Best of our wild blogs: 30 Apr 19

FREE guided walks on Sentosa's natural shores in May
Celebrating Singapore Shores!

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Singapore buildings put on a cool, green face

Eco-friendly certification scheme helps fulfill Lee Kuan Yew's garden city dreams
MAYUKO TANI Nikkei 29 Apr 19;

SINGAPORE -- Hotels, stores and shopping malls in Singapore, looking for a way to cut their air conditioning bills and spruce up their environmental image, are increasingly adding greenery to their exterior walls.

The 27-story Oasia Hotel Downtown in the Tanjong Pagar business district, whose outer mesh cladding is swathed in trailing green plants, stands out among its high-rise neighbors. The Parkroyal on Pickering, a hotel in nearby Chinatown, has layers of balcony gardens.

The greening is one part environmental conservation and one part bottom line: Green walls help reduce the cost of cooling a building by reducing the temperature of exterior walls and mitigating the heat-island effect -- the higher temperatures found in heavily built-up areas.

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60% of Singaporean households recycle regularly, but many not doing it right: Surveys

Channel NewsAsia 29 Apr 19;

SINGAPORE: Can plastic toys, clothes and glass pots be recycled? If you say yes, you're not alone, but these items do not belong in a recycling bin, according to authorities.

Around 60 per cent of Singaporean households recycle regularly, but many still find it difficult to identify contaminants and non-recyclables, surveys conducted by the Ministry of the Environment and Water Resources (MEWR) and the National Environment Agency (NEA) have found.

The two surveys, which were conducted between June 2018 and February 2019, covered different aspects of household recycling, said the agencies in a joint media release on Monday (Apr 29).

According to the findings, the top items recycled were paper materials like newspapers, magazines, junk mail, brochures and writing paper.

Clothes, shoes and bags were also among the top items recycled. However, these items should be donated – if in good condition – instead of being recycled, said the agencies.

“These wrongly recycled items contribute to the high contamination rate of the recyclables collected from the blue recycling bins,” said MEWR and NEA.

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Malaysia: Water Resources Bill to address water pollution and river problems

Tasnim Lokman New Straits Times 29 Apr 19;

PUTRAJAYA: The Water, Land and Natural Resources Ministry is in the midst of drafting a uniform and comprehensive Water Resources Bill to clamp down on water pollution.

Its minister Dr Xavier Jayakumar said the bill would empower all states to enhance the management, control and enforcement of their water resources.

He said the new legislation would also be a guide for discussions and coordination on issues involving water resources that are shared by two or more states.

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Indonesia: Jokowi wants to move capital out of Java

Marguerite Afra Sapiie The Jakarta Post 29 Apr 19;

President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo has decided to push ahead with a plan to move the capital from Jakarta by establishing a new center of government outside Java, citing the need to ensure more equitable development and address overpopulation in the country’s most populous island.

The National Development Planning Agency (Bappenas) presented its initial study on the relocation plan during a Cabinet meeting led by Jokowi on Monday, where the top executives discussed alternatives to establish a new political and government hub amid environmental concerns and overcrowding in Jakarta.

“The President has decided in the meeting to move the capital outside Java,” Bappenas head Bambang Brodjonegoro said in a press conference after the meeting on Monday.

Bappenas presented three alternatives.

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Indonesia: Death toll in Bengkulu floods, landslides climbs to 29

Ivany Atina Arbi The Jakarta Post 29 Apr 19;

At least 29 people have died in flash floods and landslides that hit the province of Bengkulu over the weekend, while 13 remain missing, according to the latest figures.

The National Disaster Mitigation Agency (BNPB) revealed on Monday that Central Bengkulu regency accounted for the majority of casualties, with 22 people found dead. Three more fatalities were reported in Kepahiang regency, one in Lebong regency and three in Bengkulu city.

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Thailand: Coral off Phuket suffering from bleaching

The Thaiger 27 Apr 19;

Corals have started to bleach off the coast of Phuket. The problem is due to the warming of the sea, according to reports from the Phuket-based operations centre of the 2nd National Marine Park.

Marine scientists at the centre conducted a survey of coral reefs off Nai Yang beach in the Sirinat national park last Thursday and found that the sea surface temperature was over 30 degrees Celsius and that 10% of the staghorn and mushroom corals, between 1-4 metres deep, had started to bleach, although they are not yet dead.

The report says that, if the warming of the sea continues, the coral bleaching problem will become more serious and will affect the ability of the reefs to regenerate.

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Coral bleaching in Arabian Gulf modulated by shamal winds, say NYUAD researchers

Emirates News Agency 29 Apr 19;

ABU DHABI, 29th April, 2019 (WAM) -- Corals in the Arabian Gulf are not immune to extreme heat events associated with global warming that are impacting coral reefs elsewhere in the world, researchers at New York University Abu Dhabi have revealed.

Using reef-based temperature loggers and mathematical models, research published in the journal Frontiers in Marine Science, showed that coral in the Gulf - the most thermally tolerant in the world - has become more vulnerable to bleaching events when weak summer winds do not cool the water's surface.

Without these winds, which are known as shamal (northerly) winds, the Gulf’s shallow waters can reach temperatures considered lethal to coral for extended periods in summer, according to the study’s authors, NYUAD Associate Professor of Biology John Burt, and NYUAD Associate Professor of Mathematics Francesco Paparella.

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Best of our wild blogs: 29 Apr 19

Flying Flowers
Butterflies of Singapore

Mass coral spawning 2019
Celebrating Singapore Shores!

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New public awareness programme in 12 constituencies in push towards cleaner Singapore

Cheryl Teh Straits Times 28 Apr 19;

SINGAPORE - A new initiative to encourage members of the public to clean their community areas will begin next month.

Organised by the Public Hygiene Council, the Sustainable Bright Spot programme will be launched in stages across 12 constituencies.

It was one of three fresh efforts announced on Sunday (April 28) by Minister for the Environment and Water Resources Masagos Zulkifli.

"The Sustainable Bright Spots programme is aimed at encouraging residents to keep their housing estates clean," said Mr Masagos.

"The hard truth is that many of us are still too dependent on an army of 58,000 workers who clean up our housing estates, roads, public walkways and waterways every day."

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Indonesia: Minister launches Clean Indonesia Movement to reduce plastic waste

Antara 28 Apr 19;

Jakarta (ANTARA) - Coordinating Minister for Maritime Affairs Luhut Binsar Pandjaitan accompanied by Transportation Minister Budi Karya Sumadi and legendary Singer Titik Puspa, launched a Clean Indonesian Movement here, Sunday, to reduce plastic waste.

"The Clean Indonesian Movement is our common movement. Waste is our common enemy. Hence, it is our common responsibility to maintain Indonesia clean. Moreover, the waste treatment program has become a crucial government program that should be carried out by everybody," Pandjaitan said.

Jakarta produces at least eight thousand tons of plastic waste daily.

He called on the public to stop using single-use plastic products.

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Indonesia: Innovation needed to end human-elephant conflict in Sumatra, says WWF Indonesia

Ivany Atina Arbi The Jakarta Post 28 Apr 19;

Over the past few years, the conflict between humans and elephants on the island of Sumatra has become inevitable as they both try to defend the land they claim as their own, making it urgent to find a way to keep the giant mammals away from humans.

World Wildlife Fund (WWF) Indonesia said massive land conversions across the island since the 1980s have turned forested areas, which are the natural habitat of the Sumatran elephant, into plantations and residential areas.

The elephants, that lost their homes then, at times entered the transformed areas seeking food. Humans, who were irritated by their presence, did everything they could to get rid of the animals from their properties.

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Indonesia: Ten die, 12,000 others displaced amid Bengkulu floods, landslides

The Jakarta Post 28 Apr 19;

A severe rainstorm in Bengkulu over the weekend has caused floods and landslides across the region, claiming the lives of at least 10 people.

Eight people were reportedly missing as of Sunday morning, while roughly 12,000 had been displaced.

The disaster has damaged 184 houses, four schools as well as roads and bridges in nine cities or regencies, including the city of Bengkulu and the regencies of Kepahiang, Rejang Lebong, Seluma and Kaur.

“The disaster’s impact will be further assessed as not all of the affected areas have been reached,” National Disaster Mitigation Agency (BNPB) spokesperson Sutopo Purwo Nugroho said in a statement on Sunday.

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Best of our wild blogs: 28 Apr 19

Call for Volunteer Zone Captains for ICCS (briefing on Wed 8th May 2019)
News from the International Coastal Cleanup Singapore

A case for conservation of Tengah forest in Singapore
Nature and Us

Monitoring has ended for the NUS–NParks Marine Debris Monitoring Programme!
News from the International Coastal Cleanup Singapore

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Loud sounds across Singapore could be linked to detonations in Southern Islands by SAF: Police

Ng Huiwen Straits Times 27 Apr 19;

SINGAPORE - Several loud sounds were reported in various locations across the island, including Orchard and Bukit Timah, at about 11.30am on Saturday (April 27).

Police said later at 10pm that the sounds could be related to planned detonation activities carried out by the Singapore Armed Forces at the Southern Islands that started at 11.45am and ended at 1.30pm.

This was after the police verified the matter with the Ministry of Defence.

Police also advised members of the public not to be alarmed.

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Dragon boat: DBS Marina Regatta 2019 adopts green theme to raise awareness on environmental issues

Laura Chia Straits Times 27 Apr 19;

SINGAPORE - When Emelyn Tan participated in the 2018 DBS Marina Regatta, she enjoyed the "invigorating atmosphere" at the carnival the most, which featured food and games stalls, and workshops on healthy eating.

"It was a great place to mingle, catch up with friends and spend time with family," said the 40-year-old teacher.

This year, she can look forward to more when the regatta takes place from May 31 to June 2 at The Promontory @ Marina Bay.

With the theme The Race Against Time, the eighth Marina Regatta aims to raise awareness on environmental issues and will use recycled, reusable and natural materials in its structures.

