Best of our wild blogs: 13 Sep 13

Down Memory Lane - Burmese Caerulean
from Butterflies of Singapore

Brown-throated Sunbird sipping nectar
from Bird Ecology Study Group

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Changing weather patterns causing more flash floods

Sumita d/o Sreedharan and Woo Sian Boon Today Online 13 Sep 13;

SINGAPORE — Changing weather patterns and rapid development have resulted in more flash floods here over the last few years, and though work is under way to tackle the situation, it could take a decade or more before results become apparent, national water agency PUB has said.

Responding to questions from TODAY, the National Environment Agency (NEA) said the amount of rain falling on the island has crept up in recent times — and so have the instances of flash floods, which had initially been described as the result of freak weather.

In 2010, there were 15 days when flash floods occurred. In 2011 and last year, the number was 23 days for each of the two years. So far this year, there have been 14 days.

The NEA said the trend towards heavier rainfall began in the ’80s. “Rapid development and urbanisation, as well as global warming, are likely to be significant factors which may explain this trend,” it added.

The PUB said it has been noting this trend and has put in place a series of drainage projects to control the flash flooding. However, the scale of these projects is such that they will require several years to be built, and results will only be seen down the road.

The most recent incident last Friday led to the unprecedented closure of a stretch of a major highway, the Ayer Rajah Expressway.

In a briefing for this newspaper, PUB Chief Executive Chew Men Leong reiterated that the drainage improvement work is “going to take years”. “It’s not going to happen tomorrow — that’s the difficulty we face here,” he said, citing land constraints.

“We do not have sufficient land to cater to the most extreme storms ... so we cannot eliminate flash floods completely. It is simply not possible but we mitigate. We are confident of increasing resilience and reducing the occurrence of flash floods.”

Since the ’70s and ’80s, when there was widespread flooding, the Government has spent S$2 billion on the drainage infrastructure,

Last year, an expert panel on drainage design and flood prevention measures unveiled a raft of recommendations. Since then, another S$750 million has been set aside to increase drainage capacity.

Following a review conducted between 2010 and 2011, the PUB found that 22 of the 48 major canals here have to be upgraded to cope with the changing weather patterns. The agency is prioritising the upgrading work of 11 canals, including the Bukit Timah Canal and Changi Airport Diversion Canal.

PUB Director of Catchment and Waterways Tan Nguan Sen said that, ideally, the entire drainage system will be ready “within the next 10 years” to alleviate flooding. “But you must understand that it is always a work in progress ... as and when there are new areas discovered, then we will also analyse them and include them in the programme,” he said.

Citing the Government’s move to explore an underground masterplan, Mr Tan said that a possible future solution is to build “deep underground drains” to overcome land constraints.


Among some of the initiatives is a flood forecast system being piloted in the Marina Catchment, a 10,000-hectare area where most flood-prone places are located. The system is part of what Mr Chew described as the “next step”.

“We have to figure out if we can at least have some chance to forecast the floods. I don’t think it will be great advance warning but five to 10 minutes (before the flash floods occur) ... it is already very good,” he said.

Currently, the PUB uses a “source-pathway-receptor” approach to tackle the problem holistically. Source refers to areas where rainwater falls and features such as detention tanks, green roofs and rain gardens can be built to retain rain. “Pathway” solutions include deepening and widening canals while flood barriers, for instance, can be created to protect buildings which are on the receiving end of the run-off.

In 2009, after a big downpour resulted in parts of Bukit Timah being submerged, then Environment and Water Resources Minister Yaacob Ibrahim said the deluge was a freak event that “occurs once in 50 years”.

Nevertheless, an analysis by the Meteorological Service Singapore of hourly rainfall data between 1980 and last year showed that annual maximum hourly rainfall total has increased from an average of 96mm to 117mm. There has also been an increase of 1.5 days per decade in the number of days each year with hourly rainfall totals exceeding 70mm, the level of rainfall that corresponds to the highest 1 per cent of hourly rainfall intensity during the period.

Experts pointed to climate change and lagging infrastructure as possible reasons for the flash floods. Citing a report by the expert panel which convened here last year, Dr Winston Chow, a research fellow at the NUS Department of Geography, noted that there has been “statistically significant” increase in the intensity and frequency of extreme rainfall events.

