Singapore is a sovereign island city-state in maritime Southeast Asia. It lies about one degree of latitude north of the equator, off the southern tip of the Malay Peninsula, bordering the Strait of Malacca to the west, the Riau Islands to the south, and the South China Sea to the east. The country's territory is composed of one main island, 63 satellite islands and islets, and one outlying islet, the combined area of which has increased by 25% since the country's independence as a result of extensive land reclamation projects.
Singapore's urbanisation means that it has lost 95% of its historical forests, and now over half of the naturally occurring fauna and flora in Singapore is present in nature reserves, such as the Bukit Timah Nature Reserve and the Sungei Buloh Wetland Reserve, which comprise only 0.25% of Singapore's land area. In 1967, to combat this decline in natural space, the government introduced the vision of making Singapore a 'garden city', aiming to improve quality of life. Since then, nearly 10% of Singapore's land has been set aside for parks and nature reserves. The government has created plans to preserve the country's remaining wildlife. Singapore's well known gardens include the Singapore Botanic Gardens, a 161-year-old tropical garden and Singapore's first UNESCO World Heritage Site.