Best of our wild blogs: 22 Jan 19

Chek Jawa with signs of dugong
wild shores of singapore

Chinese New Year Resolution – Let’s reduce plastic waste!
Mei Lin NEO

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SP Group announces first major location partner for electric vehicle charging network

Toh Ting Wei Straits Times 21 Jan 19;

SINGAPORE - Energy provider SP Group has partnered with Ascendas-Singbridge Group (ASB) to install electric vehicle charging points in the latter's buildings, the two companies announced on Monday (Jan 21).

As part of the partnership, 24 high-speed chargers have been installed in six of ASB's buildings - Hyflux Innovation Centre, Corporation Place, Techlink, Techplace I, The Capricorn and The Kendall.

Half of the charging points are 43kW alternate current (AC) chargers and the other half comprises 50kW direct current (DC) chargers.

These can power up a mid-sized electric car within an hour, compared with six to eight hours via household chargers.

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New initiative launched to help financial sector be more sustainable

Sue-Ann Tan Straits Times 21 Jan 19;

SINGAPORE - Financial institutions, non-governmental organisations and academics will work together under a new initiative to help businesses be more sustainable.

The Asia Sustainable Finance Initiative (ASFI), which was launched on Monday (Jan 21) at the Parkroyal on Pickering hotel, aims to help shift the region's financial flows towards sustainable outcomes.

It will bring together the finance industry, academia and science-based organisations to help Singapore-based financial institutions operating in the region to deepen their expertise in sustainable finance.

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Giving food waste a new lease of life

Food wastage by households and the food industry in Singapore rose 40% in the past 10 years, to around 809,800 tonnes in 2017. It's time to clean up our act.
MICHAEL LONG Business Times 22 Jan 19;

THE world is gradually transitioning from a linear to a circular economy, as we move towards a new economic model of collaborative consumption.

Along with this paradigm shift, the "take-make-waste" linear consumption model of traditional industries is quickly falling out of favour with the proponents of a new circular economy globally wherein the traditional dynamics of supply and demand are fundamentally transformed. For good reason, a change is necessary. The world now produces in excess of a billion tonnes of garbage every year, much of which goes into landfill and incineration if not exported and recycled.

Ensuring that industries make their output restorative in design is now crucial to sustaining economic growth without putting our environment in jeopardy.


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Indonesia: Environment ministry to question NTT over plan to temporarily close Komodo park

The Jakarta Post 21 Jan 19;

The Environment and Forestry Ministry will summons representatives from the East Nusa Tenggara (NTT) administration to explain its plan to temporarily close Komodo National Park to visitors for one year.

“We will invite the NTT administration [for a discussion on Komodo]. It is not quite wise to decide it unilaterally and everything has procedures,” Minister Siti Nurbaya said on Monday as quoted by Antara. “We need to listen to what the local administration wants. We also need to listen to [input from] the Tourism Ministry, while we are assessing how and when the proposal will be implemented.”

Siti also warned the NTT administration that decisions regarding conservation areas were in fact solely under the jurisdiction of the central government.

Komodo National Park is the only place in the world where people can see the endangered Komodo dragons in their natural habitat. The park is also an official UNESCO World Heritage site.

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Indonesia: Government drafts industrial change road map to reduce plastic waste

Kharishar Kahfi The Jakarta Post 21 Jan 19;

The government has been working on ways to engage the private sector in its waste reduction efforts, particularly plastic waste, by formulating a road map for businesses to reduce the amount of waste it produces.

Industry is one of the Environment and Forestry Ministry’s primary focuses in its plastic waste reduction plans this year, the ministry’s waste management director general Rosa Vivien Ratnawati has said.

“We want to urge [businesses] to shift their paradigm in manufacturing their products, such as by using more environmentally friendly materials, as part of our efforts to cut down on waste production in the upstream,” Rosa recently told The Jakarta Post.

Rosa said that the ministry's road map would cover three industries: food and beverage manufacturing; food and beverage services, and retail.

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Founders of plastic waste alliance ‘investing billions in new plants’

European NGO says firms are likely to be at centre of global boom in plastic production
Sandra Laville The Guardian 21 Jan 19;

The founding companies behind a self-styled alliance to end plastic waste are among the world’s biggest investors in new plastic productions plants, according to a European NGO.

A majority of the firms which announced this week they were collaborating to try to help tackle plastic pollution are likely to be at the heart of a global boom in plastic production over the next 10 years.

