Best of our wild blogs: 27 Oct 13

Register (free) for the Climate Change Challenges in Cities Workshop, 18-19 Nov 2013 @ NUS LT32 from Habitatnews

Sex and the Birds: 2. Mating Systems
from Bird Ecology Study Group

Life History of the Orange Emigrant
from Butterflies of Singapore

Morning Walk At Lorong Halus (26 Oct 2013)
from Beetles@SG BLOG

Phenomena - Of Branches And Nests

Read more!

Seagrass researcher lauded as environment champion

Straits Times 27 Oct 13;

Ms Siti Maryam's passion for seagrass has drawn ridicule on many occasions from those who've met her but yesterday, she was among 10 role models cited at the Clean and Green Campaign for their efforts to preserve the environment.

For the past six years, the marine biologist has been leading a team of 200 volunteers on monthly trips to Pulau Semakau and Chek Jawa to track the health of seagrass meadows.

"If you like your seafood - your prawns and your crabs - you have to like seagrass. It is where they hatch their young," the 32-year-old said.

Seagrass meadows are declining world-wide, the National University of Singapore doctorate student said, and the risk of them disappearing in Singapore is "quite high".

The greatest challenge she faces is convincing people about the importance of seagrass.

It is vital to having a vibrant marine ecosystem. Without a healthy level of seagrass, sea creatures with shells - prawns and crabs - will not have a suitable habitat to reproduce.

Her team of volunteers includes students and working adults, and they submit their findings to the National Parks Board.

But why pick seagrass for her research? She said: "If coral reefs are the stars of the marine world, the seagrass is the one at the back, making everything look good."

Toh Yong Chuan

Read more!

Littering punishment under review

Also, green plan to be updated to boost growth, improve living environment: PM Lee
Toh Yong Chuan Straits Times 27 Oct 13;

Litterbugs could soon face tougher penalties, with a review of anti-littering laws under way as part of Singapore's continued push for clean public spaces.

Separately, the national green plan is being updated to include the building of environmentally friendly hawker centres and cutting of carbon emissions, Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong disclosed yesterday.

These initiatives are part of the review of the 2009 Sustainable Singapore Blueprint, which outlines strategies to achieve economic growth and a good living environment.

Speaking at the launch of the annual Clean and Green Campaign - into its 45th year - Mr Lee said Singaporeans have to take pride in their surroundings.

While most help to keep the environment clean, a minority still litter, leave tables at hawker centres dirty, and even abuse enforcement officers.

"We must not condone such bad behaviour, or let it spread," he said. "The Government has tightened enforcement, and we will review our penalties to punish littering, to stop littering."

The National Environment Agency (NEA) told The Sunday Times that it is considering higher fines. Currently, litterbugs face a composition fine of up to $300. Recalcitrants hauled to court can be fined up to $1,000 for the first conviction and up to $5,000 for repeat convictions. They can also be ordered to pick up litter in public for up to 12 hours.

In May, Environment and Water Resources Minister Vivian Balakrishnan said in Parliament that penalties for high-rise littering will probably need to be reviewed and the fines imposed "significantly raised".

Yesterday, Mr Lee said the NEA is also piloting a Community Volunteers programme, where some 100 citizens have the powers to act against litterbugs. The best way to keep the country clean is not through fines and regulations though, but to exert social pressure on those who do not respect the environment, he added.

Singaporeans could, for instance, tell those who litter to pick up after themselves.

"We must also keep Singapore clean because it reflects our values - to be house-proud, considerate, environmentally conscious," Mr Lee said at the event, at an open field next to the Nex shopping mall.

With a bigger population leading to higher energy consumption and greater waste, the imperative to stay clean and green remains important.

"Let us work together to build a beautiful Singapore that we can proudly call our home."

The year-long campaign's theme is "Every Action Counts" and carnivals, a workshop and a national conference on keeping Singapore clean are on the cards.

Yesterday, the National Environment Agency also lauded 10 "environment champions".

Among them was housewife Elisa Ng, who started a litter-picking drive on Facebook in January.

The 42-year-old picks up litter whenever she sees it in her estate, saying: "For all the resources put in, the place does not look any cleaner to me. We are clean because of the efforts of cleaners."

Other environment champions include Mr Ganesan Kulandai, 58, a grassroots leader who checks on mosquito breeding; and Ms Siti Maryam, 32, a marine biologist who tracks the health of seagrass in Singapore.

