Singapore, 8 August 2009 – To mark the 10th anniversary of Singapore’s only offshore landfill, the National Environment Agency (NEA) is launching a commemorative book, entitled “ Habitats in Harmony: The Story of Semakau Landfill”. The book will be unveiled by Dr Yaacob Ibrahim, Minister for the Environment and Water Resources at NEA’s 3rd Semakau Run, which aims to raise funds in support of the work of environmental and charity groups.
Mr Andrew Tan, Chief Executive Officer of National Environment Agency, said, “The commemorative book celebrates the success that NEA has achieved in developing an innovative, sustainable waste management model that has helped Singapore address the challenge of land scarcity and keeping the country clean. Semakau Landfill has been acclaimed internationally by the media and experts as an engineering feat that meets waste disposal needs while protecting its rich biodiversity.”
The book is NEA’s first chronology of the natural history and development of Semakau Landfill, which was entirely created from the sea space at a cost of more than $600 million. It also provides an insight into the planning, design and construction of the world’s first-of-its-kind offshore landfill, as well as Singapore’s waste management strategies. These have helped to significantly reduce the waste disposed of to 7,000 tonnes per day, a reduction of 9% as compared to 2001, and led to the extension of Semakau Landfill’s lifespan to 2040.
The success of NEA in preserving the natural habitats on and around the landfill is also documented in the book. Due to its ingenious design and prudent operation, Semakau Landfill exists in harmony with five natural habitats; the mangroves, grasslands, seagrass meadows, inter-tidal reef flats and coral reefs that harbor more than 780 species of plants and animals.
In addition, more than 100 rare or threatened species have been found at Semakau Landfill. These include some found nowhere else in Singapore. During the making of the book, surveys on the landfill discovered two butterfly species – the Two-spotted Line Blue and Pale Palm Dart – that are new records for Singapore.
Over a hundred people worked to put together the 120-page book over nine months. These include biodiversity researchers, professionals, students and volunteers who gave their anecdotes and provided insights into the biodiversity of the landfill, through captivating photographs and lively accounts of the landfill’s flora and fauna. The book will intrigue readers with accounts of the rich biodiversity that thrives amid an urbanized environment.
“We hope that this book will help Singaporeans better appreciate the innovative and ecologically friendly waste disposal model that NEA has painstakingly developed over the years. But, to conserve this rich biodiversity and prolong the lifespan of our only landfill, it is important that everyone plays their part to minimise the waste to be disposed of by practising the 3Rs - Reduce, Reuse and Recycle,” added Mr Tan.
The commemorative book is priced at S$24.90, and will be available at the NEA’s Customer Service Centre on Level 2 of the Environment Building and Semakau Landfill. More information can be found at www.nea.gov.sg and you can also subscribe to NEA twitter account at http://twitter.com/CGSingapore to receive updates related to Semakau Landfill and its biodiversity.
~~ End ~~
For more information, please contact
Call Centre: 1800-CALL NEA (1800-2255 632)