Best of our wild blogs: 10 Jun 14

LKCNHM June Holiday Programmes
from News from Lee Kong Chian Natural History Museum

Butterflies Galore! : Chocolate Grass Yellow
from Butterflies of Singapore

Pale Grass Blue and its nectarine plant, the Sweet Basil
from Bird Ecology Study Group

Read more!

Malaysia: Selangor prepares for El Nino

New Straits Times 9 Jun 14;

SHAH ALAM: Advancing the technologies of cloud seeding with the use of dry ice and channeling pool water into the state dams are among the steps taken by the Selangor state government in preparation for the El Nino.

Selangor Water Management Authority (LUAS) director Md Khairi Selamat said the state government has conducted tests on the pool water and is confident that it is safe for human consumption.

“Our latest test was conducted on May 20th and we have send samples to various labs, including the chemical department where the tested results show that the water is safe and comply with the regulation set by the federal government.

“In light of the El Nino phenomenon, the state government will not hesitate to use water from the pool and channel it to the dams whenever it is necessary,” he said after completing his presentation on the state’s water management plan at the 2015 State Budget Dialogue here, today.

Khairi added that the state government has put in plan a more efficient strategy to maximize the efficiency of its cloud seeding activities.

This includes the use of dry ice, bigger air carrier and continuous daily cloud seeding activities in water catchment areas to maintain, and eventually increase the water level at affected state dams.

“The state government and the stakeholders involved in water management in state has been discussing our plan to lessen the impact of El Nino and these are what we have come up with.

“However, we are planning to continue discussing other possible options to ensure that there would not be a need for water rationing again,” he said.

Khairi added that LUAS and the state government is confident that there would not be another round of water rationing despite the lack of rainfall and the warm weather from El Nino phenomenon.

The water level at essential dams such as the Sungai Selangor dam has yet to improve significantly and reach the desired target set by the state government at 50 per cent.

As of today, the Sungai Selangor dam’s water level was recorded at 43.5 per cent and only slightly improved from its last recorded level.

Read more!

Fisheries: Urgent action needed on overfishing, pollution and climate change

FAO Director-General at Committee on Fisheries says sustainable fisheries and aquaculture crucial to food security and nutrition
FAO 9 Jun 14;

9 June 2014, Rome - FAO Director-General José Graziano da Silva opened a meeting of the world's only inter-governmental forum on fisheries and aquaculture issues, calling for urgent action to address climate change and other threats to sustainable fisheries and fish stocks.

FAO's Committee on Fisheries (COFI) opened its 9-13 June session to address a range of issues related to the long-term well-being of marine and inland fisheries and aquaculture and to discuss potential action by governments, regional fishery bodies, NGOs, fish workers and other actors in the international community.

Saying that fisheries and aquaculture make a "central contribution to food security and nutrition," Graziano da Silva added that sustainable development in the world's island and coastal states was especially dependent on the "vitality of oceans and fish stocks."

"Overfishing, pollution and climate change are putting this vitality at risk. The impacts are already evident. And the world's poor, in rural and coastal areas, are among the most affected," said Graziano da Silva.

"I want to stress the urgency of individual and collective action to address climate change, one of the most pressing challenges the world faces today," he said, adding that FAO was making it a priority in its work to improve sustainable development through its Blue Growth Initiative.

The Director-General pointed out that fisheries and aquaculture were the sources of 17 percent of the animal protein consumed in the world and up to 50 percent in some Small Island Developing States (SIDS) and Asian countries. They were also central to the livelihoods of some of the most vulnerable families in the world.

"The livelihoods of 12 percent of the world's population depend on this sector. In particular, small-scale fisheries are the source of employment for more than 90 percent of the world's capture fishers and fish workers, about half of whom are women," he said.

"At the same time that small-scale fishers supply most of the fish consumed in the developing world, many of their families are food-insecure themselves. This is a paradox that we are working together to overcome," he said, stressing that small-scale fishers were an integral part of efforts to improve sustainability and food security.

International forum

The Director-General joined Johan Williams, Chairperson of COFI's 31st Session, in welcoming ministers in charge of fisheries or agriculture and rural development from Algeria, Bangladesh, Brazil, the Republic of Guinea, Indonesia, Mali and Sri Lanka. Participants also included vice-ministers, deputy ministers and state ministers from Azerbaijan, Ghana, Guatemala, Honduras, the Islamic Republic of Iran, the Maldives, Namibia, Peru, Saudi Arabia and Yemen.

Among other issues, participants were to consider endorsement of two key sets of voluntary guidelines designed to improve sustainability and responsible fisheries conduct, respectively: the Voluntary Guidelines for Securing Sustainable Small-scale Fisheries and the Voluntary Guidelines for Flag State Performance.

Read more!