Parks and Trees Act

(Original Enactment: Act 4 of 2005)

(31st July 2006)
An Act to provide for the planting, maintenance and conservation of trees and plants within national parks, nature reserves, tree conservation areas, heritage road green buffers and other specified areas, and for matters connected therewith.
[1st August 2005]
Short title
1.  This Act may be cited as the Parks and Trees Act.
2.  In this Act, unless the context otherwise requires —
“animal” means any mammal (other than man), bird, reptile, amphibian, fish (including shellfish), insect or any other living creature, vertebrate or invertebrate, and includes any egg or young thereof;
“authorised officer” means any person appointed under section 4(3);
“Board” means the National Parks Board established under the National Parks Board Act (Cap. 198A);
“boat” means any launch, vessel or floating craft used in navigation by water, however propelled or moved;
“bridge” includes any flyover, overpass and viaduct;
“building” has the same meaning as in the Building Control Act (Cap. 29);
“building works” means any of the following works:
(a)the erection, alteration, restoration, addition or extension of a building or part thereof;
(b)the demolition or dismantling of a building or part thereof with a view to rebuilding;
(c)any site clearance, earth-moving, excavation, tunnelling, boring or laying of foundations;
(d)any site restoration or provision of roadways and other access works; and
(e)any other kind of building operation which forms part of, is preparatory to, is for rendering complete or is otherwise connected with any works referred to in paragraph (a), (b), (c) or (d);
“Commissioner” means the Commissioner of Parks and Recreation appointed under section 4(1);
“competent authority” means the authority appointed under section 5 of the Planning Act (Cap. 232) to be responsible for the operation of Part III of that Act;
“cut”, in relation to a tree or plant, means felling or lopping a tree or plant;
“damage”, in relation to a tree or plant, includes —
(a)poisoning the tree or plant through —
(i)applying any herbicide or other plant toxic chemical to it; or
(ii)spilling (including washing off or directing water contaminated by) any oil, petroleum, paint, cement, mortar or the like onto the root zone of the tree or plant;
(b)ringbarking the tree or plant or scarring its bark when operating any machinery, or by affixing any object (such as a sign) to it using nails, staples, wires or other means;
(c)using tree climbing spikes on a healthy tree (except for the purpose of gaining access to an injured person on it) or fastening materials that significantly restrict the normal vascular function of the trunk or branches of the tree or plant; and
(d)causing damage to the tree’s or plant’s root zone by compaction, excavation or asphyxiation (including filling or stockpiling it with materials);
“footway” includes any footpath, verandah-way, open or covered walkway, pedestrian mall, plaza, square, and other related structures and facilities;
“green verge” means the portion along the centre median or side of a public street, or a traffic island within a public street, which is provided for the growing of trees or plants;
“heritage road green buffer” means any area designated by the Minister as such under section 16(1);
“national park” means any area designated for the time being in Part I of the Schedule;
“nature reserve” means any area designated for the time being in Part II of the Schedule;
“occupier”, in relation to any premises, means —
(a)the person in actual occupation of the premises (whether or not he is also the owner thereof) or, if there is no person in actual occupation, the person entitled to possession of the premises; and
(b)if there is more than one occupier of the premises — any one of the occupiers;
“organism” means —
(a)a genetic structure that is capable of replicating itself, whether that structure comprises all or only part of an entity, and whether it comprises all or only part of the total genetic structure of an entity; or
(b)a reproductive cell or developmental stage of an entity referred to in paragraph (a);
“owner”, in relation to a vehicle, includes —
(a)every person who is the owner or joint owner or part owner of the vehicle and any person who is the hirer or has the use of the vehicle under a hire-purchase agreement but not the lessor under any such agreement;
(b)the person in whose name the vehicle is registered except where the person has sold or otherwise disposed of the vehicle and has complied with the provisions of the rules applicable to him in regard to the sale or disposal; and
(c)in the case of a vehicle in respect of which a general licence is issued under section 28 of the Road Traffic Act (Cap. 276), the person to whom the general licence is issued;
“park ranger” means any person appointed under section 4(5);
“plant” means any member of the plantae, protista, monera or fungi kingdom, and includes any angiosperm, gymnosperm, pteridophyte, bryophyte, algae, lichen or fungus;
“planting area” means any planting area referred to in section 23;
“premises” means —
(a)any building or land or part thereof; or
(b)any place (whether enclosed or built on or not) and includes any place situated underground or under water;
“public park” means any State land, any land belonging to the Board or any other land, which is —
(a)utilised as a public park, recreation ground, playground, garden, public open space, walk, park connector or green verge; and
(b)managed or maintained by the Board;
“public street” means any street over which the public has a right of way and which has been vested in the Government under the Street Works Act (Cap. 320A) or the repealed Local Government Integration Act (Cap. 166, 1985 Ed.) or in any other manner;
“qualified person” means a person who is registered as —
(a)an architect under the Architects Act (Cap. 12) and has in force a practising certificate issued under that Act; or
(b)a professional engineer under the Professional Engineers Act (Cap. 253) and has in force a practising certificate issued under that Act;
“repealed Act” means the Parks and Trees Act (Cap. 216, 1996 Ed.) repealed by this Act;
“road authority” means the Land Transport Authority of Singapore established under section 3 of the Land Transport Authority of Singapore Act (Cap. 158A);
“street” means —
(a)any road, bridge, underpass, tunnel, square, footway or passage, whether a thoroughfare or not, and whether the public has a right of way thereover or not;
(b)the way over any public bridge; or
(c)any road, footway or passage, open court or open alley, used or intended to be used as a means of access to 2 or more holdings, whether the public has a right of way thereover or not,
and includes all channels, drains, ditches, reserves and verges at the side of any street;
“street works” includes works of levelling, paving, metalling, flagging, kerbing, channelling, draining, lighting, laying of cables and mains and other utility services executed in a street or part thereof and the reinstatement of a street or part thereof;
“tree” includes any seedling, sapling or re-shoot of every description and any part thereof;
“tree conservation area” means any land designated by the Minister as such under section 13(1);
“vacant land” means —
(a)any land upon which no building or other structure exists; or
(b)any land where the Commissioner has reasonable grounds to believe is not occupied by anyone,
and includes any land upon which exists any building or other structure which is constructed or used contrary to any written law;
“vehicle” means a vehicle whether mechanically propelled or otherwise.
[Parks and Trees 1996 Ed., s. 2; National Parks 1997 Ed., s. 2]
Application of Act to Government
3.—(1)  This Act shall bind the Government except that nothing in this Act shall render the Government liable to prosecution for an offence.
(2)  For the avoidance of doubt, no person shall be immune from prosecution for any offence under this Act by reason that the person is a contractor engaged to provide services to the Government, or is acting in any other similar capacity for, or on behalf of, the Government.