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Lakeside Garden opens to public under first phase of Jurong Lake Gardens

Channel NewsAsia 27 Apr 19;

SINGAPORE: Lakeside Garden, the 53-hectare western section of Jurong Lake Gardens, opened to the public on Saturday (Apr 27).

This is the first phase to open as part of the 90-hectare Jurong Lake Gardens - Singapore’s third national gardens and its first in the heartlands.

Lakeside Garden, which comprises Jurong Lake Gardens West and the former Jurong Lake Park, was developed with an emphasis on nature, community and play, said the National Parks Board (NParks).

Located along Yuan Ching Road and next to Lakeside MRT station, the garden includes a play area named Forest Ramble for children aged between five and 12 years old. The 2.3-hectare area is the largest nature play garden in the heartlands and has 13 different adventure stations for children, NParks said.

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Best of our wild blogs: 27 Apr 19

Mass coral spawning 2019
wild shores of singapore

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What are the implications of dry dams and polluted rivers in Johor?

A persistent heat wave and illegal dumping of waste in the waterways have shone the spotlight on water sustainability issues in the southern Malaysian state.
Amir Yusof Channel NewsAsia 27 Apr 19;

SINGAPORE: Over the last two months, the state of Johor has been hit by a series of environmental problems, impacting its rivers and water treatment facilities. This has shone the spotlight on the issue of water sustainability.

The problems have affected thousands of local residents, causing some to fall ill while disrupting water supply to homes.

The water levels at major dams have fallen below the critical mark due to dry weather while some rivers, including the Johor River, have been polluted by chemicals.

The federal government and Johor Sultan Ibrahim Iskandar have called for action from the state government to resolve the issues.

The various episodes have also resulted in Singapore raising concerns over water sustainability.

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Floating homes, parks, facilities - a reality in Singapore that's closer than you think?

Cheryl Lin Channel NewsAsia 27 Apr 19;

SINGAPORE: Urban life on floating structures at sea is no longer something more likely to be found in science fiction, with experts estimating that large scale platforms could be a reality in less than a decade.

This comes as floating homes, storage facilities and even parks have been mooted as the answer to Singapore’s continued quest for land.

“We have been building higher and higher for the last 20 (to) 30 years. For going deeper, there is a limit to how far can you can go,” said Mr Lim Soon Heng, President of the Society of Floating Solutions (Singapore).

“With floating structures, you have such an enormous amount of space in the horizontal direction”.

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Malaysia: Plastic dumping fight on world stage

jo timbuong The Star 26 Apr 19;

PETALING JAYA: The government is making all efforts to ensure the country will no longer be the world’s dumping ground for plastic waste, says Yeo Bee Yin.

The Energy, Science, Technology, Environment and Climate Change Minister said Malaysia would back an amendment to an international convention that would categorise solid plastic waste as “hazardous”.

Yeo said Malaysia hopes to push amendments to the Basel Convention (Basel Convention on the Control of Transboundary Movements of Hazardous Wastes and their Disposal) at a meeting in Geneva, Switzerland, to impose “Prior Informed Consent” (PIC) procedures in the movement of plastic waste.

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Indonesia: Torrential rain triggers flooding, evacuations in Jakarta

Channel NewsAsia 26 Apr 19;

JAKARTA: Torrential rain triggered flooding in parts of the Indonesian capital Jakarta overnight, the disaster agency said Friday (Apr 26), forcing the evacuation of residents.

Heavy rain pounded the greater Jakarta area, causing the Ciliwung river to burst its banks, and prompting flash flooding in at least 17 communities.

Dozens of residents in parts of the capital's east, where flooding occurs frequently during rainy season, were forced to wade through streets filled with 1m high water in places.

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Indonesia: Thousands of rare trees planted in North Sumatra

Apriadi Gunawan The Jakarta Post 26 Apr 19;

The South Tapanuli regency administration in cooperation with PT North Sumatra Hydro Energy (NSHE) have started growing thousands of rare trees around the PLTA Batang Toru hydropower plant in an effort to minimize the impact of climate change.

Light red meranti trees and dark red meranti trees were planted in Sipirok district, South Tapanuli regency, North Sumatra, to commemorate World Earth Day on April 22.

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Brazil led world in rainforest losses in 2018 despite decline from 2017: WRI

Reuters Yahoo News 27 Ap0r 19;

BRASILIA (Reuters) - Brazil led the world in rainforest destruction last year, although deforestation in South America's largest country fell by 70 percent compared to 2017, according to an independent forest monitoring network.

Brazil lost 13,471 square kilometers (5,201 square miles) of rainforest in 2018, an area nearly the size of the U.S. state of Connecticut, according to annual data from Global Forest Watch, which is run by the U.S.-based World Resources Institute (WRI).

That represents a significant drop from the previous year however, when large-scale forest fires drove higher losses in Brazil.

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Best of our wild blogs: 26 Apr 19

Singapore is bankrolling haze
People's Movement to Stop Haze

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Lab-grown shrimp dumplings: Clean, sustainable and cruelty-free

Shabana Begum Straits Times 25 Apr 19;

SINGAPORE - The yellow dumpling looks and tastes like shrimp, according to the few people who have tasted it, yet the mince inside it cost more to produce than the priciest abalone.

Its filling did not come from the sea, but was created using shrimp stem cells in a local lab.

Shiok Meats, the region's first cell-based seafood company, launched its first creation, lab-grown shrimp dumplings, in March.

It took the eight-month-old company months of trial and error and $5,000 to make just eight dumplings using cell-cultured shrimp, according to its co-founder and chief executive officer Sandhya Sriram.

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Malaysia: Simpang Renggam water treatment plant closed indefinitely due to high ammonia readings, says Johor exco

Malay Mail 25 Apr 19;

JOHOR BARU, April 25 — The Water Treatment Plant (LRA) at Simpang Renggam was shut down on Tuesday due to high ammonia content readings, exceeding the level permitted by the Health Ministry.

Johor International Trade, Investments and Utilities committee chairman Jimmy Puah Wee Tse said that the pollution had affected 15,000 account holders in Simpang Renggam and 8,000 in Pontian as a result of the water supply disruption.

He said pollution was believed to have occurred as leachate seeped when the embankments of the CEP 1 Simpang Renggam discharge pond broke because of heavy rains.

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Malaysia: Peat fire razes 420ha of forest near Kuantan, firemen still battling blaze

The Star 25 Apr 19;

KUANTAN (Bernama): A peat soil forest fire near the Sultan Ahmad Shah Maritime Academy (AMSAS) in Sungai Ular here razed 420ha of forest Thursday (April 25), compared to 40ha last week.

Pahang Fire and Rescue Department director Nor Hisham Mohammad said the absence of an entry road, limited water source and wind movements were among the difficulties faced by the department in an operation to douse the fire.

He said that, other than AMSAS, two other areas were affected by thick smoke from the fire - the Malaysia-China Kuantan Industrial Park and Sungai Baging here.

"The main focus in the operation to put out the fire is in the Sungai Baging area because there is a school and housing estate where the air pollutant index (API) is touching 300, namely, not healthy.

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Malaysia: WWF-Malaysia wants Putrajaya to set up National Tiger Task Force

The Star 25 Apr 19;

PETALING JAYA: WWF-Malaysia Thursday (April 25) urged the government to consider setting up a National Tiger Task Force to address the ongoing issue of poaching and illegal wildlife trade.

In a statement, Conservation Director Dr Henry Chan said the move would be a success if implemented, citing statistics of a similar task force formed in Nepal.

"The establishment of the National Tiger Conservation Committee and Wildlife Crime Control Coordination Committee in Nepal made it possible for the country to almost double its tiger numbers, as well as achieve 365 days of zero poaching for rhinos, elephants and tigers between 2013 and 2014," he said.

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Indonesia: Chinese nationals arrested for alleged pangolin scale smuggling

Apriadi Gunawan The Jakarta Post 25 Apr 19;

Customs and Excise personnel in Deli Serdang, North Sumatra, arrested two Chinese citizens for attempting to smuggle the scales of 44 pangolins through Kuala Namu Airport over the weekend.

Customs officers arrested the two as they were about to depart from the airport for Guangzhou on Saturday, according to Environment and Forestry Ministry security and law enforcement center (Gakkum) official Haluanto Ginting.

“The pangolin scales were hidden inside a number of items such as wallets, pockets, pillows, bags, envelopes and socks,” Haluanto told The Jakarta Post on Wednesday.

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Indonesia: Irrawaddy dolphin found dead in East Kalimantan river

N. Adri The Jakarta Post 25 Apr 19;

An Irrawaddy river dolphin, locally known as a pesut, was found dead in the Pela River in Kutai Kartanegara, East Kalimantan, on Monday afternoon, it is believed to have drowned.

The 122-centimeter-long mammal, an endangered species, had been trapped in a fisherman’s net.

“Hopefully this is the last one,” said researcher Danielle Kreb of the Rare Aquatic Species Indonesia (RASI) foundation.

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Brunei: Chinese contractor takes steps to protect wildlife

Xinhua 25 Apr 19;

BANDAR SERI BEGAWAN, April 25 (Xinhua) -- Inside a remote district in Brunei that is largely uninhabited and covered with virgin forest, the China State Construction Engineering Corporation (CSCEC) is at the final stages of constructing a bridge, which is expected to boost economic development in the area.

At the heart of Temburong, Brunei's easternmost district that hosts endemic wildlife and indigenous flora, CSCEC is proceeding with the megaproject while ensuring that minimal damage is done to the natural landscape.

Temburong, with an area of 1,306 square km and borders Limbang, Malaysia, forms part of the green lung of the island of Borneo. It is currently accessible from Brunei's capital Bandar Seri Begawan either by an hour-long ferry ride on the Brunei River or by crossing land borders.

The bridge, which is set to be the longest in Southeast Asia upon its completion, aims to connect the isolated district with the rest of the country.

CSCEC is building 11.8 km of the 30-km viaduct.

"We are doing our best not to disturb the natural environment and its inhabitants," CSCEC Environmental Officer Carin Wong Ling said.

