Best of our wild blogs: 25 Mar 18

27 May (Sun): Pesta Ubin WalkRunBike 2018
Pesta Ubin 2018

New edition of the Southern and Northern shore guidesheets!
wild shores of singapore

Horseshoe crabs at Pasir Ris
wild shores of singapore

Deep sea exploration by Singapore scientists!
Celebrating Singapore Shores!

Singapore Garden Photographer of the Year (SGPY) 2017

Night Walk At Windsor Nature Park (23 Mar 2018)
Beetles@SG BLOG

Bittern In The Chestnuts
Winging It

Singapore Bird Report – February 2018
Singapore Bird Group

New 3M survey showed that 1 in 2 Singaporeans think everyday life wouldn’t be much different if science didn’t exist at all
Mei Lin NEO

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Government grant available for green initiatives from Apr 1

Elizabeth Neo Channel NewsAsia 24 Mar 18;

SINGAPORE: Interest groups, non-governmental organisations (NGOs) and constituencies that are interested in holding green events in support of the Year of Climate Action can apply for a government grant from Apr 1.

Each group will be eligible for up to S$5,000 on a reimbursement basis, announced Senior Minister of State for the Environment and Water Resources Amy Khor on Saturday (Mar 24).

Interested groups have until the end of the year to apply for the grant.

The Climate Action SG Grant was first announced by Dr Khor during the Committee of Supply debate earlier this month, to help organisations defray costs of developing preogrammes to raise awareness of climate change.

Speaking at an eco-carnival at Our Tampines Hub, Dr Khor also touched on the subject of energy conservation.

Dr Khor said the Mandatory Energy Labelling Scheme (MELS) for household appliances, which currently covers air-conditioners, refrigerators, clothes dryers, televisions and general purpose lamps, will be expanded to cover more types of lamps.

This includes the compact fluorescent lamp without the integrated ballast, the T8 fluorescent tube as well as the LED direct replacements.

Dr Khor said the National Environment Agency will be consulting the industry and public on a proposal for this matter.

“Our studies show that for a household, if they actually choose a three tick LED instead of a two tick fluorescent lamp for instance, they will actually save 40 per cent of energy,” she added.

Dr Khor pointed out that the scheme has not only helped consumers choose more energy efficient models of household appliances but also transformed the market in two ways.

Suppliers are motivated to bring in more energy efficient appliance models due to the product differentiation offered by MELS, she said, and households have a wide selection energy-saving models to choose from.

“In 2016 ... three-quarters of fridges that were sold were actually energy efficient ones," Dr Khor said.

She added that more energy efficient models of appliances regulated under MELS have entered the market, thus giving consumers more choice.

Saturday's event, called the Just One Earth (JOE) Carnival, is in its fourth year.

Organised by the North East CDC, the carnival aims to engage the community and inspire children and their parents to contribute towards a sustainable future for Singapore, through a variety of activities.

Residents got to try their hand at making a natural cleaner with fruit peels, as well as self-watering planters with plastic bottles and old cloth.

Source: CNA/ad

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World cities go dark as global Earth Hour climate campaign kicks off

Channel NewsAsia 24 Mar 18;

SYDNEY: The Sydney Opera House, the Eiffel Tower and Moscow's Red Square were among the world landmarks to go dark on Saturday (Mar 24), as part of a global campaign to raise awareness about the impacts of climate change.

Earth Hour, which started in Australia in 2007, is being observed by millions of supporters in 187 countries, who are turning off their lights at 8.30pm local time in what organisers describe as the world's "largest grassroots movement for climate change".

"It aims to raise awareness about the importance of protecting the environment and wildlife," Earth Hour organiser WWF Australia chief Dermot O'Gorman told AFP.

In Paris, the Eiffel Tower plunged into darkness as President Emmanuel Macron urged people to join in and "show you are willing to join the fight for nature".

"The time for denial is long past. We are losing not only our battle against climate change, but also our battle against the collapse of biodiversity," he said on Twitter.

Moscow's Red Square also fell dark and the Russian section of the International Space Station dipped its lights, the Ria Novisti news agency said.

Images from across Asia showed buildings including Kuala Lumpur's Petronas Towers, as well as the famous harbour skylines of Hong Kong and Singapore, blacking out to mark the occasion.

Other global landmarks that will take part include New York's Empire State Building.

UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said the event "comes at a time of huge pressure on people and planet alike".

