Best of our wild blogs: 24 Jun 17

Green Drinks: Mapping Food Sharing Landscape in Singapore
Green Drinks Singapore

Sharing Chek Jawa and Ubin with Youth Corps Singapore
wild shores of singapore

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More students to get a chance to plan the greening of their own schools

Yap Li Yin Straits Times 23 Jun 17;

SINGAPORE - Another 10 schools have joined a programme that gives secondary school students the chance to propose action plans to green their schools.

The Greenovate programme - a collaboration between the Building and Construction Authority (BCA), Singapore Green Building Council (SGBC), Republic Polytechnic (RP) and Johnson Controls - was launched last June with an initial group of nine secondary schools.

Following energy audits by RP students and Johnson Controls, an energy service company, secondary school students in the programme draw up plans to improve the environmental sustainability of their school buildings.

Last year (2016), students from the first nine secondary schools achieved positive results with Commonwealth Secondary School and Woodgrove Secondary School attaining BCA's Green Mark Gold and GoldPlus certifications respectively.

The other schools will be undergoing assessment for the certification, which is a benchmarking scheme that aims to promote sustainability in the built environment.

Speaking on Friday (June 23) at the opening ceremony of the Build-it-Green (BiG) carnival, Mr Desmond Lee, Minister in the Prime Minister's Office, announced that the collaboration has been extended for another year.

The three-day carnival, held at Bedok Town Square, is aimed at families with children and hopes to raise awareness of the importance of being environmentally sustainable and eco-friendly. The event is jointly organised by the BCA and SGBC, for the third year running.

Mr Lee, who is also Second Minister for Home Affairs and National Development, said that all Singaporeans, especially the young, play a significant role in ensuring the environmental sustainability of the built environment.

"Changing our behaviour and mindset is the main challenge, which is why it is important to start young," he said.

The event also saw the release of an illustrated storybook entitled The Adventures Of Greco And Beco: The School In The Glass City, to further spread the green message of conserving resources to school children.

It is the sequel to a 2015 book, The Adventures Of Greco And Beco: The Glass House.

The BCA has also commissioned theVoice, a local performing arts company, to produce and stage a musical based on the new book. Performances will be held at shopping spaces and libraries from July onwards, and at all primary schools by end 2019. There was a preview on Friday for carnival visitors.

Nine-year-old Tan Kai Yee, who was at the carnival with her grandmother Madam Goh Ai Hock, 73, a retiree, said she is looking forward to seeing the performance at her school.

The carnival is open to members of the public and will run until Sunday (June 25).

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Malaysia: Carcass of endangered turtle found tied to rock

DINA MURAD The Star 23 Jun 17;

Picture credit to Mohd Forzi Zahari

PETALING JAYA: A group of divers on an excursion in Pulau Bidong on Wednesday stumbled upon a devastating sight – the carcass of a critically endangered hawksbill turtle tied to a rock.

The dead turtle was discovered by the group of nine divers in Terengganu's Underwater Gallery in Pulau Bidong.

"One of its hind legs (paddle-like flippers) was tied to a rock. Our dive instructor then cut the turtle loose," Universiti Malaya Terengganu (UMT) student Kong Mei Shuet, 21, told The Star Online on Friday.

According to Kong, someone must have tied the turtle to the rock.

"The knot was neatly tied to a rock and to the deeper part of the leg. It is impossible for a turtle's leg to be stuck that deep into that tightened knot," she explained.

Sea turtles are air-breathing reptiles and need to surface occasionally to breathe.

"The body of the turtle simply floated to the surface after we released it from the rock. Before it floated away, we honoured it by taking it for one last swim. We do not want to bury it on land as the natural habitat for turtles is the ocean," said the marine biology student.

She expressed her dismay at the treatment of the rare and vulnerable species.

Kong also said that she was more motivated to protect the ocean after the encounter.

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Malaysia: Fatal accident claims life of endangered panther

T.N.Alagesh New Straits Times 23 Jun 17;

A male panther, locally known as 'harimau kumbang', was found dead along Jalan Sungai Yu-Merapoh near here yesterday. Pic by STR/MOHD RAFI MAMAT.

