Best of our wild blogs: 29 Nov 18

29th December 2018 (Saturday): Herp Walk @ Sungei Buloh Wetland Reserve
Herpetological Society of Singapore

FOLLOW US! - Instagram St John's Island National Marine Laboratory (SJINML)
Celebrating Singapore Shores!

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Overwhelming support makes Singapore's Year of Climate Action a success: Masagos Zulkifli

Cheryl Teh Straits Times 28 Nov 18;

SINGAPORE - Art competitions, apps to track carbon footprints, and outreach programmes to encourage recycling were all part of the efforts made for Singapore's Year of Climate Action.

The campaign to rally Singaporeans together to work towards a sustainable Singapore saw about 800 climate action-related events initiated and organised here.

Environment and Water Resources Minister Masagos Zulkifli acknowledged these collective efforts on climate action on Wednesday (Nov 28) at the Year of Climate Action Appreciation Lunch, held at Orchard Hotel.

He said these efforts were part of the "overwhelming support from the ground", with green initiatives championed by individuals, schools, businesses, non-profit organisations as well as organisations in the public and private sector.

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Should ivory sales be banned in Singapore? AVA invites public to share their views

Channel NewsAsia 28 Nov 18;

SINGAPORE: The public has been invited to share their views on a proposed ban on the sale of elephant ivory and ivory products in Singapore.

A month-long public consultation was launched on Tuesday (Nov 27) by the Agri-Food and Veterinary Authority (AVA) to gather feedback from the public on the issue.

"The proposed ban is in line with Singapore’s broader commitment to tackle the illegal elephant ivory trade and support elephant conservation," said AVA.

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Malaysia: Illegal logging among the factors for worsening pollution of water sources - Water Supply Dept

Nor Fazlina Abdul Rahim New Straits Times 28 Nov 18;

KOTA BHARU: Source water pollution has worsened since 10 years ago, with illegal logging identified as one of the factors.

Water, Land and Natural Resources Ministry’s Water Supply Department director-general Datuk Noor Azahari Zainal Abidin said checks at Sungai Bilut in Pahang revealed that its level of murkiness or lack of clarity had reached 1,000 Nephelometric Turbidity Unit (NTU).

He said apart from illegal logging, river pollution and destruction of water catchments had also contributed to the water pollution at its source.

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Malaysia: Divers fight Mabul seastar infestation

julianne de souza The Star 29 Nov 18;

PETALING JAYA: An infestation of coral-eating crown-of-thorns seastars in Mabul has got the diving community scrambling to save the corals.

Several dive operators such as Scuba Junkie SEAS and Reef Check Malaysia, and the Sabah Tourism Board are among those involved in an exercise to remove the seastars, which are the largest tropical starfish.

Within three days, they managed to remove over 3,000 seastars.

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Over one third of Indonesia's coral reefs in bad state, study finds

Indonesia has some of the world's finest corals but many are also badly damaged 28 Nov 18;

More than a third of Indonesia's coral reefs are in bad condition, scientists said Tuesday, raising concerns about the future of the archipelago's vast marine ecosystem.

The precarious state of the country's coral reefs was revealed after a survey of 1067 sites across the sprawling country of more than 17,000 islands.

Scientists from Indonesian Institute of Sciences (LIPI) found that just 6.5 percent Indonesia's coral reefs were in excellent condition, while 36 percent are in bad condition. Some 34 percent in sufficient condition with the rest classifed as being in good condition.

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Indonesia: Three turtles found dead off Pari island due to litter

Antara 28 Nov 18;

Jakarta (ANTARA News) - The Jakarta Natural Resources Conservation Agency (BKSDA) has confirmed the deaths of three turtles in the waters of Pari Island in the Seribu Islands District apparently due to plastic litter and crude oil spill.

"It is true that three turtles were found dead on Nov 27. Since they had decomposed, they were not moved to land. They were covered in mucus, and plastic litter was found in their mouths and front claws," Chief of Conservation Section of the BKSDA Office in Hajarta Ida Harwati stated on Wednesday.

The exact cause of the turtles` mortality is yet to be ascertained, as no surgery was conducted on them, she noted.

However, she believed they died due to exposure to plastic litter and oil spill.

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Indonesia: Wild animals flee to Karo hamlet from deforested Bukit Barisan

Apriadi Gunawan The Jakarta Post 28 Nov 18;

Residents living near Mount Sinabung in Karo, North Sumatra, have seen a rise in the number of orangutans and other wild animals that have entered their villages in the past few months, ever since the mountain started to show a decrease in volcanic activity.

Just recently, residents of Lau Kawar hamlet, about 10 kilometers from the mountain, found a baby orangutan in the Lau Biang River in Kutabuluh district, when they were fishing. The male orangutan, estimated to be 1 year old, was sitting alone on a river stone.

The orangutan was then captured by the residents and taken to a resident’s house in Kutabuluh.

“This is the first time in decades I have seen many orangutans roaming around villages like this,” said local resident Pelin Depari. In addition to the orangutans, he said villagers had also encountered other animals such as deer and wild goats.

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Indonesia: Mangrove forests in Bombana need preservation

Otniel Tamindael Antara 29 Nov 18;

Jakarta, (ANTARA News) - The mangrove forests scattered in Bombana District, Southeast Sulawesi Province, need to be preserved as a habitat for fish, shrimp, and crabs, as well as ecotourism areas.

Based on data from the Southeast Sulawesi Maritime and Fisheries Service, mangrove forests, covering an area of 6,053 hectares, are spread across six coastal areas in the district of Bombana.

Mangrove forests in Bombana are located on the small islands of Kabaena, Sagori, Kambing, Canggoreng, Mangata, and Hantu, but most have been looted and damaged by irresponsible local people.

A seafood producer, named Supriyansah Yusuf, stated that the preservation of mangrove forests must be a shared responsibility between the local government and the community.

Similar to coral reefs, mangrove forests are extremely productive ecosystems that provide numerous good services both to the marine environment and the people.

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Global food system is broken, say world’s science academies

Radical overhaul in farming and consumption, with less meat eating, needed to avoid hunger and climate catastrophe
Damian Carrington The Guardian 28 Nov 18;

The global food system is broken, leaving billions of people either underfed or overweight and driving the planet towards climate catastrophe, according to 130 national academies of science and medicine across the world.

Providing a healthy, affordable, and environmentally friendly diet for all people will require a radical transformation of the system, says the report by the InterAcademy Partnership (IAP). This will depend on better farming methods, wealthy nations consuming less meat and countries valuing food which is nutritious rather than cheap.

The report, which was peer reviewed and took three years to compile, sets out the scale of the problems as well as evidence-driven solutions.

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