Part of the book: Sustainable Forest Management
Singapore, a tropical island of only 716 km², has substantial land under forest. But rapid urbanisation coupled with the scarcity of land has also resulted in extensive land clearance. Though highly urbanised, Singapore has managed to retain 4.5% of the land area under nature conservation, and 2.9% under closed forest. Out of four protected areas, two of these, the Central Water Catchment Forest (CWC forest) and Bukit Timah Nature Reserve (BTNR), are protected under the Parks and Trees Act of 2005 with a total area of 3,043 ha. Though originally connected, these two forests were separated from each other by a major highway, leaving BTNR, the smaller of the two, with a total land area of 163 hectares, surrounded by not just the highways, but also by a fast developing urban residential area. The forest boundaries have seen dense urban development as close as only 50 m from the forest edge. As a result, micro-climatic parameters such as atmospheric temperature, relative humidity, soil surface temperature, light conditions, wind velocity, all have seen significant changes over time and the gradient of such changes are drastic and steep along most forest verges. Currently some ameliorating steps are being taken by the forest management to counter the ill effects of too much encroachment and fragmentation.
Part of the book: Precious Forests