In 1986, a group of avid birdwatchers from the then Malayan Nature
Society (Singapore Branch) stumbled upon this ecological jewel, and
subsequently wrote a proposal to the government for its conservation.
The 87 ha wetland site was consequently designated as a nature park in
1989. The then Parks & Recreation Department, a precursor to the
National Parks Board, undertook the development of Sungei Buloh, in
consultation with experts in the field, notably, the Wildfowl &
Wetlands Trust from the United Kingdom and Worldwide Fund for Nature.
On 6 Dec 1993, Prime Minister Goh Chok Tong officially opened the
Over the years, the unique place that is Sungei Buloh charmed people
from all strata of society to support its cause. It welcomed its
100,000th visitor in 1994. In 1997, the Park found its corporate
sponsor in HSBC, which set up the Sungei Buloh Education Fund in
support of its nature outreach programmes. In 1999, Woodlands Secondary
School became the first school to adopt the park. It was followed by
Commonwealth Secondary School in 2001 and Hillgrove Secondary in
On 10 November, 2001, National Development Minister Mah Bow Tan
announced that Sungei Buloh would be one of two parks to be gazetted as
Nature Reserves. On 1 Jan 2002, 130-ha of Sungei Buloh was officially
gazetted as a nature reserve and renamed as Sungei Buloh Wetland
Reserve to better reflect its status.
In the same year, Sungei Buloh Wetland Reserve was recognized as a site
of international importance for migratory birds with
Wetlands International presenting the reserve a certificate to mark its
formal entry into the East Asian Australasian Shorebird Site Network,
which include Australia's Kakadu National Park, China's Mai Po and
Japan's Yatsu Tidal Flats.
Sungei Buloh became Singapore’s first ASEAN Heritage Park in 2003.
To find out more about Sungei Buloh, go to our archive of articles
under Wetland News.