Singapore celebrates first UNESCO World Heritage site

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Singapore's Botanic Gardens
Singapore’s Botanic Gardens

Singapore‘s Botanic Gardens have been recognised by UNESCO as the country’s first ever World Heritage Site.

The UN’s cultural body said the Botanic Gardens have become “a modern world-class scientific institution used for both conservation and education”.

“It has been an important centre for science, research and plant conservation, notably in connection with the cultivation of rubber plantations, in Southeast Asia since 1875,” UNESCO added.

Founded by the British in 1859, the Botanical Gardens showcases a wide variety of tropical flora, including multiple species of orchid, over an area of 74 hectares.

Grace Fu of the Singapore Prime Minister’s office, said she was “delighted” with the decision. “It’s an important decision and I think it will bring more visitors to Singapore to Botanic Gardens to appreciate the beauty of the garden,” Ms Fu was quoted saying by Channel NewsAsia.

It becomes only the third botanic gardens in the world to be recognised by UNESCO, following Orto botanico di Padova in Italy and the Royal Botanic Gardens at Kew, UK.

Other new sites inscribed on to the UNESCO World Heritage list include the ‘Baekje Historic Areas’ in South Korea, the ‘Champagne Hillsides, Houses and Cellars’ in France, the ‘Tusi Sites’ of southwest China and the ‘Great Burkhan Khaldun Mountain’ in Mongolia.
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