Best of our wild blogs: 14 Mar 11

Celebrating an Early Christmas at Dairy Farm!
from Macro Photography in Singapore

Sunbird harvests nectar from Wrightia religiosa
from Bird Ecology Study Group

Lim Chu Kang with mangrove mushrooms
from wild shores of singapore

Next to Labrador: Massive reclamation plus underwater blasting
from wild shores of singapore and Massive 24/7 dredging off the East Coast and Dredging continues off Kusu Island

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23,500 turtles hatch in Malacca

New Straits Times 13 Mar 11;

MALACCA: A total of 23,677 baby turtles were hatched at the turtle management centre at Padang Kemunting in Masjid Tanah, near here, last year.

This was 48.82 per cent of the 48,503 eggs incubated at the centre, state Industry, Commerce and Entrepreneurial and Cooperative Development Committee chairman Datuk Md Yunos Husin said on Saturday.

He said 137,097 baby turtles were hatched between 2006 and last year.

The number was 56 per cent of the 242,992 eggs incubated at the centre, Yunos said after launching the Agro-based Entrepreneurs Carnival at the International Trade Centre in Ayer Keroh.

He said 2,031 turtles landed on beaches here during the same period, more than at any other spot in the country.

He added that the centre found 50 dead turtles in coastal areas here, some of them caught in fishing traps, during the same period.

He said there was a huge jump in the number of visitors to the centre last year -- 21,574 compared with 9,107 in 2009 and 2,447 in 2008.

According to Yunos, there were now 3,200 Malacca-born entrepreneurs, with about 1,600 of them in agro-based industries. -- Bernama

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Thailand: Green groups, residents want end to all dam projects

Bangkok Post 14 Mar 11;

LOEI : All dam projects on the Mekong, Salween and domestic rivers must be halted to prevent negative impacts on the ecology and residential areas, an environmental network says.

The Northern River Basin Network made its plea in a statement marking the International Day of Action against Dams and for Rivers, Water and Life.

Network coordinator Prasithiporn Kan-ornsri said the planned constructions of hydroelectric dams on the Salween and Mekong rivers would have a negative impact on more than 60 million riverside people in Burma, Cambodia, Laos and Thailand.

Mr Prasithiporn said the government should stand up against the proposed dams.

Several dams have been planned on the Salween and Mekong rivers.

"The Chinese dams built on the Mekong upstream have brought grave damages to the communities living along the river," Mr Prasithiporn said.

"The Thai government's support of dam construction in the Mekong River will add more troubles to the riverine communities."

The network called on the government to scrap six proposed dams on domestic rivers. They are Kaeng Sue Ten dam in Phrae, Mae Wong dam (Nakhon Sawan), Pong Khunphet dam (Chaiyaphum), Ta Sae and Rublor dams (Chumphon) and Lam Dome Yai (Ubon Ratchathani).

The network also demanded the government permanently open sluice gates at Pak Moon dam in Ubon Ratchathani to revive the river's ecology and allow fish migration between the Moon and Mekong rivers.

The cabinet last week said it needed 45 more days to study whether the sluice gates should be opened all year long, as proposed by villagers and academics.

Environmentalist Hannarong Yaowaloes, chairman of Thai-Water Partnership, said the government should stop giving support to the 107 billion baht Xayaburi dam along the Lower Mekong as the dam would pose a serious threat to the ecology and riverside communities.

"People in Laos, Vietnam, Cambodia and Thailand will suffer negative impacts from the dam," he said.

The Xayaburi dam would only worsen water fluctuation and severe drought in the Mekong believed to result from the Chinese dams upstream, he said.

Developed by the Lao government, the construction is expected to start this year.

It will sell electricity to Thailand.

Chaweewan Chaikhan, a villager of Nong Khai's Si Chiang Mai district, said her village, which is situated on the Mekong River bank, had seen unusual water patterns and dryness since the Chinese dams became operational.

The first Chinese dam on the Mekong River, Manwan dam, began operation in 1993.

"There is not enough water for farming, leading to water conflicts in the community," said Ms Chaweewan.

"This problem will worsen if more dams are built on the Mekong."

The network of Mekong River communities in six northeastern provinces yesterday issued a statement opposing the Xayaburi dam, saying they would boycott four Thai commercial banks providing loans for Ch Karnchang, the company contracted to develop the project with the Lao government in 2008.

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Malaysia has no need for nuke plants, says EPSM

The Star 14 Mar 11;

PETALING JAYA: The Environmental Protection Society Malaysia (EPSM) stressed that Malaysia does not need nuclear power plants, citing the explosion and radioactive leakage at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant in Japan as a warning.

Its president Nithi Nesadurai said the incident was one reason why Malaysia should not have nuclear power plants.

Pointing out that such a facility was vulnerable to earthquake, tsunami and floods, he said the idea of having nuclear power plants in the country should be rejected.

“We don’t even need it as there is surplus energy supply in Malaysia,” he said when contacted yesterday.

In Malaysia, there was more supply of energy than demand, he said, adding that it was the people who did not practise energy saving.

Fomca chief executive officer Datuk Paul Selva Raj said using nuclear power to generate energy was not a viable option in Malaysia now as it should be highly regulated for public safety.

“We need to be realistic about the energy approach and look at the whole energy equation. Each time a disaster happens, it indicates some risks (associated with energy options),” he said.

Paul said it was important to exploit more sources for energy that were safe, environmentally friendly and renewable.

In December last year, the Government announced plans to build two nuclear power plants that will generate 1,000 megawatts each with the first plant ready for operation in 2021 as part of an overall long-term plan to balance energy supply. The second plant was expected to be ready a year later.

Energy, Green Technology and Water Minister Datuk Seri Peter Chin Fah Kui said Malaysia Nuclear Power Corporation – the nuclear agency in the Prime Minister’s Department – would shed light on the impact of the explosion and radioactive leakage in Japan.

Govt to be transparent on nuke plant project
Minderjeet Kaur New Straits Times 13 Mar 11;

KUALA LUMPUR: The government will not rush to build nuclear plants in the country until all safety aspects and public feedback are considered.

Energy, Green Technology and Water Minister Datuk Seri Peter Chin Fah Kui said yesterday there was still time to study everything as the first nuclear plant would not be built for at least 10 years.

"The government has ample time to look into the details, study and research."

Chin also gave his assurance that the government would be transparent in its planning, policies and implementation stages.

"I can assure everyone that the government will not keep any secrets. It will tell everything from the location, safety measures taken to the technology used for building and the processing at the plant."

Chin also said the Malaysian Nuclear Power Corporation under the Prime Minister's Department was in charge of setting up nuclear plants here, and that it was in the midst of calling for tenders and quotations from experts worldwide.

The experts in the nuclear field would be responsible to look into the Environmental Impact Assessment, location and the type of technology used to build the plant and process nuclear energy, he added.

Chin was speaking after launching the ministry's Green Community Carnival at Lake Titiwangsa.

He said the power plant would be built on a solid-rock foundation, which was not subjected to earth movement.

"It should also be built on a higher ground to avoid after-effects of tsunami and away from populated areas."

Chin was responding to concerns about possible radiation leaks in future Malaysian nuclear power plants brought on by a similar situation in Japan following Friday's massive earthquake and tsunami.

Malaysia plans to build two nuclear power plants to generate 1,000MW each, with the first plant expected to operate in 2021 and the second one a year later.

The plants will be part of the overall long-term plans to balance the country's energy supply.

The government aims to finish the project's evaluation by 2013 or 2014.

Chin said the Malaysian Nuclear Power Corporation would study the explosion in Fukushima prefecture in Japan and provide more information on its impact.

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