Best of our wild blogs: 23 Apr 19

Shore exploration for kids with Young Nautilus (to Jun 2019)
Celebrating Singapore Shores!

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Electric vehicle owners can pay to use BlueSG chargers from today

Christopher Tan Straits Times 23 Apr 19;

SINGAPORE - Electric car-sharing operator BlueSG will release 99 charging points across 25 locations for public use at 3pm on Tuesday (April 23).

The move comes about 18 months after the company started operations here. The number of chargers open to all electric vehicle (EV) owners constitutes 13 per cent of BlueSG's network of 755 chargers at 191 stations.

The company had previously committed to opening up 20 per cent of its projected network of 2,000 chargers by 2020.

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Brunei: Firefighters battle to keep Belait peatland fires under control

James Kon Borneo Bulletin 23 Apr 19;

THE current hot and dry weather in the country is causing peatland forest fires to break out in the Belait District.

It is believed that the fires are caused as a result of a natural occurrence – underground fires – as well as human negligence in the form of indiscriminate open burning.

The Fire and Rescue Department’s (FRD) Operation ‘B’ Branch is currently battling a huge peatland fire which has destroyed an estimated 50 hectares of peatland forest, according to a statement from the Fire and Rescue Department.

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WWF-Malaysia: Ensure environmental sustainability of realigned ECRL

New Straits Times 23 Apr 19;

KUALA LUMPUR: WWF-Malaysia hopes that the renegotiated and realigned East Coast Rail Link (ECRL) project will continue to retain tunnels, elevated tracks and wildlife crossings.

Such a move would go towards the prevention of forest fragmentation, said its conservation director, Dr. Henry Chan.

He said based on the Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA), carried out in 2017 for the project and information from past dialogues with Malaysian Rail Link Sdn Bhd and consultants, it was understood that apart from the original main tunnel, a total of 44 tunnels as well as 27 wildlife crossings will be needed.

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Malaysia: Water rationing in Klang Valley to prevent water cuts during fasting month, Hari Raya

The Star 22 Apr 19;

BANGI (Bernama): Water rationing is being carried out in the Klang Valley on Wednesday (April 24) to prevent water shortages from arising during the fasting month and Hari Raya Aidilfitri, says Dr Xavier Jayakumar.

The Water, Land and Natural Resources Minister said the ministry had also given an undertaking that the water supply would be restored within 48 hours.

The improvement and repairs to the water pipes had long been planned by Pengurusan Air Selangor Sdn Bhd (Air Selangor) and the National Water Services Commission (SPAN), he added.

"The improvement work is a huge task and it takes a long time, so that is why we have asked for a 48-hour time frame," he told reporters after presenting the ministry's 2018 Excellent Service Awards here Monday (April 22).

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Malaysia: Brace for jellyfish attack in May

arnold loh The Star 23 Apr 19;

GEORGE TOWN: Malaysia is heading for a potentially serious jellyfish bloom next month thanks to the heat and humidity of this year’s inter-monsoon period.

Centre for Marine and Coastal Studies (Cemacs) director Prof Datuk Dr Aileen Tan Shau Hwai says the bloom is expected to occur in many parts of the Straits of Malacca, especially near coastal urban centres such as Penang.

On top of making swimming at sea a nightmare, Dr Tan said the congregation of thousands of jellyfish would kill fish stock penned in floating aquaculture cages, clog fishermen’s nets and sting them when they retrieve their nets, and block water intake pipes at coastal power plants.

“Jellyfish blooms are still not fully understood but we do know they may be triggered by warming sea temperatures,” she said.

She predicts that next month would see a repeat of the phenomenon, adding that Sabah’s coastal waters were showing signs of an invasion.

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China plastic waste ban throws global recycling into chaos

Sam Reeves, AFP Yahoo News 23 Apr 19;

Jenjarom (Malaysia) (AFP) - From grubby packaging engulfing small Southeast Asian communities to waste piling up in plants from the US to Australia, China's ban on accepting the world's used plastic has plunged global recycling into turmoil.

For many years, China received the bulk of scrap plastic from around the world, processing much of it into a higher quality material that could be used by manufacturers.

But at the start of 2018, it closed its doors to almost all foreign plastic waste, as well as many other recyclables, in a push to protect the local environment and air quality, leaving developed nations struggling to find places to send their waste.

"It was like an earthquake," Arnaud Brunet, director general of Brussels-based industry group The Bureau of International Recycling, told AFP.

"China was the biggest market for recyclables. It created a major shock in the global market."

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Best of our wild blogs: 22 Apr 19

Return to Sentosa Serapong after mass dying
wild shores of singapore

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NUS students come together to petition for school to withdraw from fossil fuels

Evan See The New Paper 22 Apr 19;

Mr Jerald Lim, 25, was not always the eco-warrior he is today.

Before he started university at Yale-NUS College, climate change was merely a distant issue he would read about in the news.

But an environmental studies course he took in school reshaped his mindset in two ways.

First, it showed him that the climate problem went far beyond the individual.

Second, he realised that environmental change can be created through the work of a few people.

"Through a tool called the ecological footprint calculator, we realised that our unsustainable footprint would not change much with tweaks to food, transport and housing," Mr Lim told The New Paper.

"Most of it came down to things out of our direct control, like investment in fossil fuels."

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Dengue cases in first quarter of 2019 rose by three times compared to last year

Tan Tam Mei Straits Times 21 Apr 19;

SINGAPORE - There were three times as many dengue cases across Singapore in the first three and a half months of this year compared to the same period last year, and the mosquito population remains high.

Senior Minister of State for the Environment and Water Resources Amy Khor said on Sunday (April 21) that there were 2,457 dengue cases in that period, compared to 678 last year.

As Singapore goes into its warmer months, which is traditionally the peak dengue season, Dr Khor cautioned residents to remain vigilant in preventing mosquitoes from breeding to mitigate the risk of dengue.

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Malaysia: 40ha of forest near Kuantan on fire

Bernama New Straits Times 21 Apr 19;

KUANTAN: Some 40ha of forest near the Sultan Ahmad Shah Maritime Academy (AMSAS), near here, has been burning since Thursday.

Gebeng Fire and Rescue Department chief Syed A. Jamaludin Syed Mohamed said the fire was detected at 4pm by a patrol team.

He said only four hectares of the affected area had been doused.

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Corals in Gulf of Mannar feel the heat

Hariprasad A R THOOTHUKUDI The Hindu 21 Apr 19;

Around 2.5% bleaching witnessed during underwater study

Coral reefs in the Gulf of Mannar region, which were recovering well since the last mass coral bleaching witnessed in 2016, have once again started bleaching due to rising temperatures this summer.

During an underwater study by the Suganthi Devadason Marine Research Institute (SDMRI), the extent of bleaching was estimated to be 2.5%, of which 2% was partially bleached while 0.5% has suffered full bleaching.

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