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OCBC invests S$4 million to build high-tech site with 200 tree species in S’pore Botanic Garden

This is the first high-tech arboretum in Southeast Asia.

Zhangxin Zheng | July 21, 01:58 pm

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OCBC Bank was the first local bank to commit to stop financing coal power plants earlier in April 2019.

On July 20, the bank announced its commitment to mitigate climate change by contributing S$4 million in research and conservation of tree species in the region.

This is, by far, OCBC’s most significant contribution to the National Parks Board (NParks).

First high-tech arboretum in S.E.A

Together with NParks, the bank announced its setting up of an arboretum in Singapore Botanic Garden during a tree-planting event yesterday.

The two-hectare OCBC Arboretum, located along Gallop Road, will house 2,000 rainforest trees from over 200 endangered species (also known as Dipterocarps) for research and conservation purposes.

Second Minister of National Development Desmond Lee, OCBC Bank Group CEO Samuel Tsien, Professor Leo Tan along with 200 volunteers and their families planted the first 160 trees of the OCBC Arboretum. (Photo by OCBC Bank).

According to OCBC Bank Group CEO, Samuel Tsien, the bank hopes to ensure the survival of the Dipterocarps which are critically endangered as well as help mitigate the impacts of climate change.

Volunteers in action, helping to plant trees at OCBC Arboretum.

For the first time, a combination of Internet of Things (IoT) system, environmental sensors, and remote sensing will be used to monitor the environmental conditions as well as the growth and health of trees.

Notably, 3D models of each tree in the arboretum will be generated at 3-month intervals so that researchers can study how to grow stronger trunks and branches.

A 360° inclinometer at the arboretum will also help to project the stability of trees under different wind speeds.

This will help researchers and NParks to better manage trees in view of climate change so that trees will not succumb so easily to extreme weather conditions like this:

Large tree in Bedok uprooted by thunderstorm on May. 8 morning despite hidden in HDB estate

The arboretum will be opened later this year.

New knowledge centre for conservation

OCBC Bank has also announced at the event to fund a new knowledge centre for tree conservation.

Named as the Forest Discovery Centre @ OCBC Arboretum, this knowledge centre will be housed at Singapore’s first black and white bungalow in the botanic garden.

Here are more photos shared by Second Minister of National Development Desmond Lee who attended the event in the morning:

Here’s more about the arboretum by NParks:

Top image from OCBC Bank

About Zhangxin Zheng

Zhangxin’s favourite pastime is singing Mulan’s soundtrack in the mangrove forests. She hopes to perfect the art of napping in a hammock in the mangroves without being drowned by rising sea levels.

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