It is important to remember that no decision has been made yet. We still have time to make a difference and choose to protect our already depleting nature reserves. There is still time to prevent the destruction of the natural landscape at MacRitchie Reservoir Park. If we can mobilise enough voices to speak up, the leadership will make the right decision.
I urge everyone to tell their Members of Parliament and the Ministers that the MacRitchie Reservoir and the surrounding forest must be protected. I believe if enough Singaporeans act, the right decision will be made by the cabinet. Make noise, tell them: “Don’t touch the forest!”.
Humans and nature are inextricably linked — saving the forests is the same as saving ourselves. Singapore’s primary forests are home to an amazing biodiversity. You can find pangolins, slow loris, mouse-deer, and many other beautiful creatures that are native to Singapore. Many of these animals are endangered and deserve to be protected.
As a whole, MacRitchie and other natural reserves in Singapore are our green lungs. They provide us fresh air, are influential in bringing rain, and even play a major role in combating the scorching heat in Singapore. Can we put a value on that? We call ourselves a green city with many man-made parks, but nothing can replace the primary forests once they are gone.
We have to see that these natural reserves are part of our heritage. While we have put much effort into protecting our culture, architecture, history, language, and even food, our natural heritage has been sadly left by the wayside. Our natural heritage is unique to Singapore and just as important.
The LTA, or the MRT line, or encroachment of urbanisation is not the real enemy of the forest. We Are. The average Singaporean is very detached from nature. They are bo chap (indifferent). We need to reconnect with nature. All you need to do then is to say “I care”, and we can come together to take collective action.
Teresa Teo Guttensohn has also recently made a documentary short film on the creatures that populate the forest floor of MacRitchie Reservoir Park. You can check out the film, Unseen Undergrowth, below.
Teresa Teo Guttensohn is the Co-founder of Cicada Tree Eco-Place, a NGO that promotes Singapore’s natural heritage.
If you have memories of MacRitchie you’d like to share, do email [email protected]
The Future Of MacRitchie concert will take place on November 19.
Visit www.futureofmacritchie.storm.sg for more information about the venue, artists performing, and to register. There are also guided walks that can help you get intimate with MacRitchie.