In a small city-state where land is considered a scarce resource, the tension between urban development and biodiversity conservation, which often involves protecting areas of forest from being cleared for development, has always been present. In the years immediately after independence, the Singapore government was more focused on bread-and-butter issues. Biodiversity conservation was generally not high on its list of priorities. More recently, however, the issue of biodiversity conservation has become more prominent in Singapore, both for the government and its citizens. This has predominantly been influenced by regional and international events and trends which have increasingly emphasised the need for countries to show that they are being responsible global citizens in the area of environmental protection. This study documents the evolution of Singapore’s biodiversity conservation efforts and the on-going paradigm shifts in biodiversity conservation as Singapore moves from a Garden City to a City in a Garden.