LIPIS: A male panther, locally known as 'harimau kumbang', was found dead along Jalan Sungai Yu-Merapoh near here yesterday.

State National Parks and Wildlife Department (Perhilitan) director Ahmad Azhar Mohammed said the carcass of the protected animal was recovered some eight kilometers from the Sungai Yu eco-viaduct (wildlife crossing) about 10am on Thursday.

He said checks revealed the adult-sized panther might have been hit by a heavy vehicle between midnight and early yesterday before some villagers stumbled upon the carcass.

"The animal sustained injuries on the head and this is the first incident reported along the stretch near Sungai Yu in Lipis," he said.

Images of the panther has gone viral on social media with many expressing concern for the safety of the endangered species especially when they roam close to the main roads at night and early morning.

On June 19, a two-year-old elephant was found dead by the roadside of the Gerik-Jeli Highway in Gerik, Perak after a motorist crashed into the calf about 2.30am.

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World Heritage coral reefs likely to disappear by 2100 unless CO2 emissions drastically reduced - UNESCO Assessment

UNESCO Press Release 23 Jun 17;

Today, UNESCO’s World Heritage Centre released the first global scientific assessment of climate change impacts on World Heritage coral reefs.

Soaring ocean temperatures in the past three years have subjected 21 of 29 World Heritage reefs to severe and/or repeated heat stress, and caused some of the worst bleaching ever observed at iconic sites like the Great Barrier Reef (Australia), Papahānaumokuākea (USA), the Lagoons of New Caledonia (France) and Aldabra Atoll (Seychelles). The analysis predicts that all 29 coral-containing World Heritage sites would cease to exist as functioning coral reef ecosystems by the end of this century under a business-as-usual emissions scenario.

Bleaching is a stress response that causes coral animals to expel the microscopic algae (zooxanthellae) whose photosynthesis provides the energy needed to build three-dimensional reef structures. Mass bleaching is caused by rising water temperatures associated with climate change. It only takes a spike of 1-2°C to cause bleaching, and carbon emissions have caused a 1°C increase in global surface temperature since pre-industrial times. This effect has been magnified by strong El Niño and La Niña events. Ocean acidification caused by dissolved atmospheric CO2 weakens corals further.

“ The 29 globally significant coral reefs on UNESCO’s World Heritage List are facing existential threats, and their loss would be devastating ecologically and economically,” said Dr. Mechtild Rossler, Director of the World Heritage Centre. “These rainforests of the sea protect coastal communities from flooding and erosion, sustain fishing and tourism businesses, and host a stunning array of marine life.”

The social, cultural and economic value of coral reefs is estimated at US$1 trillion. Recent projections indicate that climate-related loss of reef ecosystem services will total US$500 billion per year or more by 2100, with the greatest impacts felt by people who rely on reefs for day-to-day subsistence.

Widespread coral bleaching was first documented in 1983, but the frequency and severity is increasing. The last three years were the hottest on record, and they caused a global bleaching event that reached 72% of World Heritage-listed reefs.

“We know the frequency and intensity of coral bleaching events will continue to increase as temperatures rise,” said Dr. Scott Heron, NOAA Coral Reef Watch and lead author of the assessment. “Our goal was to document climate impacts on World Heritage-listed coral reefs to date, and examine what the future may hold. The fate of these treasures matters to all humankind, and nations around the world are bound by the 1972 World Heritage Convention to support their survival.”

Coral communities typically take 15 to 25 years to recover from mass bleaching. The assessment looked at the frequency with which World Heritage reefs have been subjected to stress that exceeds best-case rates of recovery. It also examined future impacts to World Heritage reefs under two emissions scenarios. The results were sobering and concluded that delivering on the Paris Agreement target of “holding the increase in the global average temperature to well below 2°C above pre-industrial levels and to pursue efforts to limit the temperature increase to 1.5°C” offers the only opportunity to prevent coral reef decline globally, and across all 29 reef-containing natural World Heritage sites.

The assessment was developed with satellite data from the United States National Ocean and Atmospheric Administration’s (NOAA) Coral Reef Watch and received the support from the French Agency for Biodiversity (Agency Française pour la Biodiversité).

Impacts of Climate Change on World Heritage Coral Reefs
A First Global Scientific Assessment

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