Malaysia: Brace for even more warmer days

Hana Naz Harun New Straits Times 14 Aug 19;

KUALA LUMPUR: MALAYSIANS can expect “higher than normal” temperatures within the next two months caused by the El Nino phenomenon.

Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia Centre for Earth Sciences and Environment chairman Professor Dr Fredolin Tangang said the “weak El Nino” had affected weather patterns in the region, causing a warmer climate.

“In Malaysia, this weak El Nino has no apparent effect although warmer weather can be expected. However, we’re in the southwest monsoon period, where rainfall is minimal and temperature is the highest,” he told the New Straits Times yesterday.

Tangang added that this El Nino phenomenon was much weaker compared with the 2015/2016 extreme El Nino, where warming occurred in the central-eastern Pacific Ocean.

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Malaysia to develop $480 mln oil storage, ship refueling site in south (Johor)

Reuters 13 Aug 19;

KUALA LUMPUR, Aug 13 (Reuters) - Malaysia on Tuesday said the Johor Port Authority was working to develop a 2 billion ringgit ($477 million) oil storage and ship refueling site in the country’s south.

That marks the latest step in a push to turn Malaysia’s southern peninsular state of Johor into an oil and gas hub that could one day rival Singapore, currently Asia’s main oil centre.

The “Bunker Island Development” is set to have the capacity to store about 1.2 million cubic metres of various oil and gas products, the transport ministry said. It will be used for storage, blending and redistribution.

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Malaysia: Plans activated to fight haze

The Star 14 Aug 19;

KUALA LUMPUR: The National Open Burning Action Plan and the National Haze Action Plan have been activated to coordinate measures by government agencies in addressing open burning and the haze in the country.

This was done as the air quality reached a hazardous level in Miri and a very unhealthy level in Kuala Baram, both places in Sarawak, over the past two days, said Department of Environment (DoE) director-general Norlin Jaafar.

“We have also issued directives under Section 31 and Section 37 of the Environmental Quality Act 1974 to all landowners in the peat soil areas of Kuala Baram to prevent and control fires there.

“Also, we have been conducting daily patrols in areas at risk of open burning as well as providing the Air Pollution Index (API) readings to the Sarawak state disaster management committee for further action, ” she said here yesterday.

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Indonesia: Individuals who annexed Riau national park land identified

Antara 13 Aug 19;

We have the map of who has annexed three hectares (of the national park) and who has 3,000 hectares
Pekanbaru, Riau (ANTARA) - The Environment and Forestry Ministry has identified individuals who allegedly annexed thousands of hectares of land within the Tesso Nilo National Park (TNTN) area. "We have the map of who has annexed three hectares (of the national park) and who has 3,000 hectares," Minister of Environment and Forestry Siti Nurbaya told journalists in Pelalawan District Tuesday.

The minister stated this after monitoring the land and forest fire in Riau, in the company of the Indonesian Military Chief Air Chief Marchall Hadi Tjahjanto, the Indonesian Police Chief, Gen. Tito Karnavian, and head of the National Disaster Mitigation Agency (BNPB) Lt. Gen Doni Monardo.

The group took off from Roesmin Nurjadin Air Base in Pekanbaru and monitored the land and forest fire in Pelalawan and around the Tesso Nilo National Park.

The forest fire in the national park was intentional as she could see some zones drawn by certain groups in the conservation area, Nurbaya said.

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Indonesia: Acute respiratory infection cases in South Sumatra reach 274,502

Antara 13 Aug 19;

Palembang, S Sumatra (ANTARA) - Fires raging through land and forest areas in South Sumatra Province during the January-June 2019 period resulted in 274,502 people suffering from acute respiratory tract infection, a health officer stated.

Residents run the risk of suffering from the infection during the dry spell that induces land and forest fires in several parts of the province, Head of the South Sumatra Provincial Health Office Lesty Nuraini stated on Tuesday

"We have called on the local administration to provide health service facilities to residents as a precautionary measure against haze before the peak of the dry season," she revealed.

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Indonesia: Tesso Nilo's elephants show signs of stress due to forest fire

Antara 13 Aug 19;

Pekanbaru, Riau (ANTARA) - Mahouts of the elephant Flying Squad at the Tesso Nilo National Park had to evacuate the trained elephants to a safer place, as they showed signs of stress due to a forest fire that gutted the conservation area in Pelalawan District.

