The completed bridge was officially launched today by Mr Desmond Lee, Minister for Social and Family Development and Second Minister for National Development, Mr S. Dhanabalan, Chairman of Mandai Park Holdings, Er Lim Peng Hong, Member of Mandai’s Environmental Advisory Panel and Mr Mike Barclay, Group CEO of Mandai Park Holdings.
“The Mandai Wildlife Bridge is our first stride towards rejuvenating Mandai into an integrated nature and wildlife precinct and was intentionally planned to be opened well ahead of other project features. Native animals have always moved between the nature reserve forests to the north and south of Mandai Lake Road. The bridge is therefore a key milestone for the precinct, as it stitches together the CCNR and provides a safe passage for our local wildlife. We are grateful to the nature community group who guided us on the design of the bridge and joined us for the final leg of tree planting in preparation for today’s opening.” said Mr Mike Barclay, Group CEO of Mandai Park Holdings (MPH).
Throughout the month of November 2019, volunteers from companies including Lam Soon Singapore, Panasonic Asia Pacific, and Temasek, as well as members of the nature community and docents from Wildlife Reserves Singapore, rolled up their sleeves for nature and joined in the tree planting process on the bridge.
Mandai Ecological Restoration Plan
Following the completion of the Mandai Wildlife Bridge, the Mandai precinct habitats will be further restored, guided by the Mandai Ecological Reforestation Plan (MERP). This is part of Mandai’s ongoing commitment to protect biodiversity through enhancing habitats and improving connectivity for the long term.
The MERP sets out a ten-year roadmap for restoring the protected areas adjacent to the CCNR. These areas include 19 per cent of the allocated development land and are designated spaces where no construction or extensive human activity are permitted. Outcomes of the regeneration efforts will include the creation of a variety of microhabitats, as well as achieving functional connectivity for animals. A total of 9 hectares is expected to be restored by 2030.
The reforestation will assist in the regeneration of previously degraded habitats within the protected areas. Efforts will range from removing and replacing invasive plant species with native species, to propagating plants from seeds collected within the Mandai precinct. Besides common species, these will also include species of conservation value and pioneer species that would be suitable for restoring sites that are severely degraded. Monitoring will be carried out to evaluate the progression of the site recovery. These methods can be adjusted where necessary to take into consideration key learnings from the implementation. A plan to enhance vegetated areas within the existing zoological parks will also be deployed in future.
Mr Mike Barclay added, “The restoration efforts will work in combination with the existing biodiversity protection protocols we have in place to improve the overall health of Mandai’s flora and fauna. We intend to work with local researchers and students to ensure we do a good job of restoring the forest ecology.
“With the Mandai Wildlife Bridge now in operation, we are working towards the next milestone of opening the new Bird Park and West Arrival Node in 2022. The other wildlife parks, attraction experiences, public spaces and the resort will progressively open through to 2024. As the rejuvenation of the Mandai precinct progresses, we will uphold the principles of responsible and sensitive development, with input from the nature community and authorities.”
Dedicated to animal crossings, the Mandai Wildlife Bridge re-connects the buffer areas leading to the Central Catchment Nature Reserve on both sides of Mandai Lake Road. Connecting the bridge to the buffer zones ensures that this infrastructure does not encroach into the nature reserve.