This is a very important matter which I must write about. I certainly have not felt this way since I heard the announcement about Chek Jawa’s impending reclamation in 2001 (that story turned out to have a good ending, let’s hope this will be too).
This is actually an issue very close to my heart as an educator, a biologist and a Singaporean. This concerns the proposed Cross Island Line. A couple of months ago, LTA proposed a Cross Island Line cutting across the Macritchie rain forest.
The statement was that there will low impact as they will be drilling underground. However, even with my very limited knowledge of ecology, I immediately saw that there will be disturbance in hydrology, soil compaction, and of course disturbance of species. Just look at the map below posted by Siva. The line cuts through good forest. Underground or not, a major project like a MRT line definitely will impact the environment.
I just one have question – Is it really necessary for the line to cut through our forest reserve? Especially at this point in time where our decision makers have acknowledged that the population projection of 6.9 million is not a target.
Of course, many people immediately responded.
Siva wrote a very nice summary of the development of this issue, “Our MacRitchie forest – a place to love and a place to keep, now and for our future”
My colleague and veteran biology teacher, Tan Beng Chiak, set up a Chope for Nature Blog. Good resource for Educators and also for anyone who want to understand the issue further.
We are now frantically educating the public. Many old guards, knowing the severity of the matter, have offered their time and wisdom to educate the young ones on the value of the forest. Chloe Tan, now does a very good job rallying in rallying volunteers, setting up this Love our MacRitchie Blog, and doing public education. Do visit the blog often to learn about our coming walks!
I certainly hope that this creates enough impact.
The forest is valuable in many ways. First and foremost, it is the last remnant of good forest which houses an unique and irreplaceable array of forest habitats.
Once you alter it, you are changing a unique ecosystem that was established over hundreds of years.
This is a decision that should not be made by some, we all have a stake in this, the collective voice of everyone should be heard.
I am sure this collective voice says “No”.