Extending REDD+ to mangroves and wetlands for small island states and a case study for the conservation of mangroves and inter-tidal mudflats in Singapore

Lin Heng LYE, Vinayagan Dharmarajah

Abstract

This paper briefly discusses the prospects of using coastal wetlands as REDD+ projects for small island states. The paper contends that the city-state of Singapore would do well to enhance existing laws to more specifically address the challenges and threats faced in conserving mangroves and inter-tidal mudflats, and support their conservation and rehabilitation, not just to facilitate the implementation of REDD+ projects but also to meet other goals like biodiversity conservation and climate change adaptation. The proposal is to expand Sungei Buloh to encompass the mudflats at Kranji which is home to the mangrove horseshoe crab (Carcinoscrorpius rotundicauda); aligned with inter-tidal and coastal management strategies advanced under the auspices of the Ramsar Convention, the Convention on Biological Diversity and the IUCN. However, there are considerable challenges in maintaining an intact eco-system in the face of rapid development, not only in Singapore itself but also in the neighbouring state of Johor, Malaysia. The paper examines the specific legal strategies that will be required to meet the various objectives of conservation in the context of Singapore's laws and the challenges posed by the development plans of both Singapore and Malaysia.

Keywords

REDD+; coastal wetlands; island states

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