Sustainable Singapore Blueprint to be reviewed
Vimita Mohandas Channel NewsAsia 26 Oct 13;

SINGAPORE: Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong has announced that there will be a review of the Sustainable Singapore Blueprint.

The aim is to update it with new initiatives which include building more environmentally-friendly hawker centres and reducing carbon emissions next year.

Launched in 2009, the blueprint outlines strategies to achieve twin objectives of economic growth and a good living environment.

Mr Lee said this at the launch of the year-long Clean and Green 2014 campaign on Saturday.

He said more Singaporeans have a greater consciousness of green issues.

For example, recycling rates have been increasing and more people are using energy-efficient appliances.

While the government will be reviewing penalties for litterbugs, Mr Lee said the best way is to put social pressure on them.

Mr Lee said: "We have to set the right example, if your see somebody who is littering, tell them to pick up after themselves. And make sure that we ourselves don't do it. Keeping Singapore clean isn't just about fines and regulations. We must also keep Singapore clean because it must reflect our values - to be house-proud, considerate, environmentally conscious."

Mr Lee added that the environment also depends on Singapore’s neighbours and highlighted haze problems earlier this year.

But he said that should the haze return, the government will do what it can to minimise the impact such as improving its monitoring and surveillance capabilities as well as putting in place contingency plans to ensure that masks and essential supplies can be distributed to vulnerable groups.

Mr Lee also presented Community-In-Bloom ambassador awards at the event.

One recipient was 50-year-old Wendy Tan, who carries out a self-sustainable gardening method of producing fertilisers from kitchen waste.

The youngest Environment Champion was 22-year-old Daniel Tan, who used wall murals to spread the importance of reducing, recycling and reusing.

Mr Tan said: "I've all along been a fan of street art so I wanted to incorporate street art into my project. I hope that by starting young, I can set an example because I think recycling is a habit and it has to start young."

Also displayed at the Clean and Green carnival were mobile applications that help to address environmental issues.

For instance, the Parent Pool app enables parents in the neighbourhood with children attending the same school to form a community so that they can make carpool arrangements. It also has useful information such as weather data.

- CNA/ir/xq

Read more!

NUS team fits plastic decoy with robotics equipment to perform tests in water bodies

This 'swan' is no bird brain
Grace Chua Straits Times 27 Oct 13;

If you spot a swan bobbing gently in a reservoir or canal, take a closer look. There could be a lot more going on beneath the surface than paddling feet.

National University of Singapore (NUS) researchers have kitted out a plastic decoy swan with equipment and robotics so it can float around testing water quality, transmit findings wirelessly, return on its own to a charging dock and even call for help if it is nicked.

Such decoys are used in Canada to stop noisy, messy geese from landing on ponds, but NUS researchers performed a little surgery on one to add electronics to its innards, and Global Positioning System and wireless sensors to its head.

Its undercarriage bears a cylinder that can be fitted with sensors for chlorophyll, pH, dissolved oxygen and any other water-quality measure desired.

Lead researcher Mandar Chitre, head of the Acoustic Research Laboratory at the university's Tropical Marine Science Institute (TMSI) and an electrical and computer engineering assistant professor, said the project stemmed from a need to monitor the quality of freshwater bodies.

The swan saves manpower, he said. It can also provide measurements over time and over a large area, compared with, say, having fixed sensors or sending out people to test water from a boat.

The swan is also easier to maintain and cheaper than submerged robots, added research associate Koay Teong Beng.

The project is among dozens of efforts that have propelled Singapore into the top ranks of the global water research community.

In a survey by consultancy Lux Research earlier this year, NUS came in No. 1 in water research and Nanyang Technological University (NTU) second, among about 400 universities and institutes worldwide.

Since 2006, Singapore has committed $470 million to grow the water sector. NTU's Nanyang Environment and Water Research Institute this year received an extra $132 million until 2016 from the industry, public agencies and grants from funding bodies.

The NUSwan (New Smart Water Assessment Network) project by the NUS Environmental Research Institute and the TMSI evolved from existing work on underwater autonomous robots.

The swans can paddle about at a top speed of two knots, or a little over 3.5kmh, and currently cost some $20,000 to $30,000 to develop. But the cost could drop when they are produced commercially.