"The elephants have shown a change in behavior, because the fire has made them uncomfortable," chief of the Flying Squad Team, Erwin Daulay, told Antara here on Tuesday.

The Tesso Nilo National Park is a conservation forest, a home for the Sumatran endemic elephant (Elephas maximus sumatranus).

The TNTN area was extended in 2009 to 83,068 hectares, from only 38,576 hectares in 2004, by including the limited production forest.

However, massive illegal encroachment of the conservation area has changed its landscape into palm oil plantations.

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Best of our wild blogs: 11-13 Aug 19

Fish Expedition Day 11 - Last surveys!
wild shores of singapore

Fish Expedition Day 12 - The End
wild shores of singapore

The Cross Island Line Chronicles (mid-2019 review)
Love our MacRitchie Forest

Red and White
Butterflies of Singapore

Secondsguru Zero Waste Bootcamp – August 31
Green Drinks Singapore

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Young activists planning 'green dot' gathering on Sept 21

Audrey Tan Straits Times 12 Aug 19;

A "green dot" rally is being planned for next month at Hong Lim Park.

About 15 young activists in Singapore are organising a climate action rally on Sept 21, in line with the global youth movement inspired by Swedish teen climate champion Greta Thunberg.

Next month's event, the Singapore Climate Rally, will be the first physical one in the Republic since the international movement began in August last year, although there have been other social-media climate campaigns here.

A permit for the event has been sought by the young organisers and approved by the National Parks Board, which manages Hong Lim Park - an area designated as Speakers' Corner where public protests are allowed. The organisers are also applying for a police permit.

The event will feature speeches, a picnic and a postcard-writing session in which participants will be encouraged to send notes urging stronger climate action to their representatives in Parliament and other government officials.

There will also be a "die-in", a photographic opportunity in which participants are encouraged to visually express their thoughts on the human lives and biodiversity that will be lost to unabated global warming. Attendees will be asked to form the shape of a spiral, and then gradually collapse inward domino-style to highlight the interconnectedness of the planet, organisers say.

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Singapore to ban domestic trade in elephant ivory from September 2021

Malavika Menon Straits Times 12 Aug 19;

SINGAPORE - Singapore will ban the domestic trade of elephant ivory from Sept 1, 2021, the National Parks Board (NParks) said on Monday (Aug 12).

The sale of elephant ivory and ivory products as well as the public display of such products for the purpose of selling them will be prohibited in Singapore once the ban comes into effect.

The ban highlights Singapore's resolve in the fight against the illegal trade in species listed under the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (Cites), said NParks. Singapore is a signatory to Cites, under which international trade in elephant ivory has been banned since 1990.

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Vegetation fire in Marina East "the size of two football fields" brought under control

Joanna Seow Straits Times 12 Aug 19;

SINGAPORE - A large fire broke out near East Coast Park on Monday night (Aug 12), affecting an area the size of two football fields.

The Singapore Civil Defence Force said it responded to a vegetation fire near Marina East Drive that was "approximately the size of two football fields" at about 8.50pm.

About 50 firefighters and 12 emergency vehicles were deployed, SCDF said in a Facebook post. It surrounded the fire with seven water jets and brought it under control at 10.30pm.

There are no reported injuries, said SCDF.

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815 birds seized from Malaysia-registered bus at Woodlands Checkpoint; largest haul in 5 years

Prisca Ang Straits Times 11 Aug 19;

SINGAPORE - Officers from the Immigration and Checkpoints Authority (ICA) found more than 800 ornamental birds in a Malaysia-registered bus at Woodlands Checkpoint on Saturday morning (Aug 10), the largest haul in recent years.

The bus was stopped for a security check when it arrived at the checkpoint at 7am.

ICA officers noticed that the rear tyres of the bus had been modified and heard chirping sounds coming from within the bus, ICA and the National Parks Board (NParks) said in a statement on Sunday.

When they checked the modified compartments above the rear tyres, they found 15 containers with a total of 815 birds hidden in the compartments.

This is the largest seizure of ornamental birds in Singapore in the past five years.

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Malaysia: Most number of hotspots in Indonesia

RAZAK AHMAD The Star 12 Aug 19;

PETALING JAYA: Nearly 80% of hotspots detected in the Asean region over the past 29 days

are located in Indonesia, figures from the Asean Specialised Meteorological Centre (ASMC) show.

The hotspots caused by forest fires and open burning are driving the current haze situation that is affecting parts of the region, including Malaysia.

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