Our First Nature Reserves
Singapore’s nature reserves have a history that stretches back to the early 1880s. Conceived by then Superintendent of the Singapore Botanic Gardens Nathaniel Cantley in the Report on the Forests of the Straits Settlements (1883), the reserves were to protect the remaining primary forest on the island which had been greatly depleted due to human activities particularly the indiscriminate clearing of forest land for cash crop plantations such as gambier and pepper.
This story map retells the story of how and why Singapore’s first reserves were established by highlighting key discussions and interesting facts in Cantley’s 1883 forest report.
View the story map in full screen or on your mobile device by scanning the QR code below.
The title of the base map used in this story map is Map Of The Island Of Singapore: Annexure To Report On The Forests Of The Straits Settlements (1882).
This story map used related articles in Infopedia, HistorySG, BiblioAsia, and Roots as references. It also consulted the following books: Report on the Forests of the Straits Settlements (1883), Nature contained: Environmental Histories of Singapore (2014), Nature’s Colony: Empire, Nation and Environment in the Singapore Botanic Gardens (2016), Rainforest in a city (2015), Ours to protect : Nature in Singapore (1993), A view from the summit : the story of Bukit Timah Nature Reserve (1996), and Gardens of Perpetual Summer: The Singapore Botanic Gardens (2009).