Nature Reserves Act

(Original Enactment: Ordinance 15 of 1951)

(30th March 1987)
An Act for the dedication and administration of certain lands in Singapore as nature reserves.
[6th March 1951]
Short title
1.  This Act may be cited as the Nature Reserves Act.
2.  In this Act, unless the context otherwise requires —
“animal” includes birds, reptiles, fish and every kind of vertebrate animal and the eggs and young thereof;
“Board” means the Board of Management constituted under section 5;
“Chairman” means the Chairman of the Board appointed under section 5(1);
“nature reserve” means any area of land for the time being included in the Schedule;
“trap” means any contrivance or device or thing by means of which any animal can be captured;
“weapon” means any firearm or ammunition therefor or any other instrument capable of propelling a projectile or capable of being propelled or capable of being used in such a manner that any animal can be killed or injured thereby.
Establishment of nature reserve
3.—(1)  The lands shown in the Schedule are hereby dedicated, set aside and reserved for the purposes of the propagation, protection and preservation of the indigenous fauna and flora of Singapore and for the preservation of objects and places of aesthetic, historical or scientific interest.
(2)  Those lands shall be controlled and managed not only for the purpose of protection and preservation as aforesaid but also for the purpose of providing under suitable conditions and control facilities for the study of and research into matters relating to the fauna and flora of Singapore and the physical conditions in which they live. Nothing in this section shall operate so as to limit any right, title or interest of the Government in any nature reserve.
Parliament may amend nature reserve boundary
4.—(1)  Parliament may by resolution amend the Schedule by either the addition to or deletion from it of any area or may make any modification of the boundary of an area already included in the Schedule.
(2)  Any such modification, deletion or addition shall be published in 3 successive issues of the Gazette and shall take effect (unless the resolution otherwise declares) on the date of the resolution of Parliament approving the amendment.
Board of Management
5.—(1)  The Board of Management shall consist of —
(a)a trustee as Chairman who shall be appointed by the Minister; and
(b)not less than 6 but not more than 9 other trustees, two of whom shall be appointed by the President and the others by the Minister.
(2)  A trustee referred to in subsection (1) shall be appointed on such conditions as the appointing authority by whom he was appointed may determine.
(3)  The trustees appointed under subsection (1) shall, unless their appointment is revoked by the appointing authority under subsection (4), or unless they resign during their period of office, hold office for a term of 3 years or for such shorter period as such appointing authority may in any case determine.
(4)  The appointing authority may at any time revoke the appointment of a trustee appointed by him under subsection (1).
(5)  The quorum at a meeting of the Board shall be 4.
(6)  The Chairman shall preside at all meetings of the Board and has the right to vote on all questions coming before or arising at a meeting of the Board.
(7)  In the absence of the Chairman, such trustee as the trustees present may elect shall act as Chairman.
(8)  All questions coming before or arising at a meeting of the Board shall be decided by a majority of trustees present and voting thereon at that meeting, and in the case of an equality of votes the person presiding at the meeting shall have a second or casting vote.
Appointment of committees and delegation of powers
6.—(1)  The Board may, in its discretion, appoint committees of persons who may or may not be trustees appointed under section 5(1) for purposes which, in the opinion of the Board, would be better regulated and managed by means of such committees.
(2)  The Board may, subject to such conditions or restrictions as it thinks fit, delegate to any such committee or the Chairman any of the powers, functions and duties by this Act vested in the Board, and a power, function or duty so delegated may be exercised or performed by the committee or the Chairman, as the case may be, in the name and on behalf of the Board.
(3)  The Board may continue to exercise a power conferred upon it, or perform a function or duty under this Act, notwithstanding the delegation of such power, function or duty under this section.
Powers of Board of Management
7.—(1)  The Board shall have full powers to administer the nature reserve and may for this purpose appoint and employ such officers, guards and servants as it may consider necessary.
(2)  Any officer or servant employed by the Board shall for the purpose of the Penal Code [Cap. 224] be deemed to be a public servant and may, by resolution of the Board, be deemed to have all the powers of a police officer provided that where the resolution is made the appointment of such officer shall forthwith be notified in the Gazette.
Occupation of land within nature reserve
8.—(1)  The Board shall not sell, lease or otherwise dispose of or permit the occupation of any part of a nature reserve but shall have full power to control, develop and administer each reserve and in particular to arrange for —
(a)the construction and maintenance of roads, paths, dams, pools and reservoirs;
(b)the construction and maintenance of hotels, rest-houses, kiosks and any public amenity considered to be necessary;
(c)the provision of accommodation of any kind required for the Board’s staff or for the development and control of the nature reserve; and
(d)the equipment of the nature reserve with seats, vantage points and works of public utility and to carry out any other work which the Board may consider desirable in the interests of the development and preservation of the nature reserve.