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Philippines: Chinese trawl for giant clams - ‘Clam-destine’ thievery

Jenny Ortuoste Manila Standard 25 Apr 19;

China’s plunder of the Philippine environment continues as they trawl for giant clams in our waters.

ABS-CBN broke the news on April 15 that Chinese vessels were discovered harvesting giant clams from Panatag Shoal.

Philippine waters are part of a large marine area in the western Pacific Ocean called The Coral Triangle. Among the creatures living in this biodiverse environment are giant clams of various species of Tridacna. They are hunted for their meat, which is almost entirely pure protein; and shells, which are used as artificial ivory and for decoration.

Fishermen in the area also reported China Coast Guard speed boats guarding Chinese trawlers drive away Filipino fishing vessels attempting to enter the shoal.

This is not the first time the Chinese have done this, and in the same area. In 2015, during the administration of President Noynoy Aquino, the Department of Foreign Affairs sent a protest note to China after the Philippine Coast Guard reported some 24 Chinese utility boats taking giant clams from Bajo de Masinloc.

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In degrading Nature humanity harms itself, UN report warns

Marlowe HOOD, AFP Yahoo News 26 Apr 19;

Paris (AFP) - Diplomats and scientists from 130 nations gather in Paris next week to vet and validate the first UN global assessment of the state of Nature in more than a decade, and the news is not good.

A quarter of 100,000 species already assessed are on a path to extinction, and the total number facing a forced exit from the world stage is closer to a million, according to an executive summary, obtained by AFP, of a 1,800-page scientific report three years in the making.

A score of 10-year targets adopted in 2010 under the UN's biodiversity treaty -- to expand protected areas, slow species and forest loss, and reduce pollution impact -- will almost all fail, the draft Summary for Policy Makers reports.

But the focus of the five-day meet is not just pangolins, pandas, polar bears and the multitude of less "charismatic" lifeforms that humanity is eating, crowding or poisoning into oblivion.

Rather, the spotlight is on the one species that has so ravaged Earth's natural systems as to imperil its own existence as well.

That, of course, would be us: homo sapiens.

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Hundreds of dead dolphins wash up on French coast

AFP Yahoo News 26 Apr 19;

Nantes (France) (AFP) - A record number of dead dolphins have washed up on France's Atlantic coast in recent months after being caught in fishing nets, the Pelagis observatory said Thursday.

"We've had around 1,200 small cetaceans along the coast" of the Bay of Biscay, of which more than 90 percent were common dolphins, biologist Olivier Van Canneyt told AFP.

The observatory he works for said the number of dead dolphins had set a record each year since 2017, and warned that the species could be wiped out in the area.

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‘Death by a thousand cuts’: vast expanse of rainforest lost in 2018

Pristine forests are vital for climate and wildlife but trend of losses is rising, data shows
Damian Carrington The Guardian 25 Apr 19;

Millions of hectares of pristine tropical rainforest were destroyed in 2018, according to satellite analysis, with beef, chocolate and palm oil among the main causes.

The forests store huge amounts of carbon and are teeming with wildlife, making their protection critical to stopping runaway climate change and halting a sixth mass extinction. But deforestation is still on an upward trend, the researchers said. Although 2018 losses were lower than in 2016 and 2017, when dry conditions led to large fires, last year was the next worst since 2002, when such records began.

Clearcutting of primary forest by loggers and cattle ranchers in Brazil dominated the destruction, including invasions into indigenous lands where uncontacted tribes live. Losses were also high in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) and Indonesia. Indonesia is the only major country where government protections appear to be significantly reducing the losses.

Ghana and Ivory Coast recorded the biggest percentage rises in rainforest destruction, driven by gold mining and cocoa farming.

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Best of our wild blogs: 25 Apr 19

27th April: Fashion Revolution Day!
Green Drinks Singapore

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Malaysia: Water levels at Johor dams expected to normalise in 6 weeks: State exco member

Norbakti Alias Channel NewsAsia 24 Apr 19;

JOHOR BAHRU: The low water level situation at major dams in Johor is improving, said a state executive council member on Wednesday (Apr 24), adding that things are expected to be back to normal in six weeks when more rain is expected.

When contacted by CNA, Johor International Trade, Investment and Utility Committee Chairman Jimmy Puah said the present situation is not as bad as compared to last month.

“Although the water level at Sungai Lebam dam is way below the critical level now, actually it is improving … compared to several weeks ago,” he said.

“Yes, the level is rising a bit slowly and that is because at the moment, the eastern part of the state is still receiving less rain compared to western and central Johor.”

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Singaporean wanted in Sg Kim Kim pollution case surrenders

The Star 25 Apr 19;

JOHOR BARU: A Singaporean company director wanted in connection with the chemical pollution in Sungai Kim Kim near Pasir Gudang last month has surrendered to police.

According to Bernama, Johor deputy police chief Deputy Comm Datuk Mohd Kamaruddin Md Din said the 49-year-old man turned himself in at the Seri Alam district police headquarters at 11.17am yesterday.

The suspect is being detained at the Seri Alam district police lock-up, he said.

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Indonesia: Riau Islands Police foil illegal turtle sales

Fadli The Jakarta Post 23 Apr 19;

Riau Islands Police foiled the illegal sale of turtles at Teluk Mata Ikan Beach, Batam, Riau Islands, a police spokesperson said on Monday.

As many as 148 turtles were allegedly sold to Singapore tourists who wanted to use them for a religious ritual at the local vihara, Riau Islands Police Sr. Comm. Saptono Erlangga told The Jakarta Post.

Erlangga said that each turtle was sold for prices ranging from Rp 1 million (US$71) to Rp 3 million. They included 39 hawksbill sea turtles and 79 green sea turtles, as well as 30 turtles of unknown species that were found dead by the time the police caught the alleged perpetrators.

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Best of our wild blogs: 24 Apr 19

Punggol beach still alive
wild shores of singapore

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National Gallery Singapore's roof garden is a living, breathing art project with plants from reclamation sites

Toh Wen Li Straits Times 23 Apr 19;

SINGAPORE - More than 30 plant species that thrive on land reclamation sites are now growing on the rooftop of the National Gallery Singapore.

This is part of a living, breathing art project by Charles Lim, who has been replacing the garden's hedges and ornamental plants with lesser-known species found in Changi, Tuas and the Southern Islands. Most have been transplanted from actual reclamation areas.

Lim, an award-winning film-maker, artist and former Olympic sailor, has been adding plants to the garden since January (2019) in what he describes as an ongoing experiment.

"We didn't know what would work. I'm just going to put the plants here, and if they survive, they survive, and if they don't, they don't," says the 46-year-old artist, who has spent about two decades documenting and studying Singapore's relationship with the sea.

Sea State 9: Proclamation Garden, which launches on Saturday (April 27) and runs till October, refers to the proclamation Singapore's president makes when reclaimed sites are officially declared as state lands. The project is part of the Ng Teng Fong Roof Garden commission series.

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Reclamation works for first phase of Tuas port three-quarters done

Zhaki Abdullah Straits Times 23 Apr 19;

SINGAPORE - Reclamation works for the first phase of the Tuas port are three-quarters complete, with the last of the caissons - 15,000-tonne structures that form wharves - being installed on Tuesday afternoon (April 23).

The installation of the 221st structure - the caissons make up some 8.6km of seawalls at Tuas - puts the construction of the first phase of the mega-port on track to be completed in 2021.

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Sand mining threatens ways of life, from Cambodia to Nigeria

A global building boom is driving a high demand for sand, and some of it is getting sourced from sensitive river systems that people rely on for traditional uses like fishing.
VINCE BEISER National Geographic 23 Apr 19;

If you were disturbed by the damage done to Cambodian coastal fisheries by the industrial-scale dredging of sand for sale to Singapore, as shown in the new documentary short “The Lost World,” there’s good news: the practice has largely been shut down in Koh Kong, the area featured in the film. The bad news is that environmentally destructive sand mining continues in other parts of Cambodia, throughout Southeast Asia, and in fact around the world.

Since the mid-’00s, fishers in villages in the mangrove-rich estuaries of Koh Kong province have complained that rampant sand mining was wiping out the crabs and fish that provide their living. Many families have had to send members to work in garment factories in the distant capital of Phnom Penh, or have simply moved away. The dredging also threatened endangered native dolphins, turtles, and otters. Much of the sand was sold to Singapore, which uses titanic quantities of the material for its ongoing effort to bulk up its tiny territory with artificial land. The city-state has “reclaimed” some 140 square kilometers of land from the sea since 1965.

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Malaysia: Civil servants urged to do away with single-use plastics

sarban singh The Star 24 Apr 19;

SEREMBAN: Forget about single-use plastic products. Bring your own food containers and cutlery to work – that’s what the government is strongly encouraging the 1.7 million civil servants to do as it heads towards a zero single-use plastic nation by 2030.

In a directive issued by the Chief Secretary to the Government, all ministries and government agencies have been instructed to hold campaigns to stop the use of such products at their premises and official events.

Among a host of practical ways to achieve the goal, Datuk Seri Dr Ismail Bakar said that using plastic products such as drinking bottles for one time only and then discarding it, must be stopped and replaced with glass ones or jugs.

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Malaysia: Checks show dirty plastic still being smuggled into Malaysian ports

Khairul Azran Hussin New Straits Times 23 Apr 19;

PORT KLANG: The smuggling of contaminated plastic waste into the country is still ongoing, even though the government has banned the import of such materials last year.

The smuggling activities were unearthed following the discovery of 24 cargo containers at West Port, containing contaminated plastic waste which could no longer be recycled.

Energy, Science, Technology, Environment and Climate Change Minister Yeo Bee Yin said the discovery has exposed elements of abuse of power among certain quarters within the nation’s ports.

“All the 24 containers were declared as having ‘clean’ waste. However, further checks showed that they contained prohibited material. We also received reports of containers bearing contaminated plastic waste in North Port as well as in Penang.