The long-term vision is to have a flock of such robots that can also be used to map out coral reefs and monitor their health, said Dr Chitre.

But what about the fact that swans are not native to Singapore? "If you want to increase the biodiversity, you can use a different species," he quipped.

Big task to remove tiny particles in water
Singapore is seen as a world leader in water research, and has committed substantial amounts of public funding to grow its water sector. The Sunday Times looks at some of the work done to safeguard Singapore’s water quality
Grace Chua Straits Times 27 Oct 13;

Nanoparticles - tiny particles of materials like silver and gold, a fraction of the size of a virus - have special properties. They can be used in antibacterial coatings, to kill tumours, or to deliver drugs.

But they can be a double-edged sword.

The same properties that enable them to enter and kill cancer cells or bacteria also mean they can be toxic to healthy cells in the wrong context.

The use of nanoparticles has become more widespread in recent years, and they can be found in thousands of consumer products ranging from sunscreen to food packaging.

Scientists have yet to fully understand where these particles end up, and their effect on human and environmental health.

That's why researchers at the National University of Singapore (NUS) and Hebrew University of Jerusalem are working together on how best to detect and remove such nanoparticles from water, especially using low-cost, readily available materials.

Professor Suresh Valiyaveettil of the NUS chemistry department said silver nanoparticles have been shown to kill cells and cause abnormalities in zebrafish, the guppy- size fish popular in toxicity testing because their reactions are similar to humans'.

Increased use of nanoparticle products will increase the concentration of nanomaterials in the environment, particularly water, if their manufacturers do not deal properly with waste, he added.

Prof Suresh said: "The next question that came up in our mind was, 'How do we remove such contaminants from the water supply?' How do we detect these tiny particles in contaminated water? Do the existing methodologies of water purification remove these emerging contaminants?"

So he and his colleagues worked with a water treatment expert, Professor Avner Adin, of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem.

Earlier this year, they found that apple and tomato peel and other food wastes like sugar cane residue and soybean hulls could be used to remove nanoparticles and other contaminants from water.

They also found that nanoparticles clung to the surface of metal oxides like zinc oxide (the white powder commonly used in zinc sunscreens), and suggested that the nanoparticles could be clinging to charged areas on the surface of the oxide particle.

"All materials used in our lab are relatively easy to get in large amounts and can be modified to fit the need of certain communities," he said.

Now the researchers are looking for collaborators for field trials of these materials, Prof Suresh said.

Finding the right mix of minerals for purified water
Straits Times 27 Oct 13;

Singapore is ramping up its desalination programme so that it can get even more fresh water from the sea.

This year, it opened its second desalination plant at Tuas, and desalinated sea water can now meet up to a quarter of the nation's water needs.

After the salt and minerals are taken out of the sea water, however, it becomes very pure.

This super-pure water can leach minerals from metal water pipes, so minerals must be added before the water goes into the distribution networks - just enough to prevent damage to the pipes, but not so much that mineral deposits form in them.

Researchers are figuring out what minerals to add, how much and at what concentrations would be best for the pipes.

Currently, Singapore adds some calcium to its desalinated water and Newater to prevent pipe damage. In some countries, minerals such as calcium and magnesium are also added to drinking water for health reasons such as to keep bones strong.

Associate Professor Hu Jiangyong, deputy head of research at the National University of Singapore's civil and environmental engineering department, together with colleagues and collaborators from national water agency PUB, compared various concentrations of calcium and magnesium in the water, based on what is added to desalinated water around the world.

They found that using calcium and magnesium together was better at preventing corrosion than calcium alone. But the exact ratio and amount need to be studied further, Prof Hu said.

The team also looked at three types of pipes - ductile iron and cast iron, which older distribution pipes are made of - and newer cement-lined ductile iron pipes.

They found cement-lined pipes were better at staving off corrosion than the older metal pipes.

Now they want to more closely simulate real-life conditions in tests, using segments of pipeline rather than just pieces of pipe wall, said Prof Hu.

"We hope to better understand the technical details and provide more technical information to the authorities," she said.

Grace Chua

Read more!

Dinosaur expert's advice to Singapore: 'Cut fossils up to study them'

Doing so will advance the world's knowledge of prehistoric animals, says palaeontologist
Tan Dawn Wei Straits Times 27 Oct 13;

The world's most famous palaeontologist thinks Singapore should cut up the three prized dinosaurs that will be the star attractions of the new natural history museum opening next year.

