SIT Launches Mangrove Conservatory with S$680,000 Support from the Foundation of Rotary Clubs Singapore

  • The mangrove conservatory will serve as an integrated platform combining community outreach, education, and applied research to improve climate resilience with mangrove conservation and to develop future-proof mangrove strains for the region.
  • The mangrove conservatory will be situated at the NParks Heritage Trail next to the upcoming Punggol Coast MRT Station and SIT Punggol Campus.
  • First of SIT’s ‘10 Acts for Good’ community and social initiative, in celebration of its 10th anniversary as an Autonomous University.
SIT Launches Mangrove Conservatory

At a signing ceremony, SIT announced the launch of a new Mangrove Conservatory with support from the Foundation of Rotary Clubs Singapore. (From left) Mr Barry Rassin, Trustee Chair, The Rotary Foundation; Mr Chew Ghim Bok, Board of Directors, Rotary International, and 2024 Rotary International Convention Head of Organising Committee Chair; SMS Low Yen Ling; Prof Chua Kee Chaing, President, SIT; Prof John Thong, Deputy President (Academic) & Provost, SIT. (Photo: Studio Zeros)

The Singapore Institute of Technology (SIT) today announced a new Mangrove Conservatory that will be established with a donation of S$680,000 over three years from the Foundation of Rotary Clubs Singapore (FRCS)[1]. Ms Low Yen Ling, Senior Minister of State for Culture, Community and Youth & Trade and Industry, graced the signing ceremony as guest of honour.

The Conservatory will focus on preserving a wide array of genetically diverse mangroves and reintroducing lost species, serving as a hub for knowledge, innovation and test-bedding efforts. SIT staff and students will benefit from real-world learning opportunities at the Conservatory. Experiments and simulations will be conducted to identify mangroves that can help Singapore and the region address global warming and rising sea levels, increase biodiversity, and maximise carbon sequestration[2].As part of the Conservatory’s focus on public outreach, there will be displays featuring findings and data analyses on various mangrove species and their suitability at various coastal locations. This knowledge will be instrumental in guiding the cultivation and application of valuable mangrove species across Singapore and the region. Furthermore, SIT will collaborate with Rotary Clubs to engage the community, particularly the youth. By raising awareness about the critical role mangroves play in environmental protection, we can inspire future generations to become stewards of our planet.

SIT Launches Mangrove Conservatory - Artists Impression

An artist's impression of the Mangrove Conservatory.Situated next to the upcoming Punggol Coast MRT station and in the heart of JTC’s Punggol Digital District, the Conservatory will also be readily accessible to the public exploring the Punggol Heritage Trail, where they will be presented with first-hand opportunities to gain meaningful insights into Singapore’s ecological heritage and the importance of mangrove ecosystems.

SIT’s Associate Professor Cesar Jung-Harada, the principal investigator and project lead, said, "With the ongoing climate crisis, mangroves should play a critical role. Mangroves, coral, and seagrass can protect our shores, increase biodiversity and sequester carbon. We are grateful to FRCS and Rotary Clubs in Singapore for helping us build this Conservatory. The Mangrove Conservatory will be very special, as it will help to address climate challenges and simulate Singapore’s climate in controlled environments, and with our public outreach and education efforts, we can raise awareness of the importance of environmental protection in a very tangible way.”

Mr Chew Ghim Bok, Board of Directors, Rotary International, and 2024 Rotary International Convention Head of Organising Committee Chair, said, “With the drive of Singapore Green Plan 2030 and Rotary International’s seventh area of focus, Protecting the Environment, the timing cannot be better than now. For Rotarians, who are People of Action, the establishment of a mangrove conservation facility at SIT is a huge opportunity for us to make a lasting impact on the world and community around us. The Rotary Clubs in Singapore and SIT partnership, in mangrove conservation to mitigate effects of climate change and maximising carbon sequestration, is a match made in heaven.”

Strengthening Singapore’s Coastal Defence and Climate Change Adaptation

With climate change resulting in sea levels rising by 1.37m by 2150[3], densely populated areas and critical infrastructure in Singapore could be vulnerable to regular flooding. Reimagining coastlines will be crucial in bolstering Singapore’s coastal defence and climate change mitigation, with mangroves forming a key nature-based solution in Singapore’s long-term coastal adaptation planning.

Integrating outreach, education, and applied research, the Mangrove Conservatory is unique in allowing the public to learn about and contribute to preserving mangrove diversity and restoring lost species while providing a platform for researchers to develop solutions to tackle climate change and rising sea levels. While most global mangrove research occurs in an open environment, the Conservatory distinguishes itself by creating a controlled environment that simulates Singapore’s climate change and sea level conditions. It aims to develop sea-level-rise-ready mangroves to protect Singapore’s shorelines and cultivate climate-resistant mangrove forests for carbon sequestration and as carbon sinks.

Scaling Up to Drive Meaningful Impact in Singapore and Asia

The construction of the Conservatory will commence in July 2024 and is projected to be completed by December 2025.

Beyond students, staff and the public, SIT plans to extend outreach to include experts working on applied research projects, community volunteers and agencies such as the National Parks Board (NParks) and Conservation International.

With further support from FRCS, SIT will expand mangrove research and development to ecological restoration at nearby Coney Island and Pulau Ubin. These places will have a large mangrove forest that will boost authentic learning opportunities for students.

The Mangrove Conservatory is the first of SIT’s ‘10 Acts for Good’, a year-long community and social initiative in celebration of its 10th anniversary as an Autonomous University. The university is embarking on 10 activities to give back to the community, including mentorship programmes for at-risk youth, providing healthy food options for beneficiaries within the Punggol community and the setting up of the Mangrove Conservatory.

Watch the video of SIT’s Mangrove Conservatory.

Remote video URL

[1] FRCS is an Institution of a Public Character (IPC) - the charity arm of all Rotary Clubs in Singapore.

[2] Carbon sequestration is the process of capturing and storing atmospheric carbon dioxide. It is a method of reducing the amount of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere with the goal of reducing global climate change.


About the Singapore Institute of Technology

The Singapore Institute of Technology (SIT) is Singapore’s first University of Applied Learning, offering industry-relevant degree programmes that prepare its graduates to be work- and future-ready professionals. Its mission is to maximise the potential of its learners and to innovate with industry, through an integrated applied learning and research approach, so as to contribute to the economy and society.

The University’s unique pedagogy integrates work and study, embracing authentic learning in a real-world environment through collaborations with key strategic partners. Its focus on applied research with business impact is aimed at helping industry innovate and grow. Ready in 2024, SIT’s centralised campus within the larger Punggol Digital District will feature a vibrant learning environment where academia and industry will be tightly integrated with the community.

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