Best of our wild blogs: 25 Nov 13

Draft Master Plan 2013 and Resilience in Singapore
from Green Future Solutions

Discovering MacRitchie forest with Raffles Museum Toddycats from Otterman speaks and Toddycats!

Sluggish finds lead to a new record!
from Pulau Hantu

Siltation at Venus Loop stream; feedback and action to prevent damage to nature reserves from Toddycats!

Afternoon Walk At Venus Drive (23 Nov 2013)
from Beetles@SG BLOG

#14 Admiralty Park
from My Nature Experiences

Wild mushrooms: Ink caps
from Life's Indulgence

from Monday Morgue

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New programme to educate elderly residents on environmental concerns

Monica Kotwani Channel NewsAsia 24 Nov 13;

SINGAPORE: A new programme hopes to educate elderly residents in central Singapore on environmental concerns.

The programme is a joint collaboration between Central Singapore Community Development Council and the National Environment Agency

The Senior Citizens Outreach and Engagement (SCORE) programme was launched on Sunday at City Square Mall in Kitchener Road.

Under the programme, volunteers will go to the homes of elderly residents and educate them on issues such as reducing trash, anti-littering and dengue prevention.

The ambassadors, as they are known, are from the CDCs partner Voluntary Welfare Organisations (VWOs) and Senior Activity Centres (SACs).

So far, four VWOs and SACs have come on board including the Fei Yue Senior Activity Centre and Comfort Keepers - a company that provides home care services for seniors.

Preparations for the programme started in June, and about 80 volunteers have been trained.

Dr Lam Pin Min, Vice Chairman of Central Singapore CDC and MP for Sengkang West, said: "With the dengue epidemic still ongoing, we don't know how long it will take. Through this initiative we can also take the opportunity to educate senior citizens about the hazards of stagnant water, how to do the 'Mozzie Wipeout', and as a result, we try to put in as much effort to bring down the incidence of dengue."

Central CDC said those aged 55 years and above make up a third of the resident population.

And they do not have access to the internet or are hampered in their communication due to a language barrier.

Ms Sally Benjamin, a SCORE ambassador, said: "There's a different way of telling them. Maybe through show and tell, and also in dialects rather than in English and Mandarin. That's the way."

The programme was launched at the CDC's and NEA's Clean and Green Singapore Carnival, and hopes to reach out to about 10,000 seniors over a year.

One of the key features of the Clean and Green Singapore is a trail that allows members of the public a look into key environmental concerns.

And traditionally it's been held outdoors by the various CDCs, but for the first time, it's being held indoors at a mall.

The CDC said the mall was chosen to reach out to more people, mainly shoppers.

Dr Lam added: "We have four different zones that looks at anti-littering, dengue campaign, recycling, so it's a good opportunity for people who are just out there, doing shopping, and at the same time, (they can) just walk around, look at the exhibits and get educated about all these issues."

The trail will go on for a week.

- CNA/de

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Mangroves to shield Philippines from Yolanda-like disasters 24 Nov 13;

MANILA - The Palace said Sunday it will plant more mangrove areas to prevent a repeat of the deadly storm surges that claimed hundreds of lives during Super Typhoon Haiyan (Yolanda) earlier this month.

President Benigno Aquino's spokesman Herminio Coloma said the move was among the measures that will be part of the "comprehensive program of environmental protection", that is being forged in the wake of the killer typhoon.

Environment Secretary Ramon Paje is readying the program which will include "no-build zones" in coastal areas, even if it means moving people who already live in such places, said Coloma.

"Among the directives of the president is to restore the mangroves which are natural protection of coastal areas," he told reporters.

"We have already prepared mangrove plantations and we hope to begin planting soon because it takes five to seven years for these things to grow," he added.

Mangroves refer to trees and bushes that grow in marine coastal areas like marshlands with the plants standing out of the water during high tide.

Super Typhoon Haiyan (Yolanda) left almost 7,000 people dead or missing when it swept through the central Philippine islands earlier this month, many of them killed by storm surges that hit coastal areas sending five-meter (16-feet)high, tsunami-like waves deep inland, destroying buildings.

Coloma said "geohazard mapping" by the environment department would identify which areas are vulnerable to natural disasters like storms and floods.

The Philippine government has been encouraging the protection of mangrove areas not only for protection against storm surges and waves but also because they prevent erosion of coastlines, act as nurseries for marine life and even serve as carbon sinks against global warming.

However the environment department has said many mangrove areas have already been lost due to conversion to other purposes like commercial fishponds and cutting of the plants for firewood and timber.

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