Singapore has bagged its most important heritage award with the addition of an iconic park to the list of UNESCO World Heritage Sites.
The Singapore Botanic Gardens, founded in 1859, is the oldest surviving example of colonial-style botanic gardens in the tropics. Its landscape and role in the rubber trade were cited as key reasons for its inclusion in the list.
The decision, delivered at the 39th session of the World Heritage Committee held in Bonn, Germany, comes after five years of preparation by the Singaporean government.
Local press report the deliberation process resulted in an unanimous decision – to inscribe the site without reservation.
Sites on the UNESCO World Heritage list have been able to attract financial assistance for conservation projects from various sources as well as technical training for local site managers.
For the Singapore Botanic Gardens, public awareness and international recognition will inevitably result in greater tourist numbers.
The newly-minted UNESCO site joins more than 1,000 other sites, including two other gardens - the 1759 Royal Botanic Gardens in Kew, England, and the 1545 Orto botanico di Padova in Padua, Italy.
The Singapore Botanic Gardens, founded in 1859, is the oldest surviving example of colonial-style botanic gardens in the tropics.
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