Singapore Biodiversity Encyclopedia Launched

Spearheaded by NUS researchers, Singapore's first ever biodiversity encyclopedia is published, covering over 200 years of Singapore's rich natural history.  

The official launch of the Encyclopedia with Guest of Honour President S. R. Nathan.Singapore, 28 July 2011. A group of NUS researchers from the Department of Biological Sciences has recently initiated a unique book project consolidating over 200 years worth of studies on Singapore's natural history. This first-ever comprehensive reference work entitled “Singapore Biodiversity – An Encyclopedia of the Natural Environment and Sustainable Development” was launched on 18 July 2011 by NUS Chancellor and Singapore President S R Nathan, in the presence of some 130 guests representing key stakeholders of environment conservation in Singapore. 

Over a span of 552 pages, this book focuses on Singapore's achievements in managing to conserve its rich natural heritage, despite its small size and dense urban landscape. “It will serve as a very important resource and context, which will help inform our thinking and action to further improve our natural heritage. It also provides an interesting link to our long history of environmental conservation amidst rapid economic development,” said NUS President Prof Tan Chorh Chuan.

Initiated by Prof Leo Tan, Director of Special Projects at the Faculty of Science, and Prof Peter Ng, Director of the Raffles Museum of Biodiversity Research and the Tropical Marine Science Institute at NUS, the landmark publication also involved 65 contributors from the academia, government agencies and environmental activist groups in Singapore which include the Ministry of the Environment and Water Resources, Ministry of National Development, National Environment Agency and Nature Society (Singapore). 
Prof Leo Tan, Chair of the Editorial Advisory Board; Prof Peter Ng, one of the General Editors and Prof Tommy Koh, Ambassador-at-Large and Chief Advisor of the encylopedia.
Three NUS professors from the Department of Biological Sciences, Prof Peter Ng, Prof Richard Corlett and Assoc Prof Hugh Tan, were the general editors and Editions Didier Millet, the publisher. 

The first part of the book offers readers a coverage of multiple aspects of Singapore’s natural environment along with other related topics, such as climate change, public policy and sustainable development. And in the second part of the book, an A-Z guide on Singapore’s biodiversity, with some 1,500 entries covering almost every known organism found in Singapore is discussed. 

Donations amounting to S$1.1 million from ExxonMobil Asia Pte Ltd, Keppel Corporation Limited, Lee Foundation, Ngee Ann Kongsi, Mr Sam Goi and Mr Oei Hong Leong supported the production of the book.

“Singapore Biodiversity – An Encyclopedia of the Natural Environment and Sustainable Development” is now on sale at bookstores islandwide. It is also available at NUS libraries and libraries under the National Library Board. 


Photos: Internet sources