That is the only way to glean any scientifically significant data to advance the study and knowledge of these prehistoric animals, he argues.

"I bet I can convince them that they should," he told The Sunday Times. "There is more information inside than there is outside. And if they don't cut it, they won't be able to do more than what anyone else has done."

It's a controversial idea that sounds like a horror story to any museum with a real dinosaur in its collection - slicing into the bones of these rare, million-year-old specimens that most would think ought to be encased like the Mona Lisa.

But palaeontologist Jack Horner, who discovered his first dinosaur fossil at the age of eight, insists the bones can be cut and put together again and nobody would know they had been taken apart.

Every single dinosaur bone that he exhibits at the Museum of the Rockies in Montana - and he has thousands in his collection - has been sliced open and put back together again.

It is only by looking into the fossils that scientists learn about how fast these animals grew, at what age they died, and what they ate.

They have also found that birds are actually dinosaurs, and that the prehistoric creatures might in fact have been warm-blooded.

A superstar in palaeontology circles, the 67-year-old Mr Horner has amassed the largest collection of North American dinosaur fossils at the Museum of the Rockies in Montana State University, where he has been curating, teaching and researching on dinosaur growth and behaviour.

Despite not having a degree - his dyslexia caused him to flunk his college exams seven times - he became famous after he and a colleague discovered in Montana the first dinosaur eggs and embryos.

His research established that dinosaurs were social animals that nested and took care of their young.

Then Hollywood came knocking. Movie producer-director Steven Spielberg wanted Mr Horner to advise him when he was making the first three Jurassic Park movies.

The palaeontologist was already in the books that inspired the series. Author Michael Crichton had based one of the characters, Dr Alan Grant (played by Sam Neill in the movies), on Mr Horner.

"I'm very happy I haven't been eaten," he said of his character. He's not fussed about the artistic licence that Spielberg and gang eventually took with the dinosaurs.

"It's my job to make sure the dinosaurs look accurate, but the animals, just like the people, are acting. They run faster than they should. No dinosaur would break apart a building to get to a person to eat when there's a perfectly good triceratop lying out in the field," he said, and shrugged.

"I'm fine with it. I wanted it to be a good movie."

That is why he agreed to play consultant again to the fourth instalment, due out in 2015. But he is tight-lipped about the new villain in this eagerly awaited sequel.

"All I can tell you is it's scary. Scarier than the first three."

Make-belief dinosaurs aside, he is busy creating his own real-life dinosaur in his lab, from a chicken.

He and his team have, for the past few years, been looking at how to turn on and off certain genes that would give chickens some dinosaur traits, like a tail, teeth and three digits on each feet.

"What we've discovered is when you turn one on, it turns on other things, so we have to figure out how to leave those off," he explained. "It is a little more complicated than we thought it would be. But we're learning a great deal about evolution."

The lab inevitably produces mutants, like three-legged chickens, but he says he does not let them develop very far.

It's not an idea that sits well with those who throw the ethical book at him, but he said: "I don't think scientists or discovery should be limited. I think we should know everything we can know. Ethics then becomes somebody's opinion."

It is in that pursuit of knowing everything one can know that he thinks dinosaur bones should be cut open - something the upcoming Lee Kong Chian Natural History Museum here is not averse to.

It paid under $8 million for three diplodocid sauropod dinosaurs, the largest measuring 27m in length.

Its director, Professor Peter Ng, says the museum is already collaborating with the Tokyo National Science Museum and exploring research partnerships with the Americans.

They have all warned that some damage will have to be done.

"Before we go down this path, we will try and use new imaging technology as best as we can first," he said.

"As researchers first and foremost, curiosity drives us and we want to maximise what we can get out of good fossils like these. Good science should follow."

Mr Jack Horner was in Singapore last week to open the Titans Of The Past - Dinosaurs And Ice Age Mammals exhibition, which showcases life-size dinosaur skeleton casts, real dinosaur fossils and animatronics from the Museum of the Rockies, as well as from Argentina. The exhibition is on till Feb 23 at the Science Centre Singapore.

Read more!

