Singapore is turning to nature-based solutions to protect the shoreline of Pulau Ubin against erosion. We have been working with the National Parks Board (NParks) of Singapore to conduct a multi-disciplinary detailed design consultancy and Environmental Impact Study (EIS) on the island’s shorelines since 2018 and construction works for the project is targeted to begin in 2022.

Along the island’s coast, abandoned aquaculture ponds and higher wave energy created by vessel movements are eroding mangrove habitats and removing sediment away from the foreshore, resulting in the retreat of the shoreline. Headlands made of armour rocks and rock revetment features beneath eroded mangrove undercuts have been assessed to be the most effective measures to prevent further erosion while having minimal impact to the surrounding. The headlands, separated 200 meters apart by beach nourishment sand, will act as barriers and advance the shoreline beyond its current location. It will feature intertidal habitats with different elevations for perching and roosting birds; rock pools and crevices for marine intertidal fauna; and saltwater tolerant plants to naturalize and enhance the habitats.

Protection measures for the existing mangrove forests will involve the construction of rock revetments along the eroded shorelines. Suitable substrate backfill inside 100% biodegradable coir fiber bags will be placed beneath these sloping rock revetment structures to help the natural colonization of the mangroves along the revetments.

Mangrove forests are considered one of the most effective nature-based solutions in the fight against climate change. They have the ability to capture over three times the amount of carbon than tropical rainforests, as well as protect shorelines from storms and floods. Projects like this are in line with the principles behind the recent United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP26), as it demonstrates how industry participants and stakeholders can innovate and build partnerships for the good of the environment. Our commitment to our ESG strategy supports this, allowing us to come up with a holistic approach in analyzing the problem and coming up with a sustainable and effective solution.