Ulu Pandan MP Christopher de Souza files motion in Parliament on preserving Dover Forest

There have been previous calls to conserve the space by converting it into a nature park.

Ashley Tan | January 19, 2021, 11:30 AM

There has been much attention on Dover Forest recently after media reports revealed that the 33ha patch of greenery is slated for housing development.

An environmental baseline study was conducted in 2017 and made public last December so that members of the public can provide their feedback on it.

The feedback window closed on Jan. 16, 2021 (last Saturday).

Public outcry

The forest, which has remained untouched for the past 40 years, is home to 120 species of plants and 158 species of birds, mammals, reptiles, amphibians, fish, snails, and insects.

There was a subsequent outcry among nature lovers and residents to protect Dover Forest, with a petition garnering over 29,000 signatures in less than a week.

The Nature Society Singapore also shared their feedback to HDB in relation to the environmental baseline study on the forest a day before the feedback window closed.

NSS proposed for the forest to be converted into a public-cum-nature park, and for housing projects to be located at other open spaces or golf courses instead.

MP filed motion on preserving Dover Forest

On Jan. 18, Member of Parliament for Holland-Bukit Timah GRC's Ulu Pandan Division, Christopher de Souza, said in a Facebook post that he had filed an adjournment motion in Parliament, titled "Preservation of Dover Forest in Ulu Pandan".

De Souza explained that if no other adjournment motions were filed, there would be no need for balloting — this would allow him 30 minutes for a speech for his motion.

He shared that despite his support for housing and redevelopment, he also "cherish[ed] greenery and the serenity it offers people and wildlife".

De Souza added that he would raise and explore other vacant sites which could be used for development instead.

You can read De Souza's full post here.

MP Louis Ng to ask questions related to Dover Forest

Nee Soon GRC MP Louis Ng, who is also the Chair of the Government Parliamentary Committee on Sustainability and the Environment, told Mothership that he intends to raise this topic in Parliament as well.

Ng highlighted that he has long been an avid advocate for environmental issues and the protection of Dover Forest would be no different.

Stating that an area's zoning is not always set in stone, Ng mentioned the conservation of Khatib Bongsu as a positive example.

Khatib Bongsu, an area comprising mudflats and mangroves near Yishun and Sembawang, was previously designated as an area for prawn farming.

There are plans, however, to sensitively enhance and transform it into a nature park, which will be ready by 2024.

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Top photo from by Sydney Cheong and CNA / YouTube