A Singaporean’s Laotian mission

Life sciences grad moves to a remote village to help rescue, return animals to their habitat
Kok Xing Hui Today Online 27 Oct 13;

Waking up every three hours to feed a Malayan sun bear cub is not something most Singaporeans will ever experience. But for the past six months, Mr Ong Saylin and his staff at the Animal Concerns Research & Education Society (ACRES) Lao Wildlife Sanctuary have been doing just that.

The two-and-a-half-month-old cub, Neung (which means one in Lao), grew up in a guesthouse in the tourist region of Vang Vieng — known for its raucous bars until the government shut them down in September last year.

Neung was the first bear the sanctuary rescued and Mr Ong, 26, vividly remembers their first encounter.

“She was totally famished — she was very grumpy, very fierce. And I literally carried her into our vehicle to take her to our sanctuary,” he says.

Mr Ong got involved in animal welfare work at 21. After graduating from the National University of Singapore (NUS) with a life sciences degree four years later, he landed a job as Executive Director of the sanctuary in Laos set up by ACRES Singapore.

His job: Rescuing bears in Ban Kern village, roughly a two-hour drive from downtown Vientiane, the country’s capital.

“I wanted to try something new, something different while I was young,” Mr Ong says as we chat in his office inside the sanctuary, which comprises a zoo housing 80 species of animals but sees few visitors.

The bear bile trade

There is more to the ACRES Lao Wildlife Sanctuary than rescuing bear cubs kept as pets. ACRES’ main purpose in setting up shop in Laos is to deal with a bigger problem: The emerging bear bile trade which, Mr Ong believes, may be run by the same networks involved in drug and human trafficking.

Bear bile farming, he says, mostly happens in North Korea, Vietnam and China. “But now ... bear bile traders are saying they are coming to Laos to catch bears because they cannot find them in the forests (in the other countries) any more. In Laos, we estimate that there may be 200 to 300 bears. And the traders are starting to move here.”

Last year, ACRES partnered the Laos Zoo — the country’s only zoo — to turn it into a wildlife sanctuary.

Now, one-and-a-half years after its inception, the sanctuary is working on improving its animal welfare — “grouping the animals and putting them in state-of-the-art enclosures that are more naturalistic”, says Mr Ong.

Next year, the sanctuary plans to ink a Memorandum of Understanding with the Laos government, which will enable it to begin rescuing captive bears from the bile farms.

The end game, he says, is to release rehabilitated bears back into the wild.

Plugging the NGO gap

“A lot of NGOs said that ACRES in Laos is a good thing because we can fill a gap in this whole big network of conservation. Many times we read online or see on television that an animal smuggling attempt was intercepted. Everybody is happy, the media comes ... But nobody really knows what happens to these animals,” says Mr Ong.

“Does anybody know how to rehabilitate and release them into the wild?”

Here is where the sanctuary comes in. While it has rescued only one bear so far, it has taken in other animals and built new enclosures for over 30 rescued macaques and sheltered snakes, turtles, lizards, an owl and an eagle.

Together with the Wildlife Conservation Society, it is caring for some 30 Siamese crocodile hatchlings — a highly endangered species with fewer than 150 in Laos — and will release them into the wild when they are older.

Apart from his administrative and accounting duties, Mr Ong is also involved in tasks such as preparing medication for crocodiles suffering from a fungal infection, deciding on material for the fence for the bear enclosure and introducing a rescued macaque to the sanctuary’s two existing tribes.

The sanctuary takes in many macaques because they are popular as pets in Laos, yet many people are unequipped to care for these sociable monkeys which, in Mr Ong’s words, “do not make good pets”.

He says owners tend to give them the wrong food and the macaques get frustrated as “it’s unnatural for them to be alone, they start getting aggressive, making a lot of noise”. “(Most owners) didn’t know what to do until ACRES came in ... they realised we’re taking in rescued animals so they give (them) up (to us),” he says, sharing that some of these macaques have been abused.

Among the macaques at the sanctuary, one lost an eye after getting hit on the head by its owner, while another walks with a limp after spending most of its life crouched in a small laundry basket. Yet another, which used to be fed a diet of cigarettes and beer, is displaying behavioural problems.

A Singapore boy in Laos

While ACRES has since engaged a tutor to teach Mr Ong the Lao language, settling in a foreign country still has its difficulties. He misses the comforts of home, such as the shops and restaurants at the malls — there are no Starbucks or McDonald’s in Laos and the nearest English-language cinema is an hour across the border in Thailand.

