Gardens vs ecosystems

19 07 2012

Please read for following article : City of  gardens doesn’t make a garden city

Dear World,

My only regret with reading this article is not writing what this guy wrote first.

So I was at a ‘Biopolis’ talk at the Botanic Gardens a few weeks ago and I am not sure if  I blogged about it or not but a Professor from Curtin University in Australia, came to praise Singapore on all the green initiatives that have been put in place. At the tea session I spoke to a middle aged Australian who I believed lived in Singapore for some time and honestly, I thought he was a bit rude because he just kept correcting me but anyways I was trying to tell him what Dr. Isaac Seow En wrote. You can put as many plants around the place as you want, it doesn’t mean you have saved the natural environment or preserved it.

I believe in preserving ecosystems. Plants AND animals included. For me, its difficult to see how Singaporeans want to be green without fully going green.

Ok, before I rant about something irrelevant I should center back to what I actually mean.

Everyone says we exploit the earth for it’s resources. We only want to use and not give back. We are self-fish creatures. We all know this. This is even emphasised when we try and save the earth. We think that we can plant a few thousand trees and plants and we will have clean air and shelter from the weather in Singapore but when birds and bugs and other creatures that return to their habits pose some small inconveniences to us, we start complaining.  I understand that mozzies are no good ( I get it) and poisonous snakes are definitely not ideal, but can’t we take a frog or dragonfly or a small water snake ( non-poisonous of course) back into our environment.

I think I understand the limitations Singapore faces. We are small. Land is used for housing and commercial buildings and businesses.  So we build gardens and pretend that we are maintaining the natural environment. Don’t get me wrong, some of the initiatives taken are pretty ok. I like the park connectors and the public gardens there. I like the big fields which are a dying breed. I’m highly skeptical about Gardens by the bay, despite me knowing its really good system of maintain the plants there. It feels awkward still, almost like we were trying too hard. We might get international recognition but we might need to consider why.

I want to keep our ecosystems alive. Not plant and build gardens. There is a difference.

Hopefully my years at NUS will show me how to do that.





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