Mandai eco-resort to offer guests behind-the-scenes animal experiences

Tiffany Fumiko Tay Straits Times 23 May 19;

SINGAPORE - Beyond snoozing in the middle of five wildlife parks, overnight guests at the future eco-resort in Mandai will be able to participate in behind-the-scenes activities where they can work with keepers and learn about the animals.

Mr Mike Barclay, group chief executive of Mandai Park Holdings, said during a media conference on Thursday (May 23) that the resort will offer a unique opportunity for guests to experience hands-on and learning activities that are not currently available.

Guests could, for example, be taken to the zoo's elephant enclosure in the evenings to help keepers put together "food puzzles" to be placed in the exhibit, and return in the morning to watch the elephants pull apart the branches and twine enveloping the treats, he said.

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Primary school pupils win top prize in environmental competition with role-playing game

Aqil Hamzah Straits Times 22 May 19;

SINGAPORE - The year is 2100 and rising sea levels have forced Singaporeans to live atop a floating city.

Global warming has caused irreversible damage to the environment and the only solution is to travel back in time to educate society about the importance of environmental conservation.

This is the premise of Symbiosis: The Environment Role Playing Game, which was developed by Primary 5 pupils from Temasek Primary School in collaboration with 28 partners, including the National Environment Agency.

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Malaysia: 'Last warning': Johor state government tells businesses not to pollute rivers

Channel NewsAsia 22 May 19;

JOHOR BAHRU: The Johor state government has urged chicken farms and palm oil refineries situated along the Johor River to maintain their sewerage systems and prevent water pollution.

Those who fail to comply and end up contaminating the waters would face harsh punishments, state executive councillor for international trade, investment and utility Jimmy Puah has warned, according to local media reports.

"Operators must improve and enhance their sewage systems and waste management," he was quoted as saying by Sin Chew Daily following a meeting with some 30 industry players on Tuesday (May 21).

"Consider this the last warning from the state government," he said.

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Malaysia: Cloud seeding did not bear fruit, contingencies in place - Melaka CM

r.s.n.murali The Star 22 May 19;

MELAKA: Melaka Chief Minister Adly Zahari confirmed on Wednesday (May 22) says that cloud seeding exercise from May 16 to May 18 brought heavy downpours.

He however added that the downpour happened 20km away from the intended target - the Durian Tunggal Dam.

“We were hoping on cloud seeding, but it showered heavily in Tampin instead, causing us to embark on another contingency plan to ensure that the water supply here is enough during the festive season,” he said when met at Seri Negeri.

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Malaysia: Turtle researchers to switch to better tagging methods

stephanie lee The Star 22 May 19;

KOTA KINABALU: Researchers here have promised to use safer and better methods when tagging turtles in waters off Semporna to better protect these endangered sea creatures.

Sabah Wildlife Department director Augustine Tuuga said a roundtable discussion was organised, following concerns from seasoned divers and researchers on the "lift bag method" used during the annual Mabul Sea Turtle Project.

Some claim that this method, used by certain scientists from a public university, are harmful to these marine creatures.

The "lift bag method" is used when capturing turtles to tag, where they are tied to an air-filled bag and floated to the surface.

The speed they ascend to the surface is believed to be harmful, as it could lead to decompression sickness – and even possible fatalities – in turtles.

Tuuga said there had been speculation that this was leading to the death of turtles here, but there is no evidence to these claims.

"However, the scientists involved will make appropriate changes to the method for the additional safety of turtles," he said.

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India: Coral bleaching observed near Mandapam, Keezhakkarai, Palk Bay

Shubashree Desikan The Hindu 22 May 19;

When a coral bleaches, it does not die but comes pretty close to it. Some of the corals may survive the experience and recover once the sea surface temperature returns to normal levels.

The National Centre for Coastal Research, an institute under the Ministry of Earth Sciences, in India, has a field research station in the Gulf of Mannar region, and researchers led by Dr. Shanmugaraj have found an alarming pattern of bleaching in the reefs in Mandapam, Keezhakkarai and Palk Bay. They have found that sea surface temperature ranged from 28.7°C to 31°C in the August 2018-February 2019 period and there was no bleaching seen then. However, when the temperatures rose to between 32°C and 36°C between March 2019 and May 2019, researchers observed a pattern of bleaching in corals, which was different at different layers within the sea.