“It’s simple things like going home to your family, going out with a friend, meeting people ... It’s all missing.”

“Working in a foreign country that is different from Singapore and speaks a totally different language, you have to understand the culture. It can get very challenging if you don’t understand what sets people off and how sensitive people are.”

He says his parents were initially “very apprehensive” about his move and some of his friends questioned if “an NGO salary” was enough. “They asked me how I was going to go back to Singapore on such a salary. But I do have friends who are very supportive.”

His family and friends have visited him. His 19-year-old sister, who has followed in his footsteps by taking a life sciences course at NUS and regularly volunteering at ACRES Singapore, visited last December. About 10 friends have dropped in as well.

“People are generally interested to know what my work is like!”

Read more!

Indonesia: Petition Set Up to Save Sulawesi’s Bangka Isle

Olga Amato Jakarta Globe 26 Oct 13;

Imagine if a piece of heaven on earth, home to some of the rarest marine species, was at risk due to mining activities.

This is the case of the island of Bangka in North Sulawesi, set to be ravaged if Mikgro Metal Perdana’s plan to start mining iron ore there is not stopped.

Mobilization has been coming from inside and outside Bangka in an attempt to make the local government to take a firm stance against MMP.

Almost the entire population of the island is against the mine. As reported in Divemag Indonesia, 65-year-old coconut farmer William Hadinguang, is no exception.

“Some people think the mining plan will bring jobs and money,” William told Divemag.

“But I know that it will only bring destruction. The 15 percent of people who are pro-mining are looking for fast money. They don’t think of the future generations. What will they eat? Where will they live?”

Astonishment and disapproval was not limited to locals. Environmental lovers from around the world have joined the chorus of indignation.

Bangka lover Kaka, from the iconic Indonesian rock group Slank, started a petition at, addressed to North Sulawesi Governor Sinyo Harry Sarundajang and Sompie Singal, the deputy district head of North Minahasa, in which Bangka falls administratively, to stop the mining plan.

Kaka explained to how the first time he went to Bangka to dive, he fell in love. The unmistakable charm of the island brought him back repeatedly, and he said he knew well how the population and nature would suffer if the mining went ahead.

Open-pit mining on an island the size of Bangka would be catastrophic, not only to the rich biodiversity of the corals surrounding the island, but to the soil and water table on Bangka itself. It is because of this danger that Indonesia passed legislation in 2007 to protects coastal areas and small islands.

“Based on the regulations, any island with an area of less than 200,000 hectares cannot be mined,” Kaka said, as reported by “And this is only 4,700 hectares! So the mining plan of MMP is obviously illegal!

“From the environmental point of view, the waste would be overwhelming, from the rivers to the sea. The coral reefs would be destroyed, and the fish will disappear. If the fish are gone, the fishermen will be gone too! Not to mention the tremendous amount of evictions that will happen, who knows to where,” the singer said.

“All your life you live in your home, then suddenly you’re forced to move and start all over again.”

Arief Aziz, the communications director at Indonesia, said it was important to get people involved in important causes, no matter where they were.

“It used to be much harder to know about, let alone support movements happening in rural and remote areas across Indonesia,” he said.

“With this campaign, we have a case where inhabitants of a small island in North Sulawesi have their home and livelihoods threatened. And now, we have a way to connect to them and mobilize support from anywhere in the country. If this succeeds, it can add to the already numerous beacons of hope, a precedent that when people voice out, be it online or offline, people in power have no choice but to listen,” Arief said.

Riyanni Djangkaru, a professional diver and editor in chief of DiveMag Indonesia, agreed on the importance of drawing attention to the issue in order to create awareness not only about the importance of preserving nature but also about how vital an eco-friendly economy was for the future of the local people.

“Profits that are gained from the mining industry are short-term and extremely destructive,” she said.

“There are other sustainable activities that can generate profit without destroying the environment, like fishing and ecotourism. These are activities that if developed carefully and in accordance with eco-friendly standards, give long-term economic profit for the island without hurting the environment.”

Riyanni added that mining on Bangka would certainly result in the destruction of other tourist sites nearby.

“If the water around the island of Bangka is polluted because of the mining activities, this will automatically lead to the damage of the sea and underwater species in famous tourist spots such as Bunaken and Lembeh.”

To prevent this, the campaigners are calling for immediate action.

Save Bangka Island

To sign the petition, go to:

Read more!