Protecting Biodiversity And Natural Habitats

Loss of biodiversity is one of the top risks on the World Economic Forum Global Risks Report in both 2021 and 2022.1 CDL has remained steadfast in upholding our longstanding commitment to minimising and mitigating the impact of our developments on natural habitats and protecting wildlife biodiversity. With the increasing international consensus that climate and biodiversity issues should be tackled together, CDL supports the national and international advocacy for Nature-based Solutions (NbS).2 Our Future Value 2030 Sustainability Blueprint, which is aligned with the UN SDGs, includes Goal 15: Life on Land.

All land use in Singapore is controlled and allocated by the Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA), which harmonises quality living, development, and the sustainability of our existing green landscape. CDL’s development projects are housed within the land allocated by URA and hence, none of our projects are located in protected areas. Further, CDL ensures that our constructed buildings maximise the GFA allowed by regulators in accordance with the plot ratio assigned to the land parcel, for allocated land to be well-utilised.

Since 2010, CDL has been voluntarily conducting Biodiversity Impact Assessments (BIA) on greenfield sites before construction where applicable. BIA determines if any plant or animal of national conservation importance exists at the intended development site. Environmental mitigation measures are undertaken, where necessary. In 2020, CDL pushed the envelope by introducing a dedicated Biodiversity Policy to promote biodiversity protection and urban greenery across our operations. The policy complements Singapore’s “City in Nature” vision and takes reference from national frameworks, such as the Biodiversity Impact Assessment (BIA) guidelines introduced by URA and NParks in October 2020. In 2021, there were no sites located within or adjacent to protected areas. Hence, no material biodiversity risk was identified.

Besides BIA, CDL piloted an Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) study for our Forest Woods residential development in 2016. Based on this pilot, CDL is exploring possibilities of future applications at our developments.

Urban greenery and landscaping are hallmarks of CDL’s developments. All new residential developments by CDL devote significantly more site area to landscaping than mandatory softscape requirements3 and communal facilities. For example, at Irwell Hill Residences, 74% of the site area is dedicated to facilities, lifestyle space and landscaping. The condominium features lush, landscaped grounds, roof gardens, sky terraces, and a huge lawn with four heritage rain trees.

CDL Developments Recognised for Outstanding Greenery

In 2021, three of CDL’s development sites, Coco Palms, Forest Woods and The Tapestry, were recognised under the NParks Landscape Excellence Assessment Framework (LEAF) certification scheme. The certification acknowledges excellence in the efforts of developers, landscape architects, architects, contractors and maintenance agents in creating high-quality urban landscapes which contribute to Singapore’s journey of becoming a City in Nature. It also celebrates good landscape design, construction and management of parks and development projects.

1 Global Risks Report 2022. World Economic Forum, 11 January 2022.
2 The IUCN Global Standard on NbS defines NbS as “actions to protect, sustainably manage and restore natural or modified ecosystems that address societal challenges effectively and adaptively, simultaneously providing human well-being and biodiversity benefits”.
3 Updates to the Landscaping for Urban Spaces and High-Rises (LUSH) Programme. LUSH 3.0. Urban Redevelopment Authority, 9 November 2017.