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Best of our wild blogs: 22 May 19

Terumbu Semakau still alive
wild shores of singapore

1-2 June (Sat, Sun): Singapore Blue Plan at the Biodiversity Carnival
Singapore Blue Plan 2018

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Hospitals need to shrink their carbon footprint

PATS OLIVA Today Online 22 May 19;

Despite its mandate to protect and save lives, the healthcare sector is a major source of carbon emissions. Hospitals use vast resources, energy-intensive equipment, operate around the clock, and generate and dispose of medical plastic waste by incineration.

In 2018, the United Kingdom’s National Health Service was responsible for 5 per cent of the country’s 364 tonnes of carbon dioxide produced.

Hospitals contribute to climate change, and climate change is threatening to undo the last 50 years of gains in public health.

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Malaysia, flooded with plastic waste, to send back some scrap to source

A. Ananthalakshmi, Emily Chow Reuters 21 May 19;

KUALA LUMPUR (Reuters) - Malaysia, which has become the dumping ground for the world’s plastic waste, will send back non-recyclable plastic scrap to the developed countries that sent it there, its environment minister said on Tuesday.

Malaysia last year became the leading alternative destination for plastic scrap after China banned imports of such waste, disrupting the flow of more than 7 million tonnes of plastic scrap a year.

Dozens of recycling factories cropped up in Malaysia, many without an operating license, and residents complained of environmental damage.

Most of the plastic scrap coming into the country is contaminated and low-quality plastic from developed countries that is non-recyclable.

Now Malaysia has begun sending back the waste to its country of origin, said Yeo Bee Yin, Malaysia’s minister of energy, technology, science, climate change and environment.

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Malaysia: Sabah pushing for rhino breeding and conservation collaboration with Indonesia

Avila Geraldine, Olivia Miwil New Straits Times 22 May 19;

KOTA KINABALU: Sabah will push for a collaboration with Indonesia to set up a Sumatran rhinoceros breeding and conservation programme.

Deputy Chief Minister Datuk Christina Liew said Sabah is committed to establishing a mutual agreement to protect the endangered species.

"I am very concerned about our Sumatran rhinoceros. Sabah is now left with two of them, but our male rhinoceros Tam is now very ill.

"I had spoken to state wildlife director Augustine Tuuga and we will make a trip to Indonesia in June or July.

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Malaysia: Turtle eggs are being sold openly in Sabah, and tourists are partly to blame

It is illegal to possess turtle eggs under the Wildlife Conservation Enactment 1997. Those convicted face a fine of RM50,000 or a jail term of up to five years, or both.
Amir Yusof Channel NewsAsia 22 May 19;

SANDAKAN, Sabah: Cars idle in endless queues along Sandakan’s busiest street, Jalan Pryer, as locals horde the dozens of rustic shophouses for bargains.

Right in the heart of the neighbourhood’s labyrinth of alleys, a group of men stood on a prominent street corner with wads of cash bulging in their pockets.

They seemed relaxed, leaning against the walls while smoking, observing passersby. The eyes of one of them lit up when he saw this reporter walking by.

“You want turtle eggs, brother? I give you a good price,” he asked in Bahasa Malaysia. “How much?” I asked.

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Plastic straws, cotton buds and drink stirrers to be banned in England

Government confirms ban on sale and use of items from April next year
Fiona Harvey The Guardian 22 May 19;

Plastic straws and drink stirrers, and cotton buds with plastic stems will be banned from sale and use in England from next April, the government has confirmed.

The move, which has been in the offing for more than a year, is hoped to vastly reduce the litter and other environmental impacts of the nearly 5bn plastic straws currently used each year in the UK, along with more than 300m plastic stirrers and close to 2bn cotton buds with plastic stems.

Huge numbers of these items, particularly cotton buds, are flushed down toilets or otherwise end up in litter – surveys have recently found waterways across the UK teeming with plastic, putting wildlife at risk.

