Friday, 12 April 2013

Singapore seeking heritage status


Singapore is pushing for its 154-year-old Botanic Gardens to be declared a UNESCO world heritage site.

The lush 182-acre park on the edge of downtown Singapore could join prestigious members such the Royal Botanic Gardens in London.

Founded in 1859 by the Agri-Horticultural Society while the island was under British colonial rule, the gardens became known for pioneering rubber tapping and orchid-breeding techniques. 

They are a key attraction for Singaporeans and tourists with up to four million visitors a year in a city-state of 5.3 million people.

The gardens boast more than 30,000 plant and tree species, according to the Singapore National Commission for UNESCO, as well as a swan lake and a concert amphitheatre.

It is particularly known for its VIP and Celebrity Orchids area, where varieties are cultivated and named after famous people, from Princess Diana to Nelson Mandela, reports the Daily Telegraph.

Pictured: Paravanda Nelson Mandela in the National Orchid Garden, Singapore Botanic Gardens.

By Pamela Kelt