native biodiversity, such as butterflies, dragonflies and birds like the White-throated Kingfisher.

We will continue to partner the community to add more green spaces, and plant even more trees.

Including Seletar Aerospace Park, there will be about 100 ha of new green spaces in our industrial estates such as Jurong Innovation District, Punggol Digital District and Sungei Kadut Eco-District by 2030. We will link these estates to surrounding natural green spaces. For example, linking Sungei Kadut Eco-District to the Sungei Buloh Nature Park Network and the Rail Corridor. This will mean linking up our greened-up industrial spaces to surrounding natural green spaces for that continuity.

We will also increase the total number of trees across our industrial estates to almost three times as many, from nearly 90,000 trees to about 260,000 trees by 2030, as part of our One Million Trees movement. These trees will be planted along the roads, and will be planted to resemble the look and feel of natural forests. Our planting regime will be more intensive, green up the place more and beautify it, as well as replicate some of the forest structures that we see. The trees will also provide pedestrians with shade and respite from the heat. 

In addition to that, we will deploy a network of environmental sensors within the Jurong area, to complement these greening efforts. The sensors will measure various aspects of the microclimate, such as ambient temperature, relative humidity and wind speed, amongst many others. The data that will be collected through these sensors will support ongoing research projects, and help us to develop better greening strategies to cool our city.

Let me thank all our partners who are here with us today. This is the first time we have such a large number of companies – 32 in total, coming together in a single tree planting event at Jurong Island, but yet with safe-distancing measures in place.

I would also like to recognise the strong support from our corporate partners and the Jurong Island community for the Plant-A-Tree programme under the Garden City Fund. This is a long-standing programme that has been in place for many years.

Our efforts to green up Jurong Island will not be possible without your collective action. You have raised over $740,000 so far. This will be used to plant many more trees, and also support many community outreach programmes.

Some of our very generous supporters include ExxonMobil, and the Association of Process Industry and your members. Thank you for your generous donations.

I would also like to make a special mention of Mr Han Jok Kwang and his wife, Mdm Leong Wai Leng. Mr Han Jok Kwang is the founding chairman of our Friends of the Park Connector Network (PCN) community, and continues to play a very important part. Their donation, made in celebration of their 35th wedding anniversary in October, will support the planting of some 168 trees – a living legacy for our children to enjoy. I would like to congratulate the couple on their anniversary, and thank them for their generosity. 

I am encouraged to see how the Jurong Island community has come together to lead the greening of your environment. Thanks to your efforts, Jurong Island is becoming a greener and more conducive workplace. I seek your continued support to work with us to plant another 21,000 trees here in the next few years.

The close partnership we have here is a good example of how we can all become stewards of greenery and nature, for our homes, neighbourhoods, and workplaces. By doing so, we will succeed in transforming Singapore into a City in Nature. 

I look forward to working with all of you to make this happen. Thank you all very much.