Alternatives are available, including serving drinks without straws or stirrers, which is preferable, or using paper straws and biodegradable products in place of plastic stirrers and cotton buds. The only exceptions to the new rule will be for people with a medical need or disability, for whom plastic straws and other materials will be available upon request.

The EU is also moving to phase out plastics in various forms.

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Best of our wild blogs: 21 May 19

Three-clam day at Terumbu Pempang Laut
wild shores of singapore

1-2 June (Sat, Sun): Biodiversity Carnival at the Central Library
Celebrating Singapore Shores!

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Malaysia: Diving fraternity angry over picture of diver holding protected Hawksbill turtle

Avila Geraldine New Straits Times 20 May 19;

KOTA KINABALU: A picture of a diver holding up a totally protected turtle in the waters here has caused anger among the diving fraternity.

The picture, which was shared in a WhatsApp chat group with members comprising mostly professional divers and Sabah Parks staff, showed the diver holding a Hawksbill turtle up from the surface of the water.

The diving group has described the act as thoughtless and called on the relevant authorities to investigate and take necessary action against such irresponsible behaviour towards marine life.

It was unclear whether the incident occurred within the Tunku Abdul Rahman Marine Park (TARP) or outside it, but the water appeared to be shallow. It was also unclear why such an act was committed.

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Coral bleaching event underway in French Polynesia despite no El Nino

Jo Khan ABC 21 May 19;

Widespread coral bleaching has been reported in the French Polynesian islands of Tahiti and Moorea, even though there was no El Nino event this year.

Key points:
More than 50 per cent of coral reefs around Tahiti and Moorea have been bleached
Bleached corals have been observed as deep as 100 metres
Scientists are concerned the lack of climate action will spell the end of the world's reefs

The reefs are among the most regularly bleached in the world, thanks to their position in the path of warm waters that spread west from South America during El Nino years.

This year, however, without the presence of an El Nino and the warmer water it brings, the reefs should have been spared.

But in the last few days, it's been estimated that 50 to 60 per cent of corals on reefs around Tahiti and Moorea have been bleached, according to marine biologist Luiz Rocha from the Californian Academy of Sciences.

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Rise in global sea levels could have 'profound consequences'

Matt McGrath BBC 21 May 19;

Scientists believe that global sea levels could rise far more than predicted, due to accelerating melting in Greenland and Antarctica.

The long-held view has been that the world's seas would rise by a maximum of just under a metre by 2100.

This new study, based on expert opinions, projects that the real level may be around double that figure.

This could lead to the displacement of hundreds of millions of people, the authors say.

The question of sea-level rise was one of the most controversial issues raised by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), when it published its fifth assessment report in 2013.

It said the continued warming of the planet, without major reductions in emissions, would see global waters rising by between 52cm and 98cm by 2100.

Many experts believe this was a very conservative estimate.

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Best of our wild blogs: 20 May 19

Wild fun for kids during the June school holidays!
wild shores of singapore

Mushroom (coral) overdose at Pulau Hantu!
wild shores of singapore

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Diving in: Singapore scientists, volunteers on a mission to protect local reefs from marine trash

LOW YOUJIN Today Online 19 May 19;

SINGAPORE — As the divers navigated their way through Singapore’s southern waters, the beam from their flashlights came across a child-like hand sticking out from the murky depths.

They approached it with apprehension and, to their relief, discovered that it was a doll.

“It was during the Seventh Month (Hungry Ghost Festival)…It was so creepy that I couldn’t sleep the whole night!” said Ms Sam Shu Qin, 30, one of the founders of Our Singapore Reefs.

Undeterred by the spooky encounter, the team from the non-profit organisation has continued on their mission to clean up the waters around the southern islands of marine trash.

The debris poses a threat to the marine biodiversity in Singapore, said Ms Sam, a marine biologist.

Research is emerging on the environmental damage caused by plastic – the most common type of marine debris retrieved in Singapore, making up 57 per cent of the pieces retrieved.

A new study released on May 15 revealed that the production and incineration of plastic in 2019 will add more than 850 million metric tonnes of greenhouse gases to the atmosphere — equal to the pollution from 189 new 500-megawatt coal-fired power plants.

According to the report by the Center for International Environmental Law and other groups, oceans absorb as much as 40 percent of all human-produced carbon dioxide since the beginning of the industrial era.