Dr Chiew Yee Meng, Head of Environmental and Water Resources Engineering at Nanyang Technological University, said scientific research has shown a close relationship between the occurrence of floods and urbanisation. “The increase of paved areas prevents rainwater from infiltrating into the ground, thus increasing the amount of surface run-off that drains into the waterways,” he said.

Mr Chong Kee Sen, Vice-President of the Institution of Engineers in Singapore, pointed out that the presence of, say, a grass patch reduces the amount of rainwater flowing into a drain by as much as 80 per cent.

PUB’s Code of Practice on Surface Water Drainage was updated this year to require new developments to slow down the run-off — by building features such as detention tanks or green roofs — that would be discharged into the public drainage system during heavy storms. Additional reporting by Xue Jianyue

Some measures the PUB has carried out
Woo Sian Boon Today Online 13 Sep 13;

49 CCTVs in areas such as Orchard Road, Bukit Timah and Upper Thomson to provide up-to-date pictures of flooding conditions

158 water-level sensors to monitor drainage network for real-time updates during heavy storms. Public can subscribe to PUB’s water level alert service

A flood forecast system is being piloted in the Marina Catchment area

S$750 million to be spent over the next five years to carry out 20 drainage improvement projects

Levels of existing low-lying and flood-prone roads were raised

Under PUB’s revised Code of Practice on Surface Water Drainage 2013, developers will be required to incorporate on-site measures to control and slow down storm water run-off from their premises

Minimum platform and crest levels were also stipulated for buildings and entrances to underground facilities (i.e. basement car parks and underground MRT stations)

PUB, NEA on weather patterns, impact of drainage improvement work
Today Online 13 Sep 13;

Are weather patterns changing?

National Environment Agency (NEA): Based on an analysis by the Meteorological Services Singapore of hourly rainfall data between 1980 and last year, there has been a general upward trend in the annual maximum hourly rainfall total — from an average of 96mm in 1980, to 117mm last year.

There has also been an increase of 1.5 days per decade in the number of days each year with hourly rainfall totals exceeding 70mm (70mm corresponds to the highest 1 per cent of hourly rainfall intensity for the period 1980 to 2012). Similarly for temperature, Singapore has experienced an average warming rate of 0.25°C per decade since the 1950s, with more frequent warm days and nights.

The upward trend for rainfall extremes over the past few decades in Singapore is consistent with the global trend towards an increase in the number of heavy precipitation events. Rapid development and urbanisation, as well as global warming, are likely to be significant factors which may explain this trend. It is important to remember that we cannot attribute any single event to climate change. What can be said is that the likelihood of these types of heavy rainfall events is increasing across our region because of climate change.

Has drainage improvement work in certain areas led to rainwater run-off spreading to other areas, as some experts have suggested?

PUB: When planning any drainage improvement work, PUB will conduct detailed site investigations, which include carrying out a topographical survey of the area, checking on the existing drainage systems and reviewing the flood protection measures such as the minimum platform levels and crest levels for developments in the vicinity. The proposed drainage improvement work will be designed such that the drain capacity is enhanced and storm water level in the canal/drain will be lower. Computer simulations are also used to help us analyse the flow of storm water, to ensure that the drainage improvement work, while alleviating floods in affected areas, will not make the adjacent areas worse off than before the work was carried out.

What are specific examples where flash floods have been alleviated because of drainage improvement work?

PUB: Some recent examples of completed drainage improvement work are:

Neram Road outlet drain, which has helped to alleviate flooding along Upper Neram Road

Jurong Port Road outlet drain, which has helped to alleviate flooding along the junction of Jurong Port Road and Jalan Tepong

Roadside drain along Lorong 35 Geylang, which has helped to alleviate flooding along Sims Avenue near Lorong 35/Geylang Road junction

Other areas alleviated by the Marina Barrage include Hong Kong Street, Dakota Crescent, as well as parts of Boat and Clarke Quay.

Rising to the occasion
Tackling floods is about making radical change to infrastructure and expanding our drainage network. TODAY file photo
Both pre-emptive and coping measures are needed to stay a step ahead of floods, say panellists in the extended segment of Thursday’s episode of VoicesTODAY ‘Floods: A natural or a man-made problem?’
Today Online 14 Sep 13;


Vivian Chua: A flood prediction system typically has sensors to measure water levels at different areas around the island. The key to such monitoring systems is how we can transmit the information rapidly enough to the public so that they know not to go to places where there may be flooding.

