Nature and the Environment
Subaraj Rajathurai: A Voice for the Wild
A gentle giant with a larger-than-life personality, Subaraj Rajathurai helped to save Singapore’s green spaces.
The Blossoming of Tree Planting Day
Singapore has planted more than two million trees in the past 50 years. Lim Tin Seng traces the roots of Tree Planting Day.
From Gambier to Pepper: Plantation Agriculture in Singapore
Timothy Pwee takes us on a tour through pepper, gambier, nutmeg, pineapple and rubber plantations that were once common in 19th-century Singapore.
Nature Conservation in Singapore
Balancing biodiversity conservation with urban development is a hot-button issue in land-scarce Singapore. Ang Seow Leng examines how this process has played out over the last 200 years.
Deforestation in 19th-century Singapore
Manmade climate change is usually seen as a modern phenomenon. In fact, rising temperatures as a result of rampant deforestation were already evident in Singapore two centuries ago, says Chia Jie Lin.
A Beastly Business: Regulating the Wildlife Trade in Colonial Singapore
The 1933 Report of the Wild Animals and Wild Birds Committee represents a failed attempt to regulate the buying and selling of wildlife in pre-war Singapore, says Fiona Tan.
Of Parks, Trees and Gardens: The Greening of Singapore
Lim Tin Seng traces the journey from the first botanical garden in 1822 to the “City in Nature” vision in 2020.
Cloudy with a Slight Chance of Rain: Singapore’s Meteorological Service
The Met Service was officially set up in 1929, but people have been recording weather data here for the last 200 years. Lim Tin Seng has the details.
Mad Dogs and Englishmen: Rabies in 19th-century Singapore
Fears of the deadly disease here led to more than 22,000 dogs being killed during the 1890s. Timothy P. Barnard sniffs out the details of this long-forgotten episode.
A Slice of Singapore in the Biodiversity Heritage Library
With climate change on the rise, access to research on biodiversity and natural history is all the more important. Lim Tin Seng tells us about the Biodiversity Heritage Library.
Revulsion and Reverence: Crocodiles in Singapore
Crocodiles elicit fear and respect by turns – and occasionally, even indifference. Kate Pocklington and Siddharta Perez document reptilian encounters at specific times in Singapore’s history and their impact on the human psyche.
Blooming Lies: The Vanda Miss Joaquim Story
Is the Vanda Miss Joaquim a human-made hybrid or a happy accident? In this cautionary tale, Nadia Wright, Linda Locke and Harold Johnson recount how fiction becomes truth when it is repeated often enough.
Through Time And Tide: A Survey of Singapore’s Reefs
The reefs that fringed Singapore’s coastline and islands have served for centuries as maritime markers, fishing grounds and even homes for island communities. Marcus Ng rediscovers the stories that lurk beneath the waves.
Mangroves: A Tale of Survival
Mangroves are an integral part of the marine ecosystem. Ang Seow Leng explains why these hardy and resilient plants are vital for the survival of humankind.
French Impressions: 19th Century Natural History Drawings of Singapore and Southeast Asia
A little-known collection from 1818 to 1820 commissioned under the watch of two French naturalists sheds light on the early study of the region’s flora and fauna.