Public awareness key to mangrove preservation and restoration

If you’ve visited Singapore’s Sungei Buloh Wetland Reserve, home to the largest mangrove area in Singapore, you may have already learnt about mangrove forests, its importance to the ecosystem and efforts being undertaken in Singapore and around the world to preserve as much of these habitats as we can. 

A lot of our local preservation efforts have been successful, but mangrove forests continue to be at risk because of development and urbanisation, and public awareness remains key to continued success of these efforts. 

In conjunction with the United Nations’ International Day for the Conservation of the Mangrove Ecosystem on 26 July, mangrove expert and NUS Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences geographer, Associate Professor Daniel Friess diaries a day in his life as a researcher in an Eco-Business article here.  He also shares his proudest work by far – a project to re-wild abandoned shrimp farms on Pulau Ubin. 

Assoc Prof Friess, who is also Deputy Director for the NUS Centre for Nature-based Climate Solutions, explained how cooperation is his philosophy to nature conservation. 

“We have to be realistic and we have to work with stakeholders. Stakeholders are going to have different views all the time, but trying to find the consensus and middle ground is really important. If you want to have a voice at the table, then you need to work with, not against people,” he said.