Jose Raymond: If you follow Twitter and Facebook, I think there are many people out there putting up photos and videos about what is happening out there, and I think that is key to us coming together and finding a solution to how we can tackle all this. I don’t think people from the Government are going to be on the ground all the time, and I think citizens can play a part. If there is an area around your home which is constantly flooding every time there is rain, they should bring it up. If there is a safety issue, they need to inform the authorities.

Olivia Choong: I also think it would be useful to have more signs and indicators around Singapore when there is flooding, especially for drivers.

Vivian: (On the impact of climate change) We need to be clear that rising sea levels alone will not lead to more flooding — it is a rise in sea levels combined with greater intensity and frequency of storms that pose a greater risk of flooding. We are studying trends in the Asia-Pacific region. The main purpose of our work is to increase awareness of what is going to happen. If we do not study this at all, the Government is not going to be able to find solutions. From an academic perspective, this is basic research.

Chong Kee Sen: Very little is known about the impact of climate change, which is why we brought the World Engineers Summit to Singapore, to understand the potential impact and look for innovative mitigation solutions. The Building and Construction Authority is also looking at how to protect our shorelines from rising sea levels.

Olivia: I understand that there (will be) widening of canals, and barriers (are being built) ... (but apart from that) I think it is always worth looking at other technologies, even low technologies like storm water harvesting.

The National University of Singapore is also conducting research at the moment about permeable surfaces, like roads and tiles.

Jose: We need to get used to the fact that there will be recurring floods and we need to get used to that kind of life. There must be acceptance from employers and schools and we need to adapt. We also need to understand that we contribute to climate change and we need to take a look at ourselves to see what we can do differently. It is about adapting. If you think your business is vulnerable, take the necessary precautions, just like what businesses at Orchard have done. They need to take the proactive step and not rely on someone to be there for them when needed.


Peter Loon: It can be as basic as making sure people are aware that they should not throw litter into the drains, and having a citizens’ network so that we can keep each other informed. But it is also about making radical change to infrastructure and expanding our drainage network. I acknowledge that rain is a constant phenomenon, but we should be tackling it actively if it seems to be getting worse. This can be something as simple as upgrading and widening drains whenever we start new projects, to cater to more than what is needed now.

We do not want to wait until a fatality happens, and then react to that. (Flooding) affects our economy. When a major arterial road like the Ayer Rajah Expressway floods, it delays people who are getting to work. It is time we put in effort on a concerted level with many agencies to fix this. There are already areas being significantly affected, so we should be improving on the infrastructure and building them on a preventive basis, with the view that things might get worse.

Vivian Chua is an Assistant Professor from the National University of Singapore’s Department of Civil & Environmental Engineering.

Olivia Choong is the founder of Green Drinks Singapore, a non-profit promoting collaboration on environmental issues.

Chong Kee Sen is Vice-President of The Institution of Engineers Singapore.

Jose Raymond is Executive Director of the Singapore Environment Council.

Catch the one-hour extended encore telecast of this week’s VoicesTODAY episode “Floods: A natural or a man-made problem?” at 5.30pm today on Channel 5.

Floods: A natural or man-made problem?
VoicesTODAY asks: Floods - a natural or man-made problem?

Are last week’s flash floods another sign better urban planning is needed? How key is the loss of green spaces? Should S’poreans have to deal with floods as a fact of life? What are other environmental concerns as development proceeds, including underground?

Catch the live telecast of VoicesTODAY tonight (Sept 12) at 9pm on MediaCorp Channel 5 or join the discussion on

Email if you're keen to engage in the live discussion by phone or video chat on Google Hangout

External URL:

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Swimming against the tide

Hong Xinyi Today Online 12 Sep 13;

SINGAPORE — For Shannon Lim, 26, the unusual path to becoming a fish farmer started during National Service. One of his officers had an aquarium in his office, and Mr Lim was tasked to look after it.

“Being incredibly lazy, I tried to automate the biological and chemical processes in the tank by using plants and scavengers to keep the water clean,” he said.

His interest in aquatic ecosystems and water chemistry continued to grow, and eventually led to the invention of the current model that his company, OnHand Agrarian, uses today. “I guess you could say I took the hobby very seriously.”