"Resources and ecosystems across the world are under assault. Earth hour is an opportunity to show our resolve to change."


With global temperatures the highest on record, O'Gorman said this year's theme was the impact of climate change on biodiversity and plant and animal species.

"More than half of plant and animal species face local extinction in some of the world's most naturally rich areas in biodiversity by the turn of this century if we continue along the current path that we are trending in terms of global warming," he said.

Species at risk include Australia's green turtles, black-flanked rock wallabies and koalas, as well as the Adelie penguin colonies in Antarctica, the conservation group said in a report it commissioned that was published in the science journal Climatic Change.

The analysis, released last week, said key biodiverse sites around the world projected to be most affected by localised extinction include the Amazon, the world's largest tropical rainforest, and southern Africa's Miombo Woodlands.

While the lights-off event is a symbolic gesture, Earth Hour has led successful campaigns over the past decade to ban plastics in the Galapagos Islands and plant 17 million trees in Kazakhstan.

Sydneysider Dianna Ali, who was having dinner with family as the lights went off in the city, said the initiative had made her more aware of the impact of her lifestyle on the planet's health.

"Since Earth Hour started, it's made me more conscious of how much power I'm using," she told AFP.

"I think... about how much one individual can make a difference."

Source: AFP/ad/ec

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Jurong Lake Gardens West to open in early 2019; largest water lilies collection part of attraction

ASYRAF KAMIL Today Online 24 Mar 18;

SINGAPORE — From the largest collection of water lilies in Singapore, to roaming the gardens in autonomous vehicles, these are some of the attractions Singaporeans can look forward to when construction for the Jurong Lake Gardens (JLG) Central and East completes progressively from 2020 onwards.

JLG West, which is currently under development, will be the first section to open next year, while the construction tender for JLG Central and East – which include the Chinese and Japanese Gardens – will be called in mid-2018.

In a media statement on Saturday (March 24), the National Parks Board (NParks) said that more than 14,000 suggestions and feedback were gathered for the concept design for JLG East and West, which the statutory board then “incorporated” into the project.

“The feedback received strongly supports the proposed concept design for JLG Central and East, especially for features that showcase tropical horticulture, nature and sustainability, and spaces for the community,” said NParks.

During a community tree planting event at JLG West on Saturday, Minister for National Development and Chairman of the Jurong Lake District Steering Committee Lawrence Wong said that the feedback sessions are “an important ground-up process to shape our national gardens”.

He said: “We’ve had a very productive consultation exercise, with many useful suggestions from the public… for more community and family spaces. (This) has enabled NParks to improve the final concept plans for JLG Central and East.”

The public engagement exercise consisted of roving exhibitions, townhall sessions, and online surveys conducted from November 2016 to April last year.

NParks noted from the feedback that many of the buildings and features in the Chinese and Japanese Gardens hold special memories for Singaporeans and that “most of the structures in the Chinese Garden and landforms in the Japanese Garden will be retained”.

“The design for JLG Central hence seeks to retain the natural ambience and key features of the Gardens by working with the existing landforms and key buildings and features, and leveraging on the water surrounding the Gardens,” it said.

NParks added that the public feedback received had also indicated strong support for garden features related to water, which is “in line with the concept design of the Gardens”.

More than 140 varieties of water lilies will be showcased within water terraces at the Aquatic Gardens, making it the largest collection of water lilies here in the Republic. Some 100 varieties of the flower will be new to Singapore, NParks said.

Visitors to the gardens will also be able to get up close to the water lilies to observe and photograph them as boardwalks will extend across the terraced ponds.

There will be a Nature Rambling Trail, where families and children can learn about native riverine environments. There will also be a Water Gallery Trail consisting of outdoor spaces featuring art and plants, said NParks.

NParks also said that it had received suggestions on the use of smart technology to “enhance visitor experience and enable efficient garden management and operations”.

“Useful information related to weather, directions and events listings will be displayed on interactive information screens in the Gardens, which will also be served by a people mover system which includes the use of autonomous vehicles,” said the statutory board.

Visitors who wants to cycle to the Gardens can ride on an East-West cycling route across the Chinese Garden to connect Taman Jurong to Jurong Town Hall and Jurong East.

To inject vibrancy to the Gardens, NParks added there are plans for farmers’ markets and thematic displays for visitors to enjoy.

The public is invited to share their views on the different types of programmes and activities that they would like to see at JLG during a public exhibition at Taman Jurong Community Club, which will be held from March 25 to April 1.