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Indonesia: Police thwart sale of endangered slow lorises "kukang"

Antara 23 Apr 19;

Palembang (ANTARA) - The South Sumatra Provincial Police were successful in thwarting the sale of eight endangered slow lorises, locally termed "kukang", at a traditional market in the provincial capital of Palembang, on Tuesday.

The police also took into custody two suspects, identified by their initials as Sam and Idr, when they were on the verge of selling the endangered animal species, Chief of the South Sumatra Provincial Police's Public Relations Senior Commissioner Supriadi revealed.

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One million species risk extinction due to humans: Draft UN report

Channel NewsAsia 23 Apr 19;

PARIS: Up to one million species face extinction due to human influence, according to a draft UN report obtained by AFP that painstakingly catalogues how humanity has undermined the natural resources upon which its very survival depends.

The accelerating loss of clean air, drinkable water, CO2-absorbing forests, pollinating insects, protein-rich fish and storm-blocking mangroves - to name but a few of the dwindling services rendered by Nature - poses no less of a threat than climate change, says the report, set to be unveiled May 6.

Indeed, biodiversity loss and global warming are closely linked, according to the 44-page Summary for Policy Makers, which distills a 1,800-page UN assessment of scientific literature on the state of Nature.

Delegates from 130 nations meeting in Paris from Apr 29 will vet the executive summary line-by-line. Wording may change, but figures lifted from the underlying report cannot be altered.

"We need to recognise that climate change and loss of Nature are equally important, not just for the environment, but as development and economic issues as well," Robert Watson, chair of the UN-mandated body that compiled the report, told AFP, without divulging its findings.

"The way we produce our food and energy is undermining the regulating services that we get from Nature," he said, adding that only "transformative change" can stem the damage.

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Best of our wild blogs: 23 Apr 19

Shore exploration for kids with Young Nautilus (to Jun 2019)
Celebrating Singapore Shores!

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Electric vehicle owners can pay to use BlueSG chargers from today

Christopher Tan Straits Times 23 Apr 19;

SINGAPORE - Electric car-sharing operator BlueSG will release 99 charging points across 25 locations for public use at 3pm on Tuesday (April 23).

The move comes about 18 months after the company started operations here. The number of chargers open to all electric vehicle (EV) owners constitutes 13 per cent of BlueSG's network of 755 chargers at 191 stations.

The company had previously committed to opening up 20 per cent of its projected network of 2,000 chargers by 2020.

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Brunei: Firefighters battle to keep Belait peatland fires under control

James Kon Borneo Bulletin 23 Apr 19;

THE current hot and dry weather in the country is causing peatland forest fires to break out in the Belait District.

It is believed that the fires are caused as a result of a natural occurrence – underground fires – as well as human negligence in the form of indiscriminate open burning.

The Fire and Rescue Department’s (FRD) Operation ‘B’ Branch is currently battling a huge peatland fire which has destroyed an estimated 50 hectares of peatland forest, according to a statement from the Fire and Rescue Department.

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WWF-Malaysia: Ensure environmental sustainability of realigned ECRL

New Straits Times 23 Apr 19;

KUALA LUMPUR: WWF-Malaysia hopes that the renegotiated and realigned East Coast Rail Link (ECRL) project will continue to retain tunnels, elevated tracks and wildlife crossings.

Such a move would go towards the prevention of forest fragmentation, said its conservation director, Dr. Henry Chan.

He said based on the Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA), carried out in 2017 for the project and information from past dialogues with Malaysian Rail Link Sdn Bhd and consultants, it was understood that apart from the original main tunnel, a total of 44 tunnels as well as 27 wildlife crossings will be needed.

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Malaysia: Water rationing in Klang Valley to prevent water cuts during fasting month, Hari Raya

The Star 22 Apr 19;

BANGI (Bernama): Water rationing is being carried out in the Klang Valley on Wednesday (April 24) to prevent water shortages from arising during the fasting month and Hari Raya Aidilfitri, says Dr Xavier Jayakumar.

The Water, Land and Natural Resources Minister said the ministry had also given an undertaking that the water supply would be restored within 48 hours.

The improvement and repairs to the water pipes had long been planned by Pengurusan Air Selangor Sdn Bhd (Air Selangor) and the National Water Services Commission (SPAN), he added.

"The improvement work is a huge task and it takes a long time, so that is why we have asked for a 48-hour time frame," he told reporters after presenting the ministry's 2018 Excellent Service Awards here Monday (April 22).

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Malaysia: Brace for jellyfish attack in May

arnold loh The Star 23 Apr 19;

GEORGE TOWN: Malaysia is heading for a potentially serious jellyfish bloom next month thanks to the heat and humidity of this year’s inter-monsoon period.

Centre for Marine and Coastal Studies (Cemacs) director Prof Datuk Dr Aileen Tan Shau Hwai says the bloom is expected to occur in many parts of the Straits of Malacca, especially near coastal urban centres such as Penang.

On top of making swimming at sea a nightmare, Dr Tan said the congregation of thousands of jellyfish would kill fish stock penned in floating aquaculture cages, clog fishermen’s nets and sting them when they retrieve their nets, and block water intake pipes at coastal power plants.

“Jellyfish blooms are still not fully understood but we do know they may be triggered by warming sea temperatures,” she said.

She predicts that next month would see a repeat of the phenomenon, adding that Sabah’s coastal waters were showing signs of an invasion.

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China plastic waste ban throws global recycling into chaos

Sam Reeves, AFP Yahoo News 23 Apr 19;

Jenjarom (Malaysia) (AFP) - From grubby packaging engulfing small Southeast Asian communities to waste piling up in plants from the US to Australia, China's ban on accepting the world's used plastic has plunged global recycling into turmoil.

For many years, China received the bulk of scrap plastic from around the world, processing much of it into a higher quality material that could be used by manufacturers.

But at the start of 2018, it closed its doors to almost all foreign plastic waste, as well as many other recyclables, in a push to protect the local environment and air quality, leaving developed nations struggling to find places to send their waste.

"It was like an earthquake," Arnaud Brunet, director general of Brussels-based industry group The Bureau of International Recycling, told AFP.

"China was the biggest market for recyclables. It created a major shock in the global market."

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Best of our wild blogs: 22 Apr 19

Return to Sentosa Serapong after mass dying
wild shores of singapore

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NUS students come together to petition for school to withdraw from fossil fuels

Evan See The New Paper 22 Apr 19;

Mr Jerald Lim, 25, was not always the eco-warrior he is today.

Before he started university at Yale-NUS College, climate change was merely a distant issue he would read about in the news.

But an environmental studies course he took in school reshaped his mindset in two ways.

First, it showed him that the climate problem went far beyond the individual.

Second, he realised that environmental change can be created through the work of a few people.

"Through a tool called the ecological footprint calculator, we realised that our unsustainable footprint would not change much with tweaks to food, transport and housing," Mr Lim told The New Paper.

"Most of it came down to things out of our direct control, like investment in fossil fuels."

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Dengue cases in first quarter of 2019 rose by three times compared to last year

Tan Tam Mei Straits Times 21 Apr 19;

SINGAPORE - There were three times as many dengue cases across Singapore in the first three and a half months of this year compared to the same period last year, and the mosquito population remains high.

Senior Minister of State for the Environment and Water Resources Amy Khor said on Sunday (April 21) that there were 2,457 dengue cases in that period, compared to 678 last year.

As Singapore goes into its warmer months, which is traditionally the peak dengue season, Dr Khor cautioned residents to remain vigilant in preventing mosquitoes from breeding to mitigate the risk of dengue.

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Malaysia: 40ha of forest near Kuantan on fire

Bernama New Straits Times 21 Apr 19;

KUANTAN: Some 40ha of forest near the Sultan Ahmad Shah Maritime Academy (AMSAS), near here, has been burning since Thursday.

Gebeng Fire and Rescue Department chief Syed A. Jamaludin Syed Mohamed said the fire was detected at 4pm by a patrol team.

He said only four hectares of the affected area had been doused.

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Corals in Gulf of Mannar feel the heat

Hariprasad A R THOOTHUKUDI The Hindu 21 Apr 19;

Around 2.5% bleaching witnessed during underwater study

Coral reefs in the Gulf of Mannar region, which were recovering well since the last mass coral bleaching witnessed in 2016, have once again started bleaching due to rising temperatures this summer.

During an underwater study by the Suganthi Devadason Marine Research Institute (SDMRI), the extent of bleaching was estimated to be 2.5%, of which 2% was partially bleached while 0.5% has suffered full bleaching.

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Best of our wild blogs: 21 Apr 19

More Than Words
Flying Fish Friends

What are the millenials up to lately?
BES Drongos

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Recycling makes you feel less guilty but doesn’t change how huge our plastic problem is

Singapore’s focus should be on reducing recycling needs and prioritising efforts that encourage a less consumerist lifestyle to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, says Singapore Institute of Technology’s Assistant Professor Seck Tan.
Seck Tan Channel NewsAsia 20 Apr 19;

SINGAPORE: Plastic products are heavily used in Singapore.

A study by the Singapore Environment Council last year found that Singaporeans use at least 1.76 billion plastic bottles, bags and other disposable items yearly, of which only less than 20 per cent are recycled. The rest becomes discarded trash, left to burn or be put in landfills.

Worldwide, humans have created over 9.2 billion tonnes of plastic since the 1950s, scientists revealed in 2017, and only 25 per cent were recycled.

The popularity of plastic stems from its wide-ranging functions that satisfy consumer needs.

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Malaysia: Three dams in Johor fall below critical mark

razak ahmad The Star 21 Apr 19;

PETALING JAYA: Three dams in Johor, which supply raw water to treatment plants that serve about one million people in the state, are below the critical mark.

This comes about as the hot weather dries up parts of the country despite the occasional thunderstorms in other areas.

The National Water Services Commission (Span) said the water level at the Lebam dam was at 15.9% while the Upper Layang dam was at 21.8% and Pulai 2 dam at 36.1% as of Thursday.

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Malaysia: Haze in Miri hits 'unhealthy' 188-API reading

Bernama New Straits Times 19 Apr 19;

MIRI: The Air Pollutant Index (API) for Miri city reached an unhealthy level early this morning, with a reading of 188 at 5am.