Mr Lim’s fish farm uses an Integrated Multi-Trophic Recirculating Aquaculture System to raise and harvest seafood more efficiently in tanks, thereby improving waste management and nutrient recycling. Simply put, it involves creating ecosystems in tanks and using the waste product from one species as input for other co-cultured species.

Farming multiple species simultaneously in tanks on land rather than in enclosures in open water is a factor that sets Mr Lim’s methodology apart from the 100-odd fish farms here and most of those in South-east Asia. He believes the relatively primitive state of the industry domestically and regionally presents a huge opportunity.

“There is very little competition in Singapore, since the water conditions on the north side of the island are so poor that the farms there are constantly losing all their fish overnight,” he said. Meanwhile, the demand for seafood here is extremely high, and there are a number of aquaculture experts in Singapore who have been espousing similar polyculture concepts and “crying in the desert for the last 10 years for someone to commercialise their idea”, Mr Lim added.

His way of farming fish also creates a repository for hundreds of marine animals facing habitat destruction. “If any of these animals (are in danger of going) extinct in the region, we’ll be able to replace them. And since we can produce everything so cheaply, when we start doing this on a larger scale, it will no longer be viable for trawlers to destroy seagrass meadows and reefs for seafood,” he said.

In 2009, Mr Lim drafted a proposal for a “zero-waste polyculture farm” to apply for a million-dollar research grant from the Agri-Food & Veterinary Authority of Singapore. He emailed this proposal to aquaculture expert Emeritus Professor Lam Toong Jin of National University of Singapore for his endorsement and found out that the academic had an almost identical proposal for the same grant. They eventually submitted a joint application in 2011 but were not successful.

That same year, Mr Lim developed a pilot farm in the backyard of his house, where he built tanks with a total capacity of 20,000 litres. Fish cultivated there — numbering a dozen different species — were supplied to local restaurants such as Artichoke.

“Most of the initial investment was thanks to a friend, Patri Friedman of The Seasteading Institute, who connected me with several other angel investors from all over the world,” said Mr Lim. He is now developing a 40,000 sq ft plot of land in Lim Chu Kang into a larger farm that will eventually contain tanks with a total capacity of 5.4 million litres. “Once we’re fully funded, we’ll be producing 500 tonnes a year of seafood in our little soccer field.”

To go fully operational would require capital of S$850,000. To date, Mr Lim has raised about S$124,800 and hopes to confirm another offer of S$500,000 later this year.

Getting investors to commit has been challenging, said Mr Lim, adding that several Singaporean investors had changed their minds after initially promising to come on board. Part of the reason for this is the weak farming culture in Singapore, he said.

“Most large countries understand where their food comes from and how high-tech the agriculture industry really is,” noted Mr Lim. “Singaporeans tend to have the view that food magically finds its way across the Causeway and appears in supermarkets.”

Unsurprisingly, his biggest challenge is “convincing people that you can really produce seafood for 25 per cent of the local cost price and half the Indonesian price”.

“Most prospective investors refuse to believe that labour and land account for very little of our cost. It basically flies in the face of conventional wisdom that farming in Singapore can actually be cheaper than in Indonesia or Malaysia,” said Mr Lim.

But he is determined to realise his vision. “I love the sea. Some of my earliest memories are of fishing at Changi with my dad and grandfather. Now that I have a 16-month-old daughter, I want her to be able to see all the amazing things I’ve done and share those experiences,” he said.

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Haze: Concession maps alone don’t give clear picture

Neo Chai Chin Today Online 13 Sep 13;

SINGAPORE — As the region was blanketed in haze earlier this year, Singapore-listed agribusiness giant Wilmar International discussed whether to make its concession maps public.

A key consideration: The value of publishing such information.

Even if the maps — which show areas where the company is allowed to conduct economic activities — are put up, the public would need a trained eye to look at them and the company would still have to explain any fires that occur in concession areas, said Ms Sharon Chong, Wilmar’s Senior Manager of Corporate Social Responsibility.

Fires could be accidentally started or spread from other plantations. They could also be set by independent indigenous communities residing in these concession areas who clear land.

“Sometimes, we wonder if there’s really much value in putting up our concession maps. That’s something we are discussing internally,” said Ms Chong yesterday at the 6th ASEAN and Asia Forum, held at the St Regis Hotel. It was organised by the Singapore Institute of International Affairs.