A small but growing body of research suggests plastic discarded in the environment may be disrupting the ocean’s ability to absorb carbon dioxide, said the report, titled Plastic & Climate: The Hidden Costs of a Plastic Planet.

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Paws for reflection: Animals blessed and rehomed as Buddhist temple marks Vesak Day

Michelle Ng Straits Times 19 May 19;

SINGAPORE - Singapore's only 24-hour Tibetan Buddhist temple marked Vesak Day on Sunday (May 19) by inviting pet owners to get their animals blessed and animal welfare charities to stage an adoption drive for strays.

Thekchen Choling described the event as a modern-day interpretation of the traditional Buddhist animal liberation practice.

For the first time, the temple on Beatty Lane in Jalan Besar collaborated with four animal welfare groups - the Animal Human Alliance, Cat Welfare Society, Purely Adoptions and Forget Me Not - to hold the cat and dog adoption drive with cats and raise awareness of animal welfare.

Traditionally, Buddhists release animals on Vesak Day to create merit but the temple's spiritual director Singha Rinpoche said the practice could be viewed in other ways in today's context.

He said: "Buying and releasing animals is actually not good for the environment so it's much better if we can feed and rehome strays. Rather than blind faith, we want to promote social and spiritual cohesion along with the teaching that all beings, both humans and animals, are equal."

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Baby monkey lying on road saved by passers-by who helped divert traffic

Choo Yun Ting Straits Times 19 May 19;

SINGAPORE - A baby monkey was found lying on a road in Bukit Panjang on Sunday (May 19), but it was saved by kind passers-by.

One of the passers-by, who wanted to be identified only as Mrs Lo, told The Straits Times that she and her husband were driving along Petir Road at around 3pm on Sunday when they saw a woman dressed in black directing traffic along the two-lane road.

The area is near the Bukit Timah Nature Reserve, where monkeys such as the long-tailed macaques are frequently sighted.

Mrs Lo and her husband realised that the woman was diverting traffic to the left lane because a baby monkey was lying prone on the right lane near Block 202 Petir Road. A larger monkey, which seemed to be the animal's parent, was trying to get to it, Mrs Lo said.

"The baby monkey looked like it was unconscious and could be dead, but it later raised one of its arms and that's when we realised it was still alive," she added.

There were no visible injuries, Mrs Lo said.

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Malaysia could lose last male Sumatran rhino

Avila Geraldine New Straits Times 19 May 19;

KOTA KINABALU: Malaysia is in danger of losing Tam, its last male Sumatran rhinoceros.

State Tourism, Culture and Environment Minister Datuk Christina Liew said the animal’s appetite and alertness had declined abruptly since the end of last month.

“Serious concerns are growing over (Tam’s) health now. It is receiving round-the-clock attention and medication,” she said.

“Tests are ongoing, but it seems that one or more of his internal organs are not functioning well.”

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Malaysia wages 'war' on Vietnam trawlers

Adrian David New Straits Times 19 May 19;

KUALA LUMPUR: MALAYSIA has sent a strong message to Vietnam that it is fully committed to protecting its billions of ringgit of fish and marine resources in the South China Sea.

On April 25, Malaysia initiated a multi-agency task force to safeguard its 200-nautical mile exclusive economic zone (EEZ) from poaching by Vietnamese trawlers.

Wisma Putra followed it up by sending a strong protest note to Hanoi, via its ambassador here on May 8, signalling its “war” against the marauding trawlers.

The task force is understood to have mobilised an assortment of maritime, naval, marine and fisheries assets and thousands of personnel, with “eye in the sky” support from the air force.

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Malaysia: Increased diving permits for Pulau Sipadan

Avila Geraldine New Straits Times 19 May 19;

KOTA KINABALU: Pulau Sipadan, the globally renowned diving destination, is going to become more crowded.

This is after Sabah Parks increased its daily diving permits from the 120 to 176 permits per day.

Despite the diving permit increase, Sabah Parks has however restricted diving activity to only three dives per diver (528 dives a day) as compared to the previous maximum four dives per diver (480 dives a day).

