Best of our wild blogs: 16 Dec 18

Butterfly of the Month - December 2018
Butterflies of Singapore

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As countries wage war on plastics, the jury's still out on how best to tackle the problem

LOW YOUJIN Today Online 15 Dec 18;

SINGAPORE — In Rwanda, being caught with a plastic bag is a crime. The African nation is so serious about tackling the global plastic pollution crisis that since a decade ago, it is illegal to import, produce, use or sell plastic bags and plastic packaging except for specific industries such as healthcare and pharmaceuticals.

Those caught carrying illegal plastic are liable to be fined, jailed or forced to make public confessions, the New York Times reported last year. In 2017, another African nation, Kenya, also enacted a law to punish anyone making, selling or importing plastic bags with as much as four years in jail or a US$19,000 (S$26,140) fine.

While their measures to combat plastic pollution are not as drastic compared to Rwanda or Kenya, more than 40 countries the world over including China, the United Kingdom, Australia and Malaysia have banned, restricted or taxed the use of single-use plastics. The European Union (EU) is planning to enact a ban on such use among its member countries by 2021.

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Malaysia: Bird flu causing egg price hike - Minister

The Star 16 Dec 18;

IPOH: The increase in the prices of eggs is due to the bird flu affecting the poultry industry, says Datuk Salahuddin Ayub (pic).

The Agriculture and Agro-based Industry Minister said the flu was causing a shortage in supply but assured consumers that the problem was only temporary.

“We are in dis­­cussions with the Domestic Trade and Consumer Affairs Ministry on steps to contain the pricing,” he told reporters on the sidelines of Parti Amanah Negara’s national convention here yester­day.

According to recent reports, egg farmers were closing shop due to soaring feed prices. As such, egg production dropped by about 70% as compared to two years ago.

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Nations agree on global climate pact rules, but they are seen as weak

Nina Chestney, Bate Felix and Agnieszka Barteczko, Reuters Yahoo News 16 Dec 18;

KATOWICE, Poland (Reuters) - Nearly 200 countries overcame political divisions late on Saturday to agree on rules for implementing a landmark global climate deal, but critics say it is not ambitious enough to prevent the dangerous effects of global warming.

After two weeks of talks in the Polish city of Katowice, nations finally reached consensus on a more detailed framework for the 2015 Paris Agreement, which aims to limit a rise in average world temperatures to "well below" 2 degrees Celsius (3.6 degrees Fahrenheit) above pre-industrial levels.

"It is not easy to find agreement on a deal so specific and technical. Through this package you have made a thousand little steps forward together. You can feel proud," Polish president of the talks Michal Kurtyka told delegates.

After he struck the gavel to signal agreement had been reached, ministers joined him on the stage, hugging and laughing in signs of relief after the marathon talks.

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