Jurong Lake Gardens to be home to Singapore’s largest collection of water lilies
Loh Chuan Junn Channel NewsAsia 24 Mar 18;

SINGAPORE: The new Jurong Lake Gardens will be home to the largest collection of water lilies in Singapore, with more than 140 varieties, announced the National Parks Board (NParks) on Saturday (Mar 24).

More than 100 varieties of water lilies will be new to Singapore, such as the Australian Giant Water Lily and the Foxfire Water Lily, added NParks.

Visitors will be able to see the aquatic plants up close from boardwalks which will extend across the terrace ponds.

These are part of the concept design for the gardens' east and central zones which was unveiled on Saturday.

Touted as the next national gardens in the heartlands, the Jurong Lake Gardens is part of a larger transformation of the Jurong Lake District.

There are three parts to the gardens - west, east and central - and proposed plans for the latter two zones had been put up for public consultation from November 2016 to April 2017.

More than 14,000 suggestions were received, said NParks on Saturday.

Sharing some of the feedback, NParks said many people noted that the buildings and features in the Chinese and Japanese Gardens - in the central zone - held special memories for Singaporeans.

"The design for Jurong Lake Gardens Central hence seeks to retain the natural ambience and key features of the gardens by working with the existing landforms and key buildings and features, and leveraging on the water surrounding the gardens," said NParks.

The iconic seven-storey pagoda at the Chinese Garden, for example, will be retained.

One new feature will be a water gallery trail where boats can travel along the banks of the lake surrounded by a swamp forest.

As public feedback showed that people wanted more public spaces for activities, the northern shore of the gardens will be transformed into a space comprising a lawn, a pavilion housing food and beverage outlets and a youth park.
ill also be transformed into a space comprising a lawn, a pavilion housing food and beverage outlets and a Youth Park.

To make the area more accessible, an East-West cycling route will be provided across the Chinese Garden to connect Taman Jurong to Jurong Town Hall and Jurong East.

A public exhibition on the new Jurong Lake Gardens will be held from Mar 25 until Apr 1, where people are invited to share their views on the programmes they would like to see at the new gardens.

A construction tender for the central and east zones will be called in the middle of this year, and works are expected to be completed progressively from 2020.

As for the western part of the gardens, works started in April 2016, and it is slated to open early next year.

Source: CNA/ad

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Indonesia: Erin the elephant's plight casts spotlight on conservation

Wahyudi Soeriaatmadja Straits Times 24 Mar 18;

JAKARTA - The plight of Erin the baby elephant, who was found in a poacher's trap with a severed trunk, has received national attention this week after her story was told online.

The Sumatran elephant was discovered in July 2016 when she was two years old near a housing settlement in Lampung province's Susukan Baru area, within the 1,300 sqkm Way Kambas National Park.

She was weak, thin and had pinworm in her intestine. Her trunk was severed about 10cm from the distal edge, an injury likely sustained when she fell into the trap, reported on Wednesday (March 21).

Erin was taken to the nearby Rubini Atmawidjaja Elephant Hospital.

Actress Wulan Guritno expressed her grievance on Instagram account and appealed to her 2.4 million followers to save Sumatran elephants, and donate for Erin.

"So sad seeing this young elephant. Erin needs assistance when she feeds herself," Wulan said in her post.

The Way Kambas national park housed 248 wild elephants, as per the last census in 2010. The park's rehabilitation centre has 66 tamed elephants, including Erin.

Dr Diah Esti Anggraini, a vet at the elephant hospital, told Kompas that Erin's physical condition was weak due to the injury. She had been left behind by a group of wild elephants and could not keep up.

Like other injured elephants left behind by their herds, she relied on her survival instincts and walked towards a settlement.

Since her rescue, Erin has been learning to eat without using her trunk.

"She manoeuvres her front limbs to help pick up food or sometimes bends them to reach food," Dr Diah said.

Sumatran elephants are critically endangered. Illegal ivory trade and dwindling habitat due to deforestation have raised fears that elephants could become extinct within decades.

On Feb 12, a female Sumatran elephant aged around 20 was found dead with her tusks removed, in Way Kambas national park, which is also home to critically endangered Sumatran rhinos and tigers. There were five bullet wounds in her chest and head, also reported, citing the park's patrol officials.

This came a month after a male Sumatran elephant was found dead with its tusks removed in a protected forest in South Sumatra.

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