The rising API reading for Miri obtained from the Department of Environment started last night with a level of 117 beginning 8pm.

However, by 6am today, the reading at the Industrial Training Centre in Kuala Baram, the area which is worse-hit by open fires in bush, estates and peat areas, had dropped to a moderate level of 56.

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Best of our wild blogs: 19 Apr 19

20 Apr (Sat): FREE Talk on "Spawn Stars"
Celebrating Singapore Shores!

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DBS to cease financing of new coal power plants

Straits Times 19 Apr 19;

But it will honour existing commitments as it steps up funding for renewable energy projects

DBS Bank has decided to cease financing new coal-fired power plants in any market, after honouring existing commitments, the second Singapore bank to do so.

South-east Asia's largest bank is also stepping up financing of renewable energy projects.

DBS' latest move is an about-turn from an earlier policy of financing new coal power plants with strict emissions controls in citing the need for a transition period in some parts of Asia, and comes after OCBC Bank said the financing of two Vietnamese coal-fired power plants would be its last.

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OCBC Says Coal Plants It's Financing in Vietnam Will Be Its Last

Chanyaporn Chanjaroen and Dan Murtaugh Bloomberg 16 Apr 19;

Oversea-Chinese Banking Corp., Southeast Asia’s second-largest lender, said two Vietnamese coal-fired power plants will be the last it finances as it increases funding for renewable projects.

“We won’t do any new coal-fired power generation plants in any countries, except for the power projects that we are already in, or we have committed to,” Chief Executive Officer Samuel Tsien said in an interview at its Singapore headquarters Monday. “We hope that by doing this, we are encouraging the governments to do facilitating, arrangements for the countries to move from coal to renewable.”

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Majority of respondents in poll support initiatives that encourage BYO practices: MEWR

Matthew Mohan Channel NewsAsia 18 Apr 19;

SINGAPORE: The majority of respondents in a new poll support initiatives that encourage people to “Bring Your Own” (BYO) reusable bags and bottles in Singapore, the Ministry of the Environment and Water Resources (MEWR) said on Thursday (Apr 18).

Almost 90 per cent of the 1,300 respondents who took part in an online poll last month are supportive of this, MEWR said. The poll was conducted as part of the final phase of consultations on the inaugural Zero Waste Masterplan.

A majority of respondents also indicated strong support for ideas to make it more convenient to donate excess unexpired food, recycle electrical and electronic equipment, and the designing of recycling information labels on blue recycling bins, said Senior Minister of State for the Environment and Water Resources Amy Khor.

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Malaysia: Sumatran rhinos extinct in the wild

kristy inus The Star 18 Apr 19;

KOTA KINABALU: Studies have confirmed that the Sumatran rhinoceros is effectively extinct in the wild after they were no longer sighted in Sabah, says state Tourism, Culture and Environ­ment Minister Datuk Christina Liew.

She said the studies were conducted at the Ulu Segama Forest Reserve and Tabin Wildlife Reserve in Lahad Datu.

They were carried out by the ministry, through the Wildlife Department, in collaboration with NGOs like the Borneo Rhino Alliance and the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) Malay­sia.The studies looked at the population of the Sumatran rhinoceros in both areas as well as in the Ulu Malua Forest Reserve which were previously identified to have a population of these animals.

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Malaysia: Indonesia agrees to cooperate on rhino breeding; discussion still ongoing

Olivia Miwil and Avila Geraldine New Straits Times 17 Apr 19;

KOTA KINABALU: With no more Sumatran rhinos left in the wild in Sabah, Indonesia has agreed to work with the state on breeding the species.

Deputy Chief Minister and state Tourism, Culture and Environment Minister Datuk Christina Liew said Sabah Wildlife director Augustine Tuuga had informed her that discussions with Indonesia on the matter were ongoing.

She said there had been discussions in the past on “loaning” rhinos from Indonesia for breeding purposes.

“There are two rhinos still in the Tabin Wildlife Reserve, but there are no more in the wild,” she added.

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Malaysia: 1km oil spill detected in Tanjung Balau

NURUL AMANINA SUHAINI New Straits Times 18 Apr 19;

KOTA TINGGI: Johor Sea Department detected a one kilometre oil spill along Tanjung Balau waters here this afternoon.

Its director Dickson Dollah said the oil spill was discovered during a patrol at the area at about 3pm.

He said some of the oil spill has reached Tanjung Balau beach.

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Malaysia: Pahang wants federal compensation for use of water catchments

Bernama New Straits Times 17 Apr 19;

KUANTAN: The Pahang government plans to seek compensation from the federal government for the forest and wildlife reserves in the state used as water catchments for the benefit of people outside Pahang.

Menteri Besar Datuk Seri Wan Rosdy Wan Ismail said the land involved covered one million hectares and this forced the state government to bear high opportunity cost.

“In the case of the Kelau Dam which was ‘sacrificed’ for supplying water under the Pahang-Selangor raw water transfer project (PPAMPS), the state government had to forgo logging revenue, minerals, oil palm land premium and land tax for areas measuring 33,000 hectares.

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Best of our wild blogs: 17 Apr 19

Pulau Ubin mangrove restoration featured on 'Tipping Point' on Channel NewsAsia
Restore Ubin Mangroves (R.U.M.) Initiative

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NParks volunteer fined S$4,700 for organising illegal night photography session in Windsor Nature Park

LOW YOUJIN Today Online 17 Apr 19;

SINGAPORE — A nature guide abused his position as a volunteer with the National Parks Board (NParks) to lead a photography group into Windsor Nature Park after hours, despite knowing full well that he did not have the authority to do so.

For illegal entry into the Central Catchment Nature Reserve’s buffer park, instigating others to follow, and for blocking the entrance to its carpark, Lee Chin Tiong, 57, was fined a total of S$4,700.

The court heard on Tuesday (April 16) that Lee, also known as Ben Lee, had organised a night macro photography session on Feb 20, 2018, for a group of four photography enthusiasts and two of his assistants.

Lee, who is also the founder of the “self-styled” nature conservation group Nature Trekker, had planned to enter the park at around 8.30pm.

The park, located at Venus Drive, is closed to the public from 7pm to 7am, and this information is stated on signs posted at the park’s entrance and on NParks’ website.

The statutory board’s prosecutor Ron Goh said this enforced closure allows the “nocturnal rhythms of the animals within the reserve to be undisturbed by human activity”.

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New scheme to entice businesses to use Sentosa as living lab for innovative ideas

JANICE LIM The Star 16 Apr 19;

SINGAPORE — Businesses with innovative ideas about everything from biodiversity enhancement to waste management are being invited to use Sentosa as a testbed for their solutions.

To sweeten the deal, Sentosa Development Corporation (SDC) will even reduce or waive their rental fees on the island and help them with getting licensing and regulatory approvals.

The new initiative, Sentosa x Enterprise, aims to entice innovative businesses to use Sentosa as their live laboratory and in turn drive visitorship to the island.

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Malaysia arrests Vietnam poachers, seizes tiger, bear parts

AFP 16 Apr 19;

Tigers are considered critically endangered in Malaysia
Malaysian authorities have arrested two suspected poachers from Vietnam and seized body parts from tigers and bears, a minister said Tuesday, as the country clamps down on rampant wildlife trafficking.

The Southeast Asian nation is home to swathes of jungle and a kaleidoscope of rare creatures from elephants to orangutans and tigers, but they are frequently targeted by poachers.

Two Vietnamese men, aged 25 and 29, were arrested Monday by a wildlife enforcement team in a national park in eastern Terengganu state, said Xavier Jayakumar, water, land and natural resources minister.

The men were in possession of claws and teeth from the Malayan tiger, he said. The species once roamed the jungles of Malaysia in the thousands but is now critically endangered, with just a small number believed left in the wild.

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Indonesia: Limit number of silky sharks caught, says LIPI

The Jakarta Post 16 Apr 19;

The Indonesian Institute of Sciences (LIPI) has suggested that the number of silky sharks (Carcharhinus falciformis) caught in Indonesian waters should be restricted to prevent the species from becoming extinct.

"Silky sharks can still be caught but the number should be limited," LIPI's oceanography division head, Dirhamsyah, said on Monday at the launch of its Non-Detriment Finding (NDF) research document concerning the sustainable management of silky sharks.

Supported by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), he said the NDF recommended that the quota for silky sharks should be 80,000 this year, with a minimum length of 2 meters and a weight of 50 kilograms.

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Six-decade plankton study charts rise of ocean plastic waste

Handwritten journals from 50s show how plastic problem has grown to global emergency
Jonathan Watts The Guardian 16 Apr 19;

A trove of data showing when the Atlantic began choking with plastic has been uncovered in the handwritten logbooks of a little-known but doggedly persistent plankton study dating back to the middle of the last century.

From fishing twine found in the ocean in the 50s, then a first carrier bag in 1965, it reflects how the marine refuse problem grew from small, largely ignored incidents to become a matter of global concern.

The unique dataset, published in Nature Communications, is based on records from the continuous plankton recorder, a torpedo-shaped marine sampling device that has been towed across more than 6.5m nautical miles of ocean over the past 60 years.

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Best of our wild blogs: 16 Apr 19

Palm oil, logging firms the usual suspects as Indonesia fires flare anew

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Singapore makes room for allotment gardens as urban farming takes root

Rina Chandran Reuters 16 Apr 19;

SINGAPORE (Thomson Reuters Foundation) - Rain or shine, every day for the past year, Kanti Kagrana walks a short distance from his son’s flat to Singapore’s HortPark, a national park where he grows chillies, eggplant and spinach in his allotment garden.

Kagrana, a 60-something native of India, is among a growing community of urban farmers in Singapore, which introduced allotment gardens in November 2017, modeled after England’s program which dates back to at least the 19th century.

Singapore now has more than 1,000 allotment gardens in a dozen of its national parks. Each is a raised planter bed measuring 2.5 meters by 1 meter, and can be leased for three years for S$57 ($42) annually.

