Mr Melvin Yong: To ask the Minister for Trade and Industry in view of the opening of accommodation in Lazarus Island for eco-tourism from May 2023 (a) how does the Ministry intend to address possible disamenities that may arise such as indiscriminate littering and visitors feeding wildlife; and (b) whether there will be regular monitoring of the impact to the island’s wildlife and its surrounding marine ecosystem.
Oral Answer (to be attributed to the Minister of State for Trade and Industry Alvin Tan)
1. The Sentosa Development Corporation (SDC) has worked with the operator of the short-term eco-accommodations, Big Tiny, to minimise guests' environmental footprint. The scale of the eco-accommodation is small with a maximum occupancy of 15 adults in its 5 units. Big Tiny also adopts sustainable practices, such as using solar energy as their main source of power, and has in place responsible and appropriate waste management measures. It will also educate its guests by providing pre-visit and in-room materials to remind them on best practices to protect the environment. SDC has worked with and will continue to work with Big Tiny and nature groups to finetune operational best practices. Should visitors or the operator breach regulations, the relevant agencies will take the appropriate enforcement action.
2. On a broader level, the Singapore Land Authority (SLA) works closely with relevant government agencies and other stakeholders to safeguard the biodiversity and heritage of the Southern Islands, including Lazarus Island, to preserve their rustic charm and rich habitats. For example, in terms of biodiversity monitoring, the National Parks Board (NParks) is currently working with various stakeholders to compile the Southern Islands Biodiversity Survey. This will cover the terrestrial and marine habitats of all the Southern Islands, including Lazarus Island, and guide its conservation strategies. I want to assure members that we will continue to monitor and safeguard the biodiversity and heritage of the Southern Islands, which is of utmost importance to us.