Singapore’s proposed ivory ban would help save elephants

Reducing consumer demand coupled with government regulations and stricter enforcement will put an end to poaching imperiled species.
John Baker Channel NewsAsia 28 Dec 18;

CALIFORNIA: Is there a direct correlation between domestic bans and increased poaching? And if there is, does that mean countries like Singapore should abandon the proposed domestic ban? That’s the million-dollar question conservationists are debating.

Some local free-market conservationists argue that a ban on ivory will raise the perception of scarcity, drive up prices and snuff out demand.

At face value, it sounds reasonable. Diamonds are rare and they’re expensive. But upon closer inspection, this overly simplistic approach completely misses the point.


Ivory prices are down in China and Hong Kong, due to new domestic bans in these two of the biggest markets. Soon after China announced it would ban ivory in 2017, raw ivory prices fell to US$730 per kilogram, from US$2,100 per kilogram in 2014, according to Kenya-based conservation group, Save The Elephants’ researchers, Lucy Vigne and Esmond Martin.

That’s a substantial decrease of 65 per cent.

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SPCA to start new scheme to sterilise, manage strays

Cheow Sue-Ann The New Paper 28 Dec 18;

Community caretakers, members of the public and animal lovers will soon find it easier to get stray dogs sterilised.

The Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (SPCA) said yesterday it will soon cease the current Sterilisation Voucher Programme and replace it with the nationwide trap-neuter-release-manage (TNRM) programme for stray dogs. The current sterilisation vouchers can be used till the end of this month.

The new programme, fully funded by the Agri-Food and Veterinary Authority of Singapore (AVA), will remove the need for members of the public to trap the stray themselves.

SPCA's executive director, Dr Jaipal Singh Gill, said: "Members of the public can approach any participating animal welfare group (AWG) to notify them about community dogs that require sterilisation.

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128 contractors taken to task since January for flouting drainage regulations: PUB

Cheryl Lin Channel NewsAsia 27 Dec 18;

SINGAPORE: In the first 11 months of this year, 128 contractors have been prosecuted and fined for a total of 203 offences involving unauthorised alterations and interference to the public drainage system or flouting Earth Control Measure (ECM) regulations.

This was revealed by Singapore's national water agency PUB in a press statement on Thursday (Dec 27).

The numbers represent an increase from 2017, which saw 104 contractors charged for a total of 141 offences.

Some of the more common offences include inadequate treatment capacity and lack of cut-off drains which separate clean water from silty water. As a result, silty water overflows from construction sites to nearby waterways during heavy rainfall.

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Indonesia raises alert, widens danger zone around volcano

SYAWALLUDIN ZAIN and NINIEK KARMINI, Associated Press Yahoo News 28 Dec 18;

CARITA, Indonesia (AP) — Indonesia raised the danger level for an island volcano that triggered a tsunami on the weekend, killing at least 430 people in Sumatra and Java, and widened its no-go zone.

The country's volcanology agency on Thursday increased the Anak Krakatau volcano's alert status to the second-highest and more than doubled the exclusion zoneto a 5-kilometer (3-mile) radius. The eruption on Saturday evening caused part of the island in the Sunda Strait to collapse into the sea, apparently generating tsunami waves of more than 2 meters (6 1/2 feet). Most tsunamis are caused by earthquakes.

The government has warned communities in the strait to stay a kilometer (less than a mile) away from the coastline because of the risk of another tsunami triggered by Anak Krakatau's eruptions. A navy vessel was expected to pass by the island, which could give scientists more information about the risks of a second collapse.

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Climate change: Huge costs of warming impacts in 2018

Matt McGrath BBC 27 Dec 18;

Extreme weather events linked to climate change cost thousands of lives and caused huge damage throughout the world in 2018, say Christian Aid.

The charity's report identified ten events that cost more than $1bn each, with four costing more than $7bn each.

Scientists have shown that the chances of heat waves in Europe were influenced directly by human-related warming.

Other events, say the authors, are due to shifts in weather patterns, said to be a consequence of climate change.

According to the report the most financially costly disasters linked to rising temperatures were Hurricanes Florence and Michael, with costs said to be around $17bn for the former, and $15bn for the latter.

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