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Wildlife happenings

Wildlife Reserves Singapore (WRS) is buzzing with activity with sustainability as its core goal

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Map of The Mandai Project. Credit: Mandai Park Holdings

SINGAPORE - Wildlife Reserves Singapore (WRS) is increasing its efforts towards sustainability-themed events. It is actively looking into themed corporate events and customised tours where corporates can learn about its sustainable operations, given the growing interest from the MICE market.

WRS manages Jurong Bird Park, Night Safari, River Safari and Singapore Zoo. Its venues are transforming into an integrated precinct in Mandai by co-locating the zoos to become a hub for nature and wildlife activities. The Mandai Wildlife Bridge is already in operation, and the next milestone will be the opening of the new Bird Park and West Arrival Node in 2022. The other wildlife parks, attractions and a new resort will progressively open through to 2024.

"Sustainability is at the core of everything we do. By embedding sustainability into our everyday business, we reduce impact to the environment for the protection of wildlife and their habitats in the long term. Sustainable sourcing is one such way. All seafood served in our parks are 100% sustainably sourced to alleviate the problems of overfishing.

"Recognising that production of unsustainable palm oil contributes to the loss of wild habitats, WRS is an active member of the Roundtable for Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO) and advocates for the use of sustainable palm oil. Sustainable palm oil is used for cooking in all of WRS-owned food and beverage outlets, including food served at corporate functions," said a WRS spokesperson.

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An Evening in the Wild: one of the zoo's key programmes for corporates. Credit: WRS

WRS aims to eliminate all unrecyclable, single-use plastics by 2025. Since 2016, the organisation has removed nearly 80% of single-use plastics from the parks, and continue to work closely with tenants and partners and it has stopped selling drinking water in plastic bottles.

"Instead, we encourage our guests to use refillable bottles and take advantage of the water dispensers installed throughout our parks. Single-use cutlery has also been removed from our restaurants. These initiatives are carried over in our corporate events, where we use reusable cutlery. In addition, we work with our clients to avoid distributing single-use items such as balloons and styrofoam containers. As a result, we have seen a reduction of over 16 tonnes of plastic waste each year," he said.

Come 2023, a new 338-room resort managed by Banyan Tree Hotels & Resorts will open with a biophilic design that integrates with its 4.6-hectare surroundings. This project aims to showcase sustainable development practices and will be designed with the native flora and fauna as inspiration. Rooms will be elevated several metres above ground to allow native wildlife to move across the site. Besides the extensive planting at the roof and façade of the resort buildings, more than half the trees on the site will be retained, of which 40% are of conservation value.

As a self-funded organisation, WRS focuses on protecting biodiversity in Singapore and Southeast Asia through collaborations with partners, organisations and institutions. Teambuilding and seminar packages start from S$42 (US$30) while Family Day or corporate function deals start from S$30. Each year, the four attractions draw some 4.6 million visitors. Mandai Park Holdings oversees the business and strategic development of Wildlife Reserves Singapore (WRS).