With the proposed population increase to 6. 9 million citizens, the tension between preserving our natural heritage and developing our land for practical uses increases substantially. In an effort to examine whether our natural heritage is still worth preserving in the face of competing land uses, this essay analyzes the benefits that our biodiversity continues to provide us with in modern society. Throughout this analysis, relevant examples are drawn from published studies, as well as practices of organizations / individuals from other countries.
Today, the primary forests in Singapore are confined to areas such as the Bucket Timid Nature Reserve and the Central Catchments Nature Reserve. These places provide one of the few remaining locations in the country where people can enjoy a moment away from the hustle and bustle of civilization, indulging in ‘stress recovery/restoration’s . Numerous studies have been done on the practice of Shinning-Yoke, which meaner to ‘bathe’ in the forest air, and most of their findings suggest that it has significant therapeutic effects on human healthy.
For example, blood glucose levels of diabetic patients were shown to crease substantially, and individuals suffering from acute emotional stresses such as depression or aggression exhibited a more relaxed state of mind as their problems are made to seem more manageable, 4. The preservation of our primary forests also provides natural sites for physical activity in maintaining healthy lifestyles, which is important, as studies done in the US suggest that every dollar invested in physical activity results in $3. In medical cost savings . The White Paper addresses this issue by proposing the development of extensive park connector outworks. However, these man-made parks are likely to require higher maintenance costs than the primary forests as they are not self-sustaining. Naturally, the richness of species in primary forests are much higher than in these parks, which further allows people to satisfy their subconscious tendency towards connecting with other forms of life.
On top of preventive therapeutic benefits, our biodiversity also offers medicinal value that is fundamental to the treatment of diseases, forming the basis on which many pharmaceutical giants operate. For example, in 2004, Innovations invested more than IIS$OHIO million in Shanghai to identify the active compounds from species used in Traditional Chinese Medicine. The importance of our natural heritage as a bourgeoisie is further confirmed by statistics reported by the World Health Organization, which states that 1 1 . 1% of our medicinal chemicals are derived from plants, while 8. % originate from animals. The preservation of Singapore biodiversity becomes important to this cause when we consider the vast number of species that are endemic to Singapore, such as the Lesser Mouser (Triangular avionics fulfillment) and the Mangrove Big-jawed Spider (Tetragonal Joseph’), to name a few. Destroying the natural habitats of these species would likely result in their extinction, reducing the number of species available for medicinal study. Several studies also suggest how ensuring a rich biodiversity might curb the spread of certain diseases.
An example is Lame disease, where transmission to humans from ticks stems mainly from the ticks first acquiring the Lame-disease spirochete from the white-footed mouse (Prosperous leucosis). As biodiversity is increased, a reduction n the representation to the white-tooted mouse within the community gives rise to a ‘dilution effect’, thus reducing the occurrences of ticks acquiring the disease. Other vector-borne diseases, such as Chases disease, Obsession, and Tularemia, are expected to exhibit similar behaviors.
Hence, a rich biodiversity is necessary to maintain a healthy equilibrium between predator-prey and parasite-host relationships, providing an ecosystem with a lower prevalence of such diseases. Other irreplaceable services provided by our natural heritage include the purification of air quality as well as sequestration of greenhouse gases (GIG)II. It is widely known that fine particulate matter (PM) and other gaseous pollutants (ASS, NON, 03) are responsible for a wide range of deaths due to respiratory and cardiovascular illnesses 1 .
Urban settings tend to emit higher levels of PM as a result of the high intensity of human activity; hence, an increase in the rate of removal of UMPS becomes necessary to maintain human health. The importance of forests in improving air quality is highlighted in Beijing, where studies suggest that their forests were responsible for the removal of 1261. 4 tons of air pollutants in 200212. As recent search also estimates that 1/3 of annual global fossil fuel emissions are sequestered by forests, conservation of our natural heritage also aids in the increasing global efforts against climate change.
In view of the true benefits of our natural heritage, as well as the desire to expand our population, it would be naive to assume that we can proceed with business as usual and yet achieve both ideals. One way to circumvent such a trade-off would be to make a commitment towards developing innovative technologies for more efficient land use. For instance, attempts could be made to introduce ‘Logo-style’ apartments on a large scale. These apartments can be as small as 25 mm and transform a given space from a kitchen to a dining area etc. With minimal inconveniences.
Innovative pricing mechanisms and improvements to the reliability and efficiency of public transportation services could also be addressed to minimize the dedication of excessive land space to increase capacity. While most research has focused on the benefits of ecological preservation or on developing methodologies for sustainable development, some espouse a more pessimistic view of the issue, suggesting that such sustainable societies are unattainable utopias. This has often been observed throughout the history of our industrialized times, where economic growth and sustainable development have seldom been pursued together.