Together the companies have committed $1bn (£778m) over the next five years to reduce plastic production and improve recycling, with an aspiration to raise that to $1.5bn if more members join.

But most of the founding firms have tens of billions of dollars riding on the need for global plastic production to continue growing over the next decade and more.

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World to miss 2020 climate 'turning point': analysis

Patrick GALEY, AFP Yahoo News 22 Jan 19;

Paris (AFP) - The world is on course to miss its "best chance" of preventing runaway climate change by ensuring global greenhouse gas emissions peak in 2020, researchers warned Tuesday.

Even as Earth is buffeted by superstorms, droughts and flooding made worse by rising seas, and as greenhouse gas emissions continue to rise globally, an analysis by the World Resources Institute showed that current efforts to limit temperature increases are falling well short.

In 2017, experts identified six key milestones that mankind must hit by 2020 if the Paris climate goal of limiting global temperature rises to 1.5 Celsius (2.7 Fahrenheit) is to have a fighting chance of being met.

They include radical changes to how we get our electricity, and to how goods and services are distributed worldwide.

Chief among these are an immediate phasing out of fossil fuels, including a total halt to new coal power plant construction within two years, as well as an end to dirty energy subsidies.

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Best of our wild blogs: 21 Jan 19

Blue Skies Above!
Butterflies of Singapore

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PUB, NEA investigating black discharge in Potong Pasir canal

Channel NewsAsia 20 Jan 19;

SINGAPORE: National water agency PUB and the National Environment Agency (NEA) on Sunday (Jan 20) said they were investigating black discharge which was seen in a canal at Potong Pasir.

"PUB received a report of discharge in an outlet drain at Potong Pasir Ave 1 at 10.20am on Jan 19, 2019," said a PUB spokesperson in a reply to Channel NewsAsia's queries.

A video uploaded by Facebook user Adam Teeoo showed the black liquid streaming into the canal.

PUB officers and contractors went down to investigate immediately, said the spokesperson.

However, there was no discharge found onsite, as it might have been diluted with the water in the canal, he added.

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Businesses must ensure a liveable and sustainable planet, not just focus on profits: Ho Ching

Vanessa Lim Channel NewsAsia 19 Jan 19;

SINGAPORE: While businesses pursue profits and financial returns, they must invest in training for their people and also fulfil their obligation to ensure a liveable and sustainable planet for all, said Temasek Holdings CEO Ho Ching on Saturday (Jan 19).

Speaking at the St Gallen Symposium 2019 Singapore Forum, Mdm Ho said businesses have a stake in meeting the needs of society and helping to make lives better.

"For businesses, profits are just a shorthand notation for financial strength and viability. Businesses can thrive only if they succeed in meeting the needs of their customers as their primary mission, but that alone is not enough for longevity," said Mdm Ho.

"If all of us try to extract the maximum amount of grass to feed our own sheep, the village green will soon be bare – we end up with no grass to feed our sheep, and we may even starve."

With climate change posing an existential threat to humans, Mdm Ho urged businesses and organisations to rethink the purpose of their capital so that they can help society and take urgent action on climate change.

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Keep calm and carrot on: how agritech could transform farming in Singapore

What agritech entails, why investors are sitting up, and how it could transform farming in Singapore
CLAUDIA CHONG Business Times 19 Jan 19;

THINK fast: which countries come to mind when you hear "agriculture"? China? Yes. Japan? Probably. Singapore? Not so much. The country has never had a large role to play in agriculture. Yet in the past two years, the authorities cannot seem to stop waxing lyrical about the potential of Singapore as an agrifood tech hub for the region, almost as if to say: There's so much we can do. Lettuce grow together.

But jokes asides, agritech is becoming serious business here. Just earlier this week, Enterprise Singapore (ESG) investment arm Seeds Capital appointed seven co-investment partners to pump more than S$90 million into Singapore agrifood tech startups. The last year also saw notable movements within the private sector as well. Catalist-listed Trendlines announced plans to open an innovation centre to develop agrifood technologies here, and wants to raise a US$40 million venture fund. Global agrifood tech accelerator network The Yield Lab rode into town too, basing their regional operations in Singapore.

And yet when it comes down to it, most of us in Singapore might go our whole lives never being in the presence of a crops farm or livestock. A single mysterious wild cow on Coney Island - which has since died - was novel and exciting enough to gather a religious following.

So what does Singapore have to do with agriculture technology, and why is the buzz getting louder? Here's why you should even carrot all.

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