Taking into effect this month, the move is a temporary measure to see whether the additional number of permits and the increased number of divers would have a significant impact on Pulau Sipadan.

It is learnt that Universiti Malaysia Sabah will conduct a study on the ecological impact.

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Best of our wild blogs: 19 May 19

Corallimorphs of Singapore identified!
wild shores of singapore

Awls of Singapore : Part 2
Butterflies of Singapore

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What will it take to kick Singapore's growing multimillion-dollar addiction to bottled water?

Singapore is known the world over for the quality of its tap water. Nonetheless, consumers here still fork out millions of dollars on bottled water every year.
Lianne Chia Channel NewsAsia 19 May 19;

SINGAPORE: The water flowing from Singapore's taps is perfectly safe to drink, but recent research shows that many people still prefer to quench their thirst with bottled water, with demand continuing to grow.

Data from research firm Euromonitor International show that sales of bottled water have been increasing steadily over the years - from S$161.3 million in 2013 to S$179.4 million in 2018. The figure includes sales of all types of bottled water, including still, carbonated, flavoured and what is known as "functional" water, which is enhanced with ingredients such as vitamins.

And this has an impact on the environment, given that most bottled water is sold in single-used plastic containers, very little of which is recycled, according to the Singapore Environment Council.

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Panel formed to articulate youth vision for Singapore in 2025 and create action plan to get there

Joanna Seow Straits Times 18 May 19;

SINGAPORE - Many young people today hope that in six years, Singapore society will be inclusive, compassionate and respectful. They also hope that people will live sustainable lifestyles and enjoy better work-life balance.

These hopes were raised at a three-hour dialogue session on Saturday (May 18) called Youth Conversations. More than 100 young people aged between 16 and 40 participated in the event at The Red Box in Somerset.

Members of a new panel that will lead efforts to articulate young people's vision for Singapore in 2025, and to come up with an action plan to get there, were there to take in their views.

The formation of the SG Youth Action Plan panel was announced on Saturday by Senior Minister of State for Culture, Community and Youth Sim Ann, who is co-chair of the panel together with Mr Edward Chia, music and lifestyle company Timbre Group's co-founder and chief executive.

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Hari Raya Bazaar at Our Tampines Hub goes green

Jolene Ang Straits Times 18 May 19;

SINGAPORE - Ramadan is a good opportunity for Singaporeans to build cohesiveness and forge deeper understandings, said Deputy Prime Minister Heng Swee Keat on Saturday (May 18) evening.

Speaking at the launch of Our Tampines Hub's annual Hari Raya Bazaar, which is into its third edition, Mr Heng said: "I think as we celebrate this event, we can build a deeper understanding and a closer sense of community.

"And this is important not just for our Muslims, but for all races and religions. I'm very happy to see so many people coming together, enjoying each other's company and getting to know one another better," said Mr Heng, who is also MP for Tampines GRC.

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Malaysia: Getting tough on polluters

sim leoi leoi The Star 19 May 19;

PETALING JAYA: Stiffer penalties of up to a RM5mil fine will be imposed for environmental offences under a new Act that is currently being drafted.

A trust fund is also being set up to reward whistleblowers and for effective enforcement. For now, public feedback on what would constitute the new law is being sought.

These come in the wake of the recent toxic waste dumping of Sungai Kim Kim, which at its peak sent over 4,000 people to hospitals in Pasir Gudang. Besides this, the recent controversy over illegal imported plastic waste has also prompted work on the new Act.

Among others, it will see hefty fines for offences across the board, much heavier than those imposed under the current Environmental Quality Act 1974.

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Malaysia: Save what’s left of Melaka’s forests, group tells state govt

The Star 19 May 19;

MELAKA: An environmental group has called on the Melaka government to conserve the remaining 3% of its forest reserve following news that fresh contracts have been awarded for sand dredging activities at a 200ha forest reserve in Jasin.

The Organisation for the Preservation of Natural Heritage Malaysia (Peka) president Puan Sri Shariffa Sabrina Syed Akil said the state government should stop giving excuses to justify their move to award contracts for sand dredging activities.

“There has been no Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) report carried out before the contracts to the six companies were given.