She was one of the panellists at a session called ASEAN’s Resources: Solving the Haze, Sustaining the Future, which discussed efforts of the palm oil and resources sector in achieving greater sustainability.

In the wake of burning-induced haze that blanketed Singapore, Malaysia and parts of Indonesia in June, environmental groups had called for more transparency to hold those responsible accountable, starting with the sharing of concession maps.

Several major palm oil and pulp companies, including Wilmar, have stated their zero-burning policies. But none have volunteered information about concession areas.

The Indonesian government also cited legal concerns in sharing its maps for a sub-regional haze monitoring system.

Panellists spoke about the complexity of tracing palm oil through a fragmented supply chain, the need for multiple parties to work together and efforts to address underlying issues, such as the livelihoods of small farmers.

Consumer products multinational Unilever buys only sustainable palm oil and has pledged by 2020 to buy only from certified, traceable sources, said Mr Dhaval Buch, Unilever Asia’s Senior Vice-President (Supply Chain, Asia and Africa).

But traceability is a challenge. Some firms buy their palm oil from middlemen who have, in turn, purchased it from thousands of smallholders and from spot markets, where goods are sold for cash and delivered immediately. Middlemen may not want to open their books for tracing, and traceability could be an expensive exercise, said Ms Chong.

Mr Lucas Van der Walt of commodities firm Olam International — which has palm oil plantations in Africa but not Indonesia — said it tries to address underlying issues through initiatives that improve the livelihoods and incomes of small farmers.

Other factors cited by the panellists for burning in Indonesia included weak enforcement and illegal land claims.

Asked by an audience member why the companies did not simply pull out of countries where such issues could not be resolved, Mr Van der Walt, Olam’s Manager (Asia Region) of the Corporate Responsibility and Sustainability Division, said this would not fully address the problem: Voids would be filled by other companies and some could be privately held, adhering to lower standards than listed ones.

Asked if Asia’s growing consumption would be ruinous to the environment, Mr Abah Ofon, Standard Chartered Bank Singapore’s Director of Agricultural Commodities Research, said if consumers were prepared to pay for certification, more sustainable initiatives would be put in place.

“We need to be able to reach into our pockets to pay more for it,” he said.

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Malaysia: Perak tracking sea turtles

Audrey Dermawan New Straits Times 13 Sep 12

CONSERVATION: Move to preserve its feeding grounds

SEGARI: PERAK witnessed the release of its very first turtle equipped with a satellite tracking device, into the sea off Pantai Pasir Panjang, near here, yesterday.

The 12-year-old turtle comes from the green turtle species.

With the device sponsored by Malakoff Corporation Berhad, the fisheries authority will be able to track its movement and routes taken to reach the seagrasses -- its only source of food.

The historic event was jointly witnessed by fisheries department director-general Datuk Ahamad Sabki Mahmood and Malakoff Corporation's Lumut power plant manager Abdul Rahman Hussin.

Sabki said once the route was determined, the fisheries authority would be able to demarcate and protect it from any possible encroachment by fishermen.

"It is important for us to protect the turtles, which is one of few marine species which provides us with indication on how healthy our ecosystem is.

"And for now, we can safely say that our marine ecosystem is at a healthy level," he said at the Know the Turtle, Love the Turtle 2013 programme initiated by Malakoff Corporation at the Turtle Conservation and Information Centre here.

So far, 11 turtles, including yesterday's, had been released to the open sea with the satellite tracking device, since the project started in 1991. They are from four different species -- green, hornbill, leatherback and olive ridley.

Ahamad Sabki said to ensure the turtle population continued to be protected, the department encouraged fishermen to adopt the Turtle Excluder Device, which allows a captured sea turtle to escape when caught in a fisherman's net.

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Indonesia: Parts of Jakarta might be under sea by 2030: Official

Antara 12 Sep 13;

Jakarta (ANTARA News) - Some areas of Jakarta are likely to be submerged by 2030 due to rising sea levels as a result of global warming, according to Chairman of the National Climate Change Council (DNPI) Rachmat Witoelar.

"If the current conditions continue, parts of Jakarta, such as the Ancol area, will sink by 2030, as the sea level is rising at a fast rate," he said here on Thursday, adding that steps must be taken in anticipation of the impact of climate change to prevent the Indonesian capital from sinking.

Rachmat also warned about the negative impact of climate change on the Indonesian people`s health.