“I enjoy gardening, but there is not enough space in my son’s flat,” said Kagrana, who has two plots.

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Malaysia: Animals vs humans = tragedy all round

SIM LEOI LEOI The Star 16 Apr 19;

An elephant may be pretty hard to miss but that has not stopped this majestic animal from becoming roadkill along certain highways in Malaysia, such as the Gerik-Jeli Highway in Gerik, Perak.

In June 2017, the carcass of a two-year-old elephant was found beside the highway, a victim of a collision with a car driven by a teacher who had panicked upon seeing a herd of the animals.

About two months later, a 10-year-old bull died after it was struck by a bus on the same stretch of the Gerik-Jeli Highway.

Early in January last year, a female elephant died in the same area, believed to have been electrocuted by a live wire close to the Seri Banding army camp.

Reports of such incidents as well as those of animal encroachment are on the rise as the wildlife in Malaysia contend with humans for space – and food.

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Malaysia: To save the Malayan tiger, poachers could be shot on sight

SIM LEOI LEOI The Star 16 Apr 19;

Just minutes into an interview with The Star, Datuk Abdul Kadir Abu Hashim is upset.

The Wildlife and National Parks Department (Perhilitan) director-general has held many press conferences to report the seizure of animal parts ranging from tiger skins and rhino horns to pangolin scales with his composure intact. But at this one-on-one interview, he is finding it difficult to talk about the damage that poachers’ snares inflict on wildlife in the forests.

“The animals either die or are injured when they are caught in the snare. Sometimes, we have footage or pictures captured by our camera traps showing the animals gnawing off a foot to get loose.

“In the worst cases, we will tranquillise the animal and bring it back to our centres to be treated. Usually, they die in a week or two,” he says.

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Sharks more vulnerable than originally thought

Newcastle University Phys.Org 15 Apr 19;

A study of small-scale fisheries operating from Kenya, Zanzibar and Madagascar, has revealed the massive underreporting of sharks and rays caught annually in the region.

Dominated by requiem, hammerhead, ground and hound sharks, the total annual catch of these vulnerable species equates to around 35,000 tonnes.

Led by experts at Newcastle University, UK, and published in the academic journal Biological Conservation, the team say the study highlights the substantial underreporting of catches by small scale fisheries and the urgent need to expand efforts globally to assess their impact on vulnerable species.

Impact of small-scale fisheries

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Airborne plastic particles blanket remote mountains: study

Marlowe HOOD, AFP Yahoo News 16 Apr 19;

Paris (AFP) - A secluded mountain region thought to be free of plastic pollution is in fact blanketed by airborne microplastics on a scale comparable to a major city such as Paris, alarmed researchers reported Monday.

Over a five-month period in 2017-2018, an average of 365 tiny bits of plastic settled every day on each square metre of an uninhabited, high-altitude area in the Pyrenees straddling France and Spain, they reported in the journal Nature Geoscience.

"It is astounding and worrying that so many particles were found in the Pyrenees field site," said lead author Steve Allen, a doctoral student at the University of Strathclyde in Scotland.

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Best of our wild blogs: 15 Apr 19

Night Walk At Windsor Nature Park (12 Apr 2019)
Beetles@SG BLOG

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Punggol Northshore, Tengah housing estates to trial turning rainwater into water for cleaning

Tiffany Fumiko Tay Straits Times 14 Apr 19;

SINGAPORE - Two upcoming housing estates will help conserve water by harvesting rainwater for non-potable uses like washing common areas.

National Development Minister Lawrence Wong said in a Facebook post on Saturday (April 13) that the Housing and Development Board (HDB) has developed several innovative water-saving initiatives, including the UrbanWater Harvesting System.

"HDB has centralised and integrated the detention tank, rainwater harvesting tank and the treatment system so that surface run-off from the entire precinct can be collected, stored and recycled," he wrote.

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Where are all the electric vehicle charging points?

Accessible infrastructure and incentives for drivers can push more to choose electric vehicles, says Sustainable Energy Association of Singapore’s Sanjay C Kuttan.
Sanjay C Kuttan Channel NewsAsia 14 Apr 19;

SINGAPORE: The need for a robust Electric Vehicle (EV) ecosystem in Singapore has become increasingly compelling.

Countries around the world have reached a landmark agreement to combat climate change and intensify actions needed for a sustainable low carbon future at the 2015 World Climate Change Conference (COP21) in Paris.

There is also a ubiquitous acceptance of the United Nations’s 17 Sustainable Development Goals, one of which states the aspiration for affordable and clean energy to become more common in attaining greater sustainability.


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Malaysia: Population survey on orang utan, pygmy elephants ready by 2021

Olivia Miwil New Straits Times 14 Apr 19;

KOTA KINABALU: Sabah Wildlife Department is expected to release the latest population of orang utan and pygmy elephants by 2021.

Its director Augustine Tuuga said the survey, which recently received RM1.5 million fund from the Malaysian Palm Oil Council (MPOC), would help the state plan conservation efforts for the two species in the future.

“The last studies on both animals were done in 2003, in which the orang utan survey was conducted with a non-governmental organisation, Hutan, while Borneo pygmy elephant population data was provided by World Wildlife Fund (WWF).

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Indonesia: Heavy sedimentation threatens lakes in East Kalimantan

N. Adri The Jakarta Post 14 Apr 19;

Excessive sedimentation and deforestation are endangering three great lakes in East Kalimantan, namely Semayang, Melintang and Jempang.

Research conducted by the Indonesian Institute of Sciences (LIPI) found the lakes had received at least 100,000 cubic meters of sedimentation each year since 2004.

The heavy sedimentation has led to the disappearance of nine smaller lakes.

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Singapore's yearly waste weighs the same as 530,000 double-decker buses, and that's not sustainable: Masagos

Michelle Ng Straits Times 13 Apr 19;

SINGAPORE - Singapore generated 7.7 million tonnes of waste last year, equivalent to the weight of 530,000 double-decker buses. It is an amount that is not sustainable in the long run, said Minister for the Environment and Water Resources Masagos Zulkifli.

In addition to reducing waste and moving towards a more sustainable consumption, adopting a circular economy approach in the way Singapore use its resources is key, he added.

"Our vision is to turn our trash into treasure and reuse and recycle our resources for as long as possible," said Mr Masagos, during his address on Saturday (April 13) at the public screening of Closing the Loop, a documentary on the circular economy - an economic system that aims to minimise and transform waste into resources.

He stressed that the amount of waste disposed of in Singapore has jumped seven times over the last 40 years and that Semakau landfill is projected to run out of space by 2035.

The Ministry of the Environment and Water Resources' $45 million Closing the Waste Loop R&D initiative launched in 2017, which funds projects that adopt circular economy approaches, is one solution, he added.

But, at the individual level, more can be done in homes to close the waste loop. He cited composting, a process that converts food waste into a nutrient-rich material that can be used to fertilise edible plants and veggies, as an example.

"If enough of us do this, we can reduce the number of rubbish trucks needed to transport our rubbish to the incinerator. This will reduce carbon emissions and help mitigate climate change. In short, there are immense possibilities to make a difference," said Mr Masagos.

Organised by Keppel Group in support of Earth Day 2019, the public screening of the full-length documentary saw over 1,000 people turning up at the Eco Lake Lawn in Singapore Botanic Gardens on Saturday (April 13).

The award-winning documentary highlights examples from around the world on innovative applications of technology, process improvements and labour solutions to reduce waste and pollution using circular economy solutions.

Keppel Land's chief executive Mr Tan Swee Yiow, who was present at the screening, said: "A circular economy is beneficial as it places less demand for natural resources. The Ministry of the Environment and Water Resources has designated 2019 as Singapore's Year Towards Zero Waste, and this screening is timely, in support of efforts to raise awareness of the need to conserve resources."

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Malaysia: Johor fishermen in dire straits

remar nordin The Star 13 Apr 19;

KOTA TINGGI: Fishermen from Kampung Baru Sungai Telor here have lost their source of daily income due to the ammonia pollution in Sungai Sayong.

The affected 30 said they cannot fish at Ulu Sungai Johor, the downstream part of Sungai Sayong, now and that hundreds of fishes had died due to the pollution, affecting their livelihood.

They said they noticed the condition last week, when the fishes were swimming to the riverbank.

Mohd Jumadi Poniman, 58, said hundreds of fishes were also seen floating in the river.

“The fishermen are at a loss over what to do. Their source of income has been affected by some irresponsible people’s action,” he said.

Mohd Jumadi, popularly known as Wak among the villagers, said this incident was the third so far this year.

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Squid beaks, plastic debris among contents found in Jurong Island sperm whale’s belly: Study

Fann Sim Channel NewsAsia 12 Apr 19;

SINGAPORE: Jubi Lee, the 10.6m female sperm whale that was found off the coast of Jurong Island in 2015, lived on a diet of squid, a study has shown.

Researchers from the Lee Kong Chian Natural History Museum found more than 1,800 beaks from at least 25 cephalopod species, mainly squids, in the whale's belly. There were also remains of fish, a mud lobster, and several "peculiar" bioluminescent animals known as pyrosomes.

Jubi Lee's belly also contained plastic drinking cups, food wrappers and a plastic bag, the study led by museum mammal researcher Marcus Chua concluded.

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NEA closely monitoring air quality in Singapore after explosion at Johor oil and gas facility

Channel NewsAsia 12 Apr 19;

SINGAPORE: The 24-hour PSI levels in Singapore remained in the low-moderate range, the National Environment Agency (NEA) said, after an explosion at the Petronas oil and gas facility in Johor on Friday (Apr 12) left two injured.

The blast at the Pengerang Integrated Complex happened around 1.25am, Petronas confirmed in a statement on Twitter.

It added on Friday afternoon that the fire had occurred at the facility's Atmospheric Residue Desulphurisation (ARDS) unit, which was currently under the commissioning stage.