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Malaysia: Ban on plastic straws in Selangor eateries from July 1

edward rajendra The Star 18 May 19;

A BAN on plastic straws will take effect beginning July 1 in all eateries in Selangor.

The state government is imposing the ban with the aim of eliminating single-use plastics, which pollute the seas and endanger marine life.

State Environment, Green Technology and Consumer Affairs, Science, Technology and Environment Committee chairman Hee Loy Sian said Selangor would prohibit eateries from habitually providing customers with single-use plastic drinking straws.

“We will instruct all eateries, be they restaurants or neighbourhood coffeeshops to stop providing plastic straws with every drink.

“But the eatery is allowed to give a plastic straw to a customer upon request,” he said after visiting the Taman Greenwood Ramadan bazaar in Batu Caves.

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Malaysia: Illegal entry of waste banned

Syed Umar Ariff New Straits Times 18 May 19;

KUALA LUMPUR: Garbage illegally exported to Malaysia will be shipped back to their countries of origin following amended annexes under the Basel Convention, which
generally require for the entry of plastic scraps to obtain permission from importing countries.

The change under the Basel Convention is expected to significantly reduce plastic waste entry into Malaysia, which became one of the world’s dumping grounds after China’s ban on solid waste import on Jan 1 last year.

The ban covered 24 types of waste, including low-grade polyethene terephthalate and unsorted paper.

Prior to the ban, China reigned as the major processor of at least half of global waste exports.

The amended annexes would see greater control over transboundary plastic waste movement beginning 2021, when signatory countries completed aligning local laws with the annexes.

Malaysia has been a party to the Basel Convention since 1993 alongside 186 other countries.

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Thailand: Nearly half of coral off Nai Yang damaged, killed by bleaching

PHUKET: Specialists from the Department of Natural Parks, Wildlife and Plant Conservation (DNP) have discovered that some 10% of coral off Nai Yang Beach are dead because of bleaching while 30% more damaged.
Waranya Prompinpiras The Phuket News 18 May 19;

The discovery was made during a joint inspection by the Phuket Marine National Park Operation Center 2 and Sirinath National Park on Thursday (May 16).

“Officers from the Phuket Marine National Park Operation Center 2 and Sirinath National Park checked the condition of coral at the depth of 1.5-5 meters off Nai Yang beach. We found that 10% of Staghorn Coral, Hump Coral, Cauliflower Coral and Mushroom Coral were killed by bleaching. Some 30% are damaged by bleaching, but still alive,” an officer from the Phuket Marine National Park Operation Center 2 told The Phuket News.

Still the forecast is optimistic due to changing weather conditions.

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Number of dengue cases in 2019 surpasses last year's total count

Channel NewsAsia 17 May 19;

SINGAPORE: The number of dengue cases recorded in 2019 so far has surpassed the total number of cases in 2018, figures from the National Environment Agency (NEA) show.

As of 3pm on Thursday (May 16), there have been 3,455 dengue cases in Singapore in 2019, more than the 3,285 cases reported in 2018 and 2,772 cases in 2017.

Three people have died from dengue this year amid the spike in the number of cases. In March, a 71-year-old woman who lived in Ang Mo Kio Avenue 4 died from dengue.

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Malaysia: Illegal plastic factories booming

lo tern chern The Star 18 May 19;

BUKIT MERTAJAM: While authorities believe that there are about 400 plastic recycling factories in Seberang Prai alone, the number of illegal operators may easily outnumber the legal ones.

Penang Welfare, Caring Society and Environment Committee chairman Phee Boon Poh said most of the illegal operators were mainly in Bukit Tengah.

“I believe that there are more unlicensed plastic recycling factories than the legal ones, and the waste is mainly brought in from other states or imported.

“Most of these factories are near Port Klang and Penang as we both have ports for the plastic to be brought in.

Read more!

Indonesia: Jumping to the rescue of the proboscis monkey

Antara 17 May 19;

Every effort is not easy, but if we are serious, it can never be in vain. Save Bekantan - save our forests. Let us together become agents of change to save the planet,
Jakarta (ANTARA) - Amalia Rezeki, a lecturer at the Faculty of Biology Education, University of Lambung Mangkurat, was never one for whiling away time, and spent most of it doing things for others and for the environment.