"Health Minister Nafsiah Mboi has urged the Indonesian public to increase its awareness of the possible impact of the environmental crisis and climate change on affect their health," he said.

As a metropolitan city, Rachmat continued, Jakarta has contributed in large measure to the environmental degradation in the country by producing a lot of garbage, by causing air pollution through excessive use of automobiles, and by eliminating open green spaces.

However, the former minister added that the government, through DNPI, had been making efforts to minimize the impact of climate change.

Indonesia ratified the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) on August 23, 1994.(*)

Editor: Heru

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Indonesia, Sumatra: Haze covers Kualanamu airport

Antara 12 Sep 13;

Medan, N Sumatra (ANTARA News) - Haze blanketed Kualanamu Airport in North Sumatra Province on Thursday morning, disrupting several flight schedules because of the low visibility in the area.

"The fog has led to low visibility, with a range of 300 meters, around the airport. Trees in the area have increased the density of the fog," said General Manager of Airnav in Kualanamu Airport Susanto here on Thursday.

However, Susanto noted that the fog had thinned out at 8:30 a.m., and several flights had made a successful landing since then.

He pointed out that flight delays were the result of decisions made by individual pilots, who have to evaluate the safety of flying in such conditions.

"We prioritize the safety of the flights and their passengers," Susanto stated.

Meanwhile, the flight delays have also affected the contingent of the Indonesian Press Association (PWI), who are scheduled to attend the National Sports Media Championship in Banjarmasin of S Kalimantan.

"We are aboard the Lion Air plane, JT-381, (which was supposed to take off at) 06:30, and the pilot has cancelled the take-off due to low visibility," explained Antara News Agency Bureau Chief for N Sumatra Simon Pramono.

He said the Lion Air pilot had asked the passengers to wait in the airport`s departure terminal until the visibility improved.

"The pilot decided to cancel the flight and asked us to wait in the terminal," Pramono remarked.


Editor: Ella Syafputri

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Indonesia: West Manggarai establishes shark, manta ray sanctuary

Jakarta Post, Bali Daily 12 Sep 13;

Bali West Manggarai Regent Agustinus Ch. Dula designated in late August his entire regency’s marine and coastal waters as a shark and manta ray sanctuary, a decision that has drawn strong support from local environmentalists, the tourist industry and water sports operators.

Fishing is now prohibited for manta rays, threatened shark species, and other threatened species, such as turtles, dugong, Napoleon wrasse and some coral species, throughout the regency’s 7,000 square kilometers of sea that extend up to 12 nautical miles offshore.

This also includes waters around Komodo Island, the site of the national park famous for its population of Komodo dragons.

“Our district of West Manggarai and Komodo is recognized as a world-class marine tourism destination. By prohibiting fishing for these threatened species, we can ensure they will remain for future generations to enjoy,” the regency Marine and Fisheries Agency head, Sebastinus Wantung, said in a press release sent to Bali Daily.

West Manggarai and Komodo, located at the heart of the Coral Triangle, is home to some of the world’s richest marine biodiversity, including more than 10 shark species and both oceanic and reef manta rays.

“Manta-watching tourism is worth an estimated US$15 million to Indonesia’s economy every year, and West Manggarai and Komodo is one of the top destinations. The chance to see a manta ray draws divers and snorkelers from around the world,” said MantaWatch director Andrew Harvey.

“I applaud the regent’s visionary leadership, this is a great example of how governments and the diving industry can work together to achieve positive impacts for the environment and the economy.”

“The marine environment is a very important element driving the growth of tourism in this region,” said Greg Heighes, a local dive operator and representative of the Komodo Dive Operators Association.

The West Manggarai and Komodo district government invited MantaWatch to provide technical and legal advice, and worked with the Komodo Dive Operators Association to develop proposals for the shark and manta ray sanctuary. Divers are now helping to monitor the sanctuary’s impacts on populations of threatened species by sharing their encounters on MantaTrax, a social web application developed by MantaWatch to promote open and participative marine conservation.

MantaWatch is a not-for-profit marine conservation company based in London, UK, that is working to protect threatened manta rays by applying technologies and education to support local conservation actions. MantaWatch operates MantaTrax — the world’s first social web application dedicated to open, transparent and participative marine conservation — and runs the annual MantaWatch Internship Program — a professional manta ray research and conservation training program for students in developing countries.

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