President endorses ASEAN Heritage Park

President Tony Tan took a tour of the TreeTop Walk on Wednesday, marking his formal endorsement of Bukit Timah Nature Reserve as an ASEAN Heritage Park.

With this, Singapore is now home to two ASEAN Heritage Parks, the other being Sungei Buloh Wetland Reserve.

ASEAN Heritage Parks is a network of 30 protected areas deemed of high nature conservation importance, and includes renowned sites such as UNESCO World Heritage Sites Lorentz National Park of Indonesia and Kinabalu National Park of Malaysia.

President Tony Tan said that it is a privilege for Singapore to be recognised in the region for its nature conservation efforts.

While Singapore is known for having prudently built up its financial reserves over the years, few are aware that effort has also been put in to protect the country's nature reserves, even as pressure increases on its scarce land resources, the president said.

He emphasised that Singapore's forests and other natural assets are important parts of the country's natural heritage, and it is important to balance the island state's developmental needs with nature conservation.

"We must work together as a community to conserve these natural assets for future generations, as part of our vision to be a City in a Garden and an exceptional home for all Singaporeans," he said.

Bukit Timah Nature reserve is a unique example of a forest within an urban setting, the National Parks Board said.

It is home to one of the largest stands of primary lowland dipterocarp forest and pockets of hill dipterocarp forests.