As a biology lecturer, Rezeki's love for the proboscis monkey (Nasalis larvatus), the sharp-nosed animal, was not surprising. The extent of her love, however, was.

She spent most of her life preserving and protecting the Bekantan, which is also an icon in South Kalimantan, and went on to become the first woman in Indonesia to dedicate herself to protecting the Bekantan from extinction, having founded the Indonesian Bekantan Foundation (SBI) as part of her mission to save the Proboscis monkey.

Dedicating her life to preserving the proboscis monkey was never about appreciation, but more a form of responsibility for Rezeki. "As a key species, for us, saving the Bekantan is like saving planet earth," said Rezeki who is completing her final semester in the environmental doctoral program at the Lambung Mangkurat University.

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Vietnam: Dolphin species thought extinct in Vietnam caught in Mekong Delta

Phan Anh, Hoang Nam, Cuu Long Vietnam Express 17 May 19;

Phan Van Thai, 49, and his wife were fishing on the Co Chien River in Cho Lach District when they heard a loud splashing sound. On further inspection, they discovered a creature they could not identify trapped in their net.

"I’ve been fishing for the last 20 years, but I have never seen any fish as big and strange as this one," Thai said. The creature was approximately 2.3 meters (7.5 feet) long and weighed 150 kilograms (330 pounds).

The animal was dead, and Thai stored it in ice and waited for authorities to identify it. It was later identified as an Irrawaddy dolphin, a species of dolphin previously thought to have disappeared from Vietnam's Mekong River, Vu Long, director of the Center for Biodiversity Conservation and Endangered Species, told the media.

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Best of our wild blogs: 17 May 19

19 May: Registration opens for FREE St. John's Island tour on 23 Jun (Sun)
Celebrating Singapore Shores!

Singapore Raptor Report – March 2019
Singapore Bird Group

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Malaysia: Don't harm wandering tapir, Negri Sembilan Perhilitan tells residents

Abnor Hamizam Abd Manap New Straits Times 16 May 19;

JELEBU: Negri Sembilan Wildlife and National Parks Department (Perhilitan) today urged residents not to harm a stray tapir which had wandered into the Pertang residential area recently.

The advice came following a viral post shared by netizens on various social media platforms yesterday.

State Perhilitan director Wan Mat Wan Harun, said the department would investigate the matter although no official complaint has been received so far on the incident.

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Malaysia: Poachers fined RM1.56mil, the biggest yet for wildlife crime

The Star 16 May 19;

PETALING JAYA: The Kuala Terengganu Sessions Court has meted out a whopping RM1.56mil fine on two Vietnamese nationals caught poaching, making it the biggest fine ever imposed for wildlife crime.

The two men, Hoang Van Viet, 29, and Nguyen Van Thiet, 26, were also sentenced to two years in jail after being convicted on 20 charges under the Wildlife Conservation Act 2010 for illegal possession of threatened and protected animal parts, including leopard, tapir and sun bear.

According to Traffic South-East Asia, the men pleaded guilty to charges under four sections of the law for illegal use of snares, illegal possession of totally protected species as well as protected species.

Judge Azman Mustapha also ruled that athe duo would be jailed a further 16 years if they failed to pay the fines.

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Malaysia: Melaka begins cloud seeding as dam drops to critical levels

r.s.n.murali The Star 16 May 19;

MELAKA: Melaka has begun cloud seeding on Thursday (May 16) as the Durian Tunggal Dam, the main water source for the state, is almost at critical levels.

State Transport, Works and Public Amenities Committee chairman Datuk Mohd Sofi Abdul Wahab said the cloud seeding would continue till Saturday (May 18).

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Indonesia: Biak district bans use of plastic bags

Antara 16 May 19;

Biak, Papua (ANTARA) - The Biak Numfor district government in the easternmost Indonesian province of Papua plans to ban the use of plastic bags in shops and markets, as of June 1, 2019, as part of efforts to reduce plastic trash.

"The ban on the use of plastic bags is a follow up on the regional strategic policy of managing garbage based upon the regional regulation of 2018 on garbage and government regulation number 81 of 2012 on the management of garbage," second assistant to regional secretary Ferry Betay said on Thursday, at an event to familiarize the public with the ban on the use of plastic bags.

