Creating a national shoreline typology map and identifying ecosystem services found in Singapore's shoreline habitats
Ng, Zhao Ying
Date of Issue2019-04-23
Asian School of the Environment
Natural Capital Singapore
Shoreline habitats in Singapore support an impressive range of biodiversity and provide us with a wide variety of ecosystem services that improve our well-being (Friess & Oliver, 2014; Yang et al., 2011; Cheah, 2016). However, natural habitat loss has become increasingly widespread over the past few decades with extensive land reclamation that has resulted in a highly urbanised environment (Lai et al., 2015). The drastic alteration of Singapore’s shorelines had also led to significant impacts on the ecosystem services they provide. Thus, the aim of this final year project was to understand the current spatial distribution of shoreline habitats in Singapore by producing the first ever national scale shoreline typology map. The mapping of shoreline habitats was supplemented with a preliminary quantitative and qualitative assessment of the ecosystem services provided by Singapore’s shorelines for a better understanding of their distribution. The results from the created map showed that the majority of Singapore’s shorelines are engineered (61%) in contrast to their natural/naturalised counterpart (39%). Both the bridge, dock, piling, pier & jetty (BDPPR) and sand categories had the longest shorelines in Singapore at 24% and 18% respectively. Considering that the Urban Redevelopment Authority’s (URA) Master Plan (2014) has designated more schemes for future land reclamation, it is likely that our existing natural habitats will continue to shrink and be replaced with even more engineered shorelines. These changes could be particularly significant as the natural habitats, such as the mangrove forest at Sungei Buloh Wetland Reserve, were found to provide significantly more ecosystem services compared to engineered shorelines, such as vertical seawalls. Thus, the continued trend towards a highly engineered shoreline landscape could result in a decrease in the diversity and abundance of ecosystem services provided by Singapore’s shoreline habitats. Hence, it is vital that policy makers consider the balance between conservation and development, as there are benefits provided by nature for humans that are irreplaceable by engineered shorelines.
Final Year Project (FYP)
Nanyang Technological University