Studying Environmental Impact, Protecting Biodiversity
As Singapore is highly urbanised, densely populated and land scarce, the government considers optimal land use planning a crucial aspect of Singapore’s sustainable development. All CDL development projects are within the land allocated by the Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA) for home and commercial use and hence, none are located within protected areas. With proper planning by URA, the forests in Singapore are not commercially exploited for timber or other resources.
We are deeply rooted in our commitment to minimise and mitigate the impacts of our developments on the natural habitats of wildlife and to protect biodiversity. We are committed to preserving biodiversity particularly when we develop on greenfield sites.
Since 2010, CDL has practised Biodiversity Impact Assessments (BIA) for new construction sites on a voluntary basis. BIA helps to determine if any plant or animal life of national conservation importance exists at the intended development site and makes recommendations for environmental mitigation if necessary.
We raised the bar when we developed the new Forest Woods condominium in 2016. We voluntarily conducted an environment study similar in scope to an Environmental Impact Assessment. The three-month study was tailored to determine the environmental baseline of the site, and to understand the environmental impacts that may arise from demolition and construction activities. Environmental indicators such as wind, lighting and shading effect of the new development, water quality, air quality, noise production, waste management from the construction activities, and the biodiversity of existing flora and fauna were studied.
36 species of animals and 31 species of plants were identified, with the Black Morinda trees observed to be the rarest in Singapore. In consideration of the conservation importance of this rare flora species, CDL has moved the two Black Morinda trees on site to a nursery. Further action will be taken to transplant them back to the original site upon completion of the development.
In 2017, we conducted a similar environmental study for the development of the new Tapestry condominium. The Malayan Box Terrapin was observed in the freshwater swampy stream habitat. 3 terrapins were rescued and released to a nearby lake which has similar living conditions as the site. Native flora such as the mangrove Piai Raya fern, grassland Seven Golden Candlesticks, and forested Wild Cinnamon were recorded in the vicinity. CDL is taking precautionary actions to keep, where reasonably practicable, the remnant swampy habitat undisturbed and put in place proper landscaping with the desire to preserve as much of the biodiversity at the site and vicinity. The right flora species may even invite some fauna to return to the site upon completion of the development project.