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Malaysia: Fire at Petronas' RAPID oil refinery quickly tamed

Joseph Sipalan Reuters 12 Apr 19;

KUALA LUMPUR (Reuters) - A fire was brought under control early on Friday after an explosion at a Malaysian oil refinery being developed by state oil firm Petronas, which was testing its facilities ahead of planned commercial operations later this year.

RAPID, or Refinery and Petrochemical Integrated Development, will anchor the Pengerang Integrated Complex (PIC) and is Petronas’ biggest domestic investment, made in a 50-50 partnership with Saudi Arabia’s state-owned Saudi Aramco.

The explosion and fire occurred at about 1:25 a.m. on Friday (1725 GMT on Thursday) at the plant’s atmospheric residue desulphurisation unit (ARDS), which is in its commissioning stage, Petronas said in an updated statement.

Petronas said there were no fatalities caused by the explosion and fire. The fire was contained within 30 minutes, it had said earlier.

“We wish to assure members of the public that the situation is under control and there is no health related risk to this incident,” the company said in its latest statement.

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Indonesia: BBKSDA confirms ensnared Sumatran tiger on path to recovery

Antara 12 Apr 19;

The snare wounds are healing at a good rate, and it seems that new tissue has started to grow over them,
Pekanbaru (ANTARA) - A Sumatran tiger (Panthera tigris) that had suffered grave injury in the left leg after being trapped in a hunters' snare is showing signs of recovery, according to Riau's Center for Natural Resources Conservation (BBKSDA).

"The snare wounds are healing at a good rate, and it seems that new tissue has started to grow over them," Head of Riau BBKSDA Suharyono remarked in Pekanbaru on Friday.

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Best of our wild blogs: 12 Apr 19

14 Apr: Registration opens for Sisters Islands Intertidal walks in May 2019
Celebrating Singapore Shores!

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Malaysia, Johor: Explosion at Pengerang Integrated Complex

The Star 12 Apr 19;

KUALA LUMPUR: A fire and explosion occurred early Friday morning at the Pengerang Integrated Complex in Johor.

According to a statement by Petronas, the incident took place at 1.25am whereby an emergency and fire response team was deployed and contained the fire within 30 minutes.

"The situation is under control and all relevant authorities have been informed," it said.

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Record seizures of pangolin scales: Smugglers ‘exploiting Singapore’s efficient ports’

NEO CHAI CHIN Today Online 10 Apr 19;

SINGAPORE — Two massive seizures here of pangolin scales in less than a week show that transnational organised networks are exploiting Singapore’s efficient ports, said wildlife trade monitoring network Traffic on Wednesday (April 10).

Commending the seizure of the shipments, Traffic senior communications officer Elizabeth John said the Singapore authorities need to work with the international community to uncover the criminals behind them.

“This should be the next line of inquiry for investigators,” said Ms John, who is based in Malaysia. “From previous cases, it is clearly the result of organised networks.”

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Video of pigeon culling in Hougang ‘an outright case of cruelty’: Acres

SHERLYN SEAH Today Online 10 Apr 19;

SINGAPORE — Animal welfare group Animal Concerns Research and Education Society (Acres) has filed a report with the National Parks Board (NParks) requesting that the agency investigate what it claims to be the improper handling of birds.

A video posted on Acres’ Facebook page on Tuesday (April 9) showed workers outside Hougang MRT station feeding poison to pigeons to sedate them, before bagging the birds in trash bags and disposing of them.

The birds are seen flapping around weakly on the ground, with some still alive and moving in the trash bags.

Responding to TODAY’s queries, Acres said that this was “an outright case of cruelty”, noting that culling is an “alarming” islandwide concern not limited to Hougang and has been in practice for over a decade.

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Malaysia: Tasik Chini gazetted as permanent forest reserve

Bernama New Straits Times 10 Apr 19;

PEKAN: The Pahang state government has gazetted an area of 4,900 hectares in Tasik Chini as a permanent forest reserve, compatible with its site as a biosphere reserve area as previously declared by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO) in 2009.

Pahang State Forestry Department director Datuk Dr Mohd Hizamri Mohd Yasin said the matter was decided at the State Government Council Meeting on March 6 and as such the area would be protected from any other land use activities including mining and logging.

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Indonesia: Tourists check out early from Batam resorts after oil found on beaches

Fadli The Jakarta Post 10 Apr 19;

Beaches near Nongsa resorts in Batam, Riau Islands, have been covered with a thick film of stinky, black oil since Tuesday, forcing foreign tourists staying at the resorts along the beaches to check out earlier than planned or cancel their stay.

Similar incidents occurred three times in 2018, resort management company PT Citramas Group spokesperson Nara Dewa told The Jakarta Post on Wednesday.

The resorts affected by the black oil are Nongsa Point Marina, Nongsa Village and Turi Beach Resort.

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Best of our wild blogs: 10 Apr 19

Reconstructing a Sperm Whale’s Tale
Lee Kong Chian Natural History Museum

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Singapore raises concerns over Johor river, seeks sustainable water supply for both countries

Amir Yusof Channel NewsAsia 9 Apr 19;

PUTRAJAYA: Singapore has raised with the Malaysian government its concerns about pollution in the Johor River as well as its long-term yield, said Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong on Tuesday (Apr 9), adding that it is in both countries' interests to work together to ensure sustainable water supply.

Mr Lee was speaking at a joint press conference during the leaders’ retreat alongside his Malaysian counterpart Mahathir Mohamad.

He noted that just last week, Singapore's PUB waterworks at Kota Tinggi was forced to shut operations because of high ammonia levels.

The Johor River had become polluted after a reservoir at a bio-composite centre next to an oil palm refinery in Sedenak burst, causing the contaminated water to flow into the water body.

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Shellfish from Malaysia meets safety requirements for heavy metals: Singapore Food Agency

Channel NewsAsia 10 Apr 19;

SINGAPORE: Samples and tests of shellfish imported from Malaysia meets Singapore's food safety requirements for heavy metals, the Singapore Food Agency (SFA) said on Tuesday (Apr 9).

Responding to CNA's queries, the agency said that Singapore imported about 40 per cent of its shellfish, including live, chilled, frozen crustaceans and molluscs, from Malaysia last year.

The rest of its shellfish imports are from countries including China, India, Indonesia and Vietnam.

SFA's response comes in the wake of reports about the potential risk of heavy metal poisoning from eating shellfish from the Straits of Malacca.

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Best of our wild blogs: 9 Apr 19

Awesome Underwater Dive Catch of the Grey-headed Fish Eagle
Singapore Bird Group

27 April: Our Earth Our Future at Nee Soon East
Green Drinks Singapore

May-Jun 2019: Special FREE nature walks at Pulau Ubin for Pesta Ubin
Celebrating Singapore Shores!

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Rosewood case: Court of Appeal clears businessman and firm of importing logs without a permit

Selina Lum Straits Times 8 Apr 19;

SINGAPORE - In the final twist to a five-year saga involving a shipment of Madagascan rosewood logs worth US$50 million (S$67.8 million), the Court of Appeal on Monday (April 8) quashed the convictions of a Singaporean businessman and his trading firm for importing the logs without a permit.

The decision by a five-judge court, set out in a 79-page written judgment, hinged on the interpretation of the term "transit" in the Endangered Species (Import and Export) Act, which regulates the trade of specified species of animals and plants, including rosewood.

The court ruled that the rosewood brought into Singapore by Mr Wong Wee Keong, 58, and his company Kong Hoo was in transit, and was not imported. Thus, the charges against Mr Wong and his firm for importing the logs without a permit could not stand.

The court also ordered the 29,434 logs that authorities had seized in March 2014 to be released to Mr Wong and his firm "as soon as was practicable".

The Court of Appeal's decision has brought the case full circle for Mr Wong and his firm, who were initially acquitted of the charges.

The rosewood was brought into Singapore in a cargo vessel that berthed at Jurong Port on March 11, 2014.

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Malaysia: Scientists warn about eating shellfish from heavy metal contaminated Straits of Malacca

Bernama New Straits Times 8 Apr 19;

KUALA LUMPUR: Seafood lovers living on the west coast of Peninsular Malaysia are being warned to reduce their shellfish consumption because of the risk of heavy metal poisoning.

Universiti Malaysia Terengganu (UMT) School of Marine & Environmental Sciences marine biology programme senior lecturer, Assoc Prof Dr Ong Meng Chuan, said a team of 25 scientists and researcher detected a high concentration of heavy metals like arsenic, cadmium, plumbum and mercury around estuaries and harbours in the Straits of Malacca during a scientific voyage from March 13-22.

He said findings reveal the waters off Johor, Port Klang and Pulau Pinang are at a higher risk of heavy metal contamination.

"This situation indirectly leads to the contamination of a food source because it is in the nature of shellfish to stay put and not migrate in search of food.

"Obviously, if the water is contaminated with heavy metals, it will be passed up the food chain," he told Bernama.

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Best of our wild blogs: 8 Apr 19

Singapore Raptor Report – February 2019
Singapore Bird Group

Butterfly of the Month - April 2019
Butterflies of Singapore

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Malaysia: Baby orang utan among 9 animals rescued from smugglers

Bernama New Straits Times 7 Apr 19;

MUAR: Region Two marine policemen foiled an attempt to smuggle in nine protected animals, including a baby orang utan, worth RM403,000 in Parit Unas, Parit Jawa last night.

Region Two marine police commander Assistant Commissioner Paul Khiu Khon Chiang said the success was due to the department’s surveillance work at the Parit Unas fishermen’s Jetty.

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Malaysia: Water supply to over one million users affected by ammonia pollution in Sg Sayong resumes

remar nordin The Star 7 Apr 19;

JOHOR BARU: The water supply to more than one million users in parts of Kulai, here and Kota Tinggi is back to full flow on Sunday (April 7).

Ranhill SAJ Sdn Bhd (Ranhill SAJ) chief executive officer, Datuk Ahmad Faizal Abdul Rahman, said that consumers in these areas were affected by the impact of ammonia pollution at Sungai Sayong on April 3.