(2)  If any part of a nature reserve is a part of the Public Utilities Board catchment area, officers of that Board have ipso facto the right to enter at all times upon that part of the catchment area and to do any acts which they may be permitted by law to do.
General prohibition of mining, etc.
9.  No prospecting, mining, quarrying, or removal of soil, sand, laterite, clay or any earth substance shall be allowed in a nature reserve.
Acts prohibited
10.—(1)  Subject to the provisions of this Act and to any rules made thereunder, no person other than an officer or servant of the Board acting in the performance of his duty shall —
(a)convey into a nature reserve, or within the confines of a nature reserve be in possession of, any weapon, explosive, trap, net, birdline, poison or other thing intended or calculated to cause injury to any animal within the nature reserve;
(b)convey into a nature reserve, or within the confines of a nature reserve be in possession of, any implement or tool intended or calculated for the doing of any act or thing in contravention of the provisions of this Act or of any rules made thereunder;
(c)introduce any animal into a nature reserve or permit any domestic animal to stray into the nature reserve;
(d)within a nature reserve disturb or take the nest of any animal or kill, injure, capture or molest any animal provided that any noxious animal may be killed;
(e)within a nature reserve cut, destroy or damage any tree or plant or clear, break up, dig or cultivate any land; or
(f)remove from a nature reserve any tree or plant or any part of any tree or plant.
(2)  Notwithstanding subsection (1)(d) and (f) it shall be lawful for the Chairman to give permission for the taking of plants or animals for study, teaching or research.
(3)  Any person who contravenes any of the provisions of this section shall be guilty of an offence.
Other offences
11.—(1)  No person shall within a nature reserve wilfully or negligently destroy, damage or deface any object of zoological, botanical, geological, ethnological or other scientific or aesthetic interest or value.
(2)  No person shall destroy, damage, deface or remove any notice, boundary mark or other thing whatsoever the property of the Board.
(3)  No person shall use or occupy any building, vehicle, boat or other thing the property of the Board except in accordance with any permission granted by an officer or servant of the Board competent to grant such permission or otherwise in accordance with the provisions of this Act.
(4)  Any person who contravenes any of the provisions of this section shall be guilty of an offence.
12.  Any police officer or any officer or servant of the Board generally or specially authorised to do so may within a nature reserve arrest any person found committing any offence under this Act or any rules made thereunder or whom he may reasonably believe to have committed such an offence and shall as soon after his arrest as is practicable take or send the person to a police station there to be dealt with according to law.
Power of search
13.  Any police officer or any officer or servant of the Board generally or specially authorised to do so may within a nature reserve if he has reason to believe that any offence has been committed under this Act or any rules made thereunder inspect and search any baggage, equipment, package, container, tent, vehicle, boat, craft or place and seize any thing therein which he requires as evidence that any such offence has been committed.
14.—(1)  The Board may make rules to give effect to the provisions of this Act.
(2)  In particular and without prejudice to the generality of subsection (1), the rules may provide for all or any of the following matters:
(a)prescribing the conditions under which a nature reserve may be used;
(b)prohibiting the doing of any particular act within a nature reserve;
(c)prescribing the fees payable in respect of admission to or in respect of any particular use of a nature reserve or in respect of any thing done under this Act;
(d)prescribing that any act or omission in contravention of the provisions of any rule made under this Act is an offence and imposing one or more of the penalties for such an offence, namely, fine, imprisonment and forfeiture:
Provided that no fine imposed by those rules shall exceed a sum of $500 and no penalty of imprisonment imposed shall exceed a term of 6 months;
(e)providing for the seizure of any animal or other thing by means of which or in respect of which there is reason to believe that an offence has been committed.
(3)  All rules made under this Act shall be published in the Gazette and shall come into force on the date of publication.
(4)  Such rules shall be presented to Parliament as soon as possible after publication and shall remain in force until disapproved or altered by a resolution of Parliament. Any rule altered by a resolution of Parliament shall come into force as altered from the date of the passing of the resolution and shall have the same force and effect as if enacted in this Act.
15.  A person who fails to comply with a provision of this Act shall be guilty of an offence and shall be liable on conviction to a fine of not less than $200 and of not more than $1,000 or to imprisonment for a term not exceeding 6 months or to both.
16.  Nothing in this Act shall prevent any public officer from entering or being in a nature reserve in the execution of the duties of his office.