Saturday, June 22, 2013

Chained to Our Roots (22nd-23rd June 2013): an appeal to protect Singapore's own rainforest

Chained to Our Roots - 1
Chained to our Roots - 2

Teresa Teo-Guttensohn, a Singaporean eco-artist and Dr. Vilma D'Rozario, Celine Low, and Andrew Tay, together with their group of nature-loving friends, will be part of an eco-performance where they will be chained to a tree for 24 hours, to appeal for the Cross Island Mass Rapid Transit Line to be re-routed such that it will not run through our precious rainforest at the Central Catchment Nature Reserve.

When: 3 pm Saturday, 22nd June to 3 pm Sunday, 23rd June 2013
Where: Speakers' Corner, Hong Lim Park

"We have very little rainforest left in Singapore. Yet this rainforest holds some of the world’s most diverse and special tropical wildlife. This is our very own. Let's keep this gift we have.

Please join us as we chain ourselves to a tree at Hong Lim Park this Saturday 22nd June to make our appeal to save MacRitchie Forest. Details of our appeal is in the attached invitation below. Come at 3pm and picnic with like-minded friends. Chain yourself to our tree, too, if you wish! And don’t leave before you sign our petition."

Go here to read my previous post as to why the Cross Island Line running through the Central Catchment Nature Reserve will be a disaster for the rainforest, even if it's built underground.


Siva shares more:
In January this year, LTA announced proposed new MRT lines to be built by 2030. To our considerable shock, scrutiny of the proposed 50 km Cross Island Line (CRL) revealed it would cut through the Central Catchment Nature Reserve. No mention was provided of the potential problems of sedimentation, hydrological variation, edge effect and fragmentation.

The announcement was a complete surprise to all of us, and gave no indication to Singaporeans of the value of the protected nature reserve it was cutting through. It would seem we need to look no further than our nature reserves, to contend with forest loss.

Since then, LTA has initiated a conversation with naturalists in Singapore. But while the CRL remains a proposal to cut through the central catchment, individuals and groups realise they have to stand up to address this proposal to promote the realisation of the cost of this action.

Teresa has decided a letter will be an inadequate gesture to communicate the seriousness of this appeal. So she has organised an eco-picnic to be held, where everyone is invited to attend and picnic with like-minded friends, and witness the eco-art performance at 3.30pm.

Proposed CRL MRT line through CCNR [Tony O'Dempsey]
(Map by Tony O'Dempsey)

Do note that due to the terms and conditions of approval for activities carried out at Speakers' Corner, only Singapore Citizens and Singapore Permanent Residents are allowed to attend this event. Still, if you are concerned about the future of our forests and wish to make your views heard, you can sign this online petition:

Save Singapore's Forest Reserves; Our Natural Heritage

(Cross-posted to SBA Plus. Do support me in the Singapore Blog Awards!)