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Dozens of gray whales are dying on the West Coast as they make their epic Alaskan migration

Elizabeth Weise, USA TODAY Yahoo News 17 May 19;

SAN FRANCISCO — At least 53 dead or dying gray whales have washed up on West Coast beaches this spring, a death rate that’s only been seen once before. The great mammals are starving to death and scientists have theories as to why but so far no full explanation.

The number of deaths is likely much higher because it’s estimated that only 10% of dead whales actually end up on shore, said John Calambokidis, a research biologist with the non-profit Cascadia Research in Olympia, Washington, who studies whale populations on the West Coast.

That could mean as many as 530 whales have died, a large number for a population that is estimated to be just over 20,000 and that only began to rebound in recent decades after being hunted almost to extinction in the late 1800s.

The strandings have occurred up and down the West Coast, on major public beaches and in sheltered coves. What they have in common is the heart-wrenching image of these giants of the sea dying as they try to reach their feeding grounds, but not making it.

Whales that wash ashore offer a window in the health of marine ecosystems, said Kyle Van Houtan, chief scientist at the Monterey Bay Aquarium in Monterey, California.

“They’re great indicators for what’s happening in the ocean and the animals are telling us what’s going on right now,” he said.

What they're saying is that something's wrong.

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Best of our wild blogs: 16 May 19

1 June (Sat): Want to learn how to be a nature guide? Come join the Chek Jawa Familiarisation Tour with the Naked Hermit Crabs!
Adventures with the Naked Hermit Crabs

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Waterspout off Singapore coast sparks climate debate

Experts say unusual and extreme weather events occur due to climate change and also by chance
CHERYL TEH The New Paper 16 May 19;

A waterspout developed off the southern coast of Singapore on Saturday.

The phenomenon, as well as unseasonably cold or warm spells around the world, have people asking yet again: Are more unusual and extreme weather incidents here and around the world because of climate change, or an unexpected confluence of factors?

It is a bit of both, climate experts say.

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Schools, Education Ministry can do more for the environment

ANG ZYN YEE Today Online 15 May 19;

It is heartening to see the attention that the Government is giving to tackling excessive waste production and raising awareness of proper recycling habits.

Designating 2019 as the Year Towards Zero Waste, the authorities are sending a strong message that combating climate change and environmental destruction is a key priority.

More can be done, however, especially in schools and educational institutions.

Schools are integral to shaping the character and outlook of our youth and there is no better place to begin instilling environmental awareness in our people.

Climate change is a pressing problem and how schools are run should reflect that urgency.

I have several suggestions for the Ministry of Education and schools on the larger role they can play in Singapore’s efforts to preserve our planet.

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Indonesia: East Nusa Tenggara to conduct research on Komodo dragons

The Jakarta Post 15 May 19;

As Komodo Island will be closed to the public as of January 2020, the East Nusa Tenggara (NTT) administration in cooperation with Nusa Cendana University (Undana) in Kupang will conduct research on the habitat of Komodo dragons in the Komodo National Park, West Manggarai.

"Our cooperation with Undana's research team will be an important part of the NTT administration's efforts to preserve the animals," the administration's secretary, Benediktus Polo Maing, said in Kupang on Wednesday as quoted by Antara.

Benediktus said his office had met with representatives of relevant agencies, including Undana's research team.

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Single-use plastics a serious climate change hazard, study warns

Production must end now, says first ever estimate of plastic’s cradle-to-grave impact
Sandra Laville The Guardian 15 May 19;

The proliferation of single-use plastic around the world is accelerating climate change and should be urgently halted, a report warns.

Plastic production is expanding worldwide, fuelled in part by the fracking boom in the US. The report says plastic contributes to greenhouse gas emissions at every stage of its lifecycle, from its production to its refining and the way it is managed as a waste product.

This plastic binge threatens attempts to meet the Paris climate agreement. It means that by 2050 plastic will be responsible for up to 13% of the total “carbon budget” – equivalent to 615 coal-fired power plants – says the research published on Thursday.

The contribution of plastic production and disposal to climate change has been largely hidden, say the authors of the report by the Center