"Up until 10am, consumers have been getting treated water in stages, except for some high and far-end distribution locations involving 5,067 accounts in parts of Johor Baru, which include Taman Pelangi Indah, Desa Tebrau, Kempas Lurah, Kempas Denai, Kempas Permatang, Kempas Banjaran, and Taman Kempas.

"Meanwhile, water supply will be restored by midnight in parts of Felda Ulu Tebrau, Taman Bukit Tiram, Taman Bukit Jaya and Taman Puteri Wangsa which receive supply from the Tai Hong water treatment plant (LRA)," he said in a statement here on Sunday.

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A walk on the wild side: Singapore’s upcoming nature attractions

Gabrielle Andres Channel NewsAsia 7 Apr 19;

SINGAPORE: Singapore may be known as a thriving modern city, but it is also home to a diverse, rich ecosystem.

In January, the National Parks Board (NParks) announced a 10-year action plan to strengthen Singapore's rainforests and facilitate regeneration in secondary forests in buffer nature parks.

Additionally, more green spaces will be introduced across the island and a series of new park connectors and trails will make these areas more accessible than ever.

If you're looking for an adventure in nature or a mere change in scenery, away from the bustling cityscape, you may want to plan a visit to these new and upcoming sites.

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Best of our wild blogs: 7 Apr 19

Night Walk At Dairy Farm Nature Park (05 Apr 2019)
Beetles@SG BLOG

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PUB’s Johor waterworks resumes production of treated water to Singapore after drop in ammonia levels

Channel NewsAsia 6 Apr 19;

SINGAPORE: Singapore’s national water agency PUB said on Saturday (Apr 6) its waterworks in the Malaysian state of Johor has resumed operations, continuing the production of treated water to Singapore.

Operations at Johor River Waterworks (JRWW) were halted earlier this week, after high ammonia levels were found in the Johor Rivers.

The pollution disrupted water supply to about 17,000 households in the Malaysian town of Kulai, but residents in Singapore were not affected as PUB had stepped up production at its desalination plants, NEWater plants and local waterworks to meet demand.

“PUB’s Johor River Waterworks (JRWW) has resumed operations,” said the water agency in a media statement on Saturday night.

“The ammonia level in JRWW’s intake point has reduced. PUB has conducted stringent water quality tests and assessed that the raw water at JRWW’s intake point is suitable for abstraction and treatment.”

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Malaysia: Five water treatment plants shut down due to ammonia pollution fully operational

mohd farhaan shah The Star 6 Apr 19;

JOHOR BARU: Five water treatment plants that have been shut down due to high level of ammonia pollution along Sungai Sayong and Sungai Johor are now up and running again.

The five plants are Sayong 1 and Sayong 2, Semanggar, Sungai Johor and Tai Hong, which is managed by Public Utilities Board (PUB).

Johor International Trade, Investment and Utility Committee chairman Jimmy Puah Wee Tse said even though the plants were fully operational, the water supply to the affected areas would still take some time to be at full capacity.

He pointed out that the Tai Hong water treatment plant, which begin operations on 11pm on Friday (April 5), could only supply treated water to residents here, starting at 6am on Saturday (April 6) in stages.

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Malaysia: 70 police reports filed in Sungai Kim Kim pollution case

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Another tree falls in Old Airport Road area after a second day of heavy rain

Ng Huiwen Straits Times 5 Apr 19;

SINGAPORE - Heavy rain and strong winds for the second day in a row resulted in another tree uprooting and falling in the Old Airport Road area on Thursday (April 4).

The tree near Block 11A Pine Close fell with a loud thud at about 4.30pm, residents said.

The incident comes after an eight-storey tree toppled onto Block 97 Jalan Dua early on Wednesday morning. About 20 units up to the eighth storey were affected, while a pavilion at the foot of the block had its roof crushed.

A 62-year-old Pine Close resident, who gave her name only as Ms Lin, told Chinese-language newspaper Lianhe Wanbao about Thursday's incident: "I was on the way home at the time, and was somewhere at the foot of the block when I heard a loud thud. I turned my head to see that the tree next to the carpark had fallen."

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Malaysia: Four water treatment plants to resume operations after ammonia scare

The Star 5 Apr 19;

KUALA LUMPUR (Bernama): Four water treatment plants (WTP) that were shut down after high ammonia content was detected in Sungai Johor, have resumed operations with water supply restored in stages, says the National Water Services Commission (SPAN).

The water treatment plants involved are Sungai Sayong, Semangar and Sungai Johor while the Tai Hong plant will start operation on Friday (April 5) night.

"The closure of the water treatment plants caused water supply disruption to 171,500 consumer accounts in Kota Tinggi, Kulai and Johor Baru.

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Thailand: Drought dries up hope

Bangkok Post ReliefWeb 31 Mar 19;

Villagers plead for government help while dams recede to record-lows

Villagers in tambon Krathum Rai of Prathai district of Nakhon Ratchasima province are in despair after water in a 25-rai pond dried up and the water levels in their last-resort supply, artesian wells, also started to dwindle.

"We're begging the government for urgent help," Sakun Suepsamran, the kamnan of tambon Krathum Rai, said.

Since the pond dried up, just three artesian wells have kept 2,000 residents in three villages supplied with tap water. However, with no rainfall, villagers find it more difficult to pump the water from underground, leaving them with grim prospects.

Prathai is among the districts in this northeastern province that have been hardest hit by the drought.

The Northeast of the country is currently the area most affected by the drought, while many other districts are going through similar struggles as water levels in ponds and rivers plunge.

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Best of our wild blogs: 5 Apr 19

14 Apr 2019 (Sun) - Chek Jawa, here we come!
Adventures with the Naked Hermit Crabs

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PUB’s waterworks in Johor stops operations after high ammonia levels found in Johor River

Today Online 4 Apr 19;

SINGAPORE — PUB’s waterworks in Johor stopped treatment operations on Thursday (April 4) afternoon due to high ammonia levels found in the Johor River, Singapore’s national water agency said.

The stoppage of treatment operations at the Johor River Waterworks disrupted its water supply to Singapore and some parts of Johor.

Water supply in Singapore is not affected, PUB said, as it has stepped up production at the desalination plants and waterworks here to meet demand.

“PUB is monitoring the raw water quality in Johor River closely and will resume abstraction and treatment of raw water when water quality is suitable,” the water agency said.

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Malaysia: 17,000 households in Kulai go dry after ammonia pollution in Sungai Sayong

mohd farhaan shah The Star 4 Apr 19;

JOHOR BARU: High-level of ammonia pollution in Sungai Sayong has disrupted water supply to about 17,000 households in Kulai.

Johor International Trade, Investment and Utility Committee chairman Jimmy Puah Wee Tse said a reservoir at a bio-composite centre next to an oil palm refinery in Sedenak burst, causing the ammonia-contaminated water to flow into Sungai Sayong, which is one of the creeks that supplies raw water to Sungai Johor.

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Singapore seizes record haul of pangolin scales enroute to Vietnam

Reuters 4 Apr 19;

SINGAPORE (Reuters) - Singapore has seized 12.9 tonnes of pangolin scales found in a shipping container destined for Vietnam, the biggest seizure of its kind globally in five years, authorities said on Thursday.

The scales of pangolin, the world’s most poached animal, were found on Wednesday packed in 230 bags in the container along with 177 kg (390 lb) of elephant ivory.

“The shipment was declared to contain frozen beef and was on the way from Nigeria to Vietnam,” Singapore Customs and the National Parks Board said, estimating the total value of the animal parts at more than $38 million.

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PUB to begin tunnelling as part of Phase 2 in building 'used water superhighway'

Aaron Chong Channel NewsAsia 4 Apr 19;

SINGAPORE: National water agency, PUB, started tunnelling work on the second phase of building what it calls the “used water superhighway for the future” on Thursday (Apr 4).

When it is ready, the Deep Tunnel Sewerage System (DTSS) will collect and transport water from the whole of Singapore to three water reclamation plants in Changi, Kranji and soon Tuas for treatment. It is part of PUB’s efforts to move Singapore towards becoming more self-reliant in its water needs.

Speaking on the sidelines of a media briefing on Wednesday, DTSS Phase 2 director Yong Wei Hin said the DTSS, which is scheduled to complete in 2025, will support 55 per cent of Singapore’s water needs in the long-term via NEWater.

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Malaysia: Dead dolphin found washed ashore on Kedah beach

Zuliaty Zulkiffli New Straits Times 4 Apr 19;

ALOR STAR: The carcass of a dolphin was found washed ashore at a beach near Alor Ibus, Jalan Kuala Tebengau, here, yesterday.

Rantau Abang Fisheries Research Institute's Marine Mammals branch chief Mohd Tamimi Ali Ahmad said the marine mammal carcass was found about seven kilometers from where a dead whale was discovered.

He said checks revealed the adult dolphin belonged to the Irrawaddy dolphin species or its scientific name is Orcaella Brevirostris. It measured 2.5 meters in length and weigh about 250 kilograms.

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Malaysia: Plans to relocate Pasir Gudang factories - Don’t take the easy way out, groups urge Johor govt

mohd farhaan shah The Star 5 Apr 19;

JOHOR BARU: The state’s plan to relocate factories within the Pasir Gudang industrial area to other suitable districts have come under fire from non-governmental organisations and political leaders.

Malaysian Nature Society vice-president Vincent Chow said the suggestion from Mentri Besar Datuk Osman Sapian showed it was a lazy man’s approach that does not solve environmental issues in the state.

“It will not solve anything but would create more environmental problems in the future if the government goes ahead with their plan,” he said when contacted here yesterday.

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Malaysia: Drought hits hard, Bomba Sarawak to the rescue with emergency water supply

stephen then The Star 4 Apr 19;

MIRI: Spaoh district in southern Sarawak has been hit by drought, and the Sarawak Fire and Rescue Department has deployed emergency supplies of treated water following appeals for help from residents.

Sarawak Bomba, in its latest updates Thursday (April 4), said some 22,000 litres of treated water have been sent via a Bomba tanker.

“This is the second day that Spaoh has been without water.

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