SINGAPORE TOURISM BOARD AND TOURISM MALAYSIA LAUNCH ‘PASSPORT 2 NATURE’ TO RAISE AWARENESS AND APPRECIATION FOR SUNGEI BULOH WETLAND RESERVE AND PULAU KUKUP JOHOR NATIONAL PARK
Singapore, Malaysia, 1 October 2018 – Singapore Tourism Board (STB) and Tourism Malaysia have jointly launched the ‘Passport 2 Nature’ programme to encourage nature-lovers to visit and discover both Singapore’s Sungei Buloh Wetland Reserve and Malaysia’s Pulau Kukup Johor National Park. This is the first such joint promotional initiative by STB and Tourism Malaysia under the Joint Ministerial Committee for Iskandar Malaysia’s Tourism Working Group and is supported by Iskandar Regional Development Authority (IRDA), Singapore’s National Parks Board (NParks) and Johor National Parks Corporation (JNPC).
As part of the programme, from 1 October 2018 to 31 December 2018, visitors can receive a ‘Passport 2 Nature’ at entrance counters of both parks. Through completing a series of family-friendly interactive questions, visitors can uncover the parks’ unique flora and fauna, and earn stamps on their Passport. Upon completion of the Passport, they can present it to staff at either park and redeem a limited-edition souvenir created for the campaign (while stocks last).
“Singapore is located along the East Asian-Australasian Flyway. This means we serve as a valuable stop-over in the journey taken by migratory birds that come from as far away as Siberia. We welcome the opportunity to work with our wetland counterparts in other countries that are also part of the flyway, such as Pulau Kukup Johor National Park, to build up our knowledge of the migratory patterns and requirements of these amazing birds. This will enable us to better formulate conservation strategies for our wetlands to ensure the long-term survival of these birds,” said Dr Adrian Loo, Group Director, Conservation of the National Parks Board.
Pulau Kukup Johor National Park, a Ramsar Site, is one of five national parks in Johor under JNPC, a state agency. Besides the importance of its mangrove habitat, eco-tourism facilities have been developed on the island. After the upgrading undertaken by IRDA between 2015 and 2017, Pulau Kukup has been enjoying a 30% to 40% increase in visitor arrivals. This upward trend is set to continue with the establishment of nearby Kampung Permas Besar as a “Kawan Iskandar Malaysia” (KIM or Friend of Iskandar Malaysia) village focusing on developing Community-Based Ecotourism in supporting Pulau Kukup to become a leading ecotourism site in Johor.
The ‘Passport 2 Nature’ initiative follows a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) that was signed between NParks and the Johor National Parks Corporation on 21 February 2018, to establish Sungei Buloh Wetland Reserve and Pulau Kukup Johor National Park as Sister Sites under the East Asian-Australasian Flyway. The MoU enhances collaboration in joint research on migratory shorebirds found in both sites, enables knowledge and expertise sharing in wetland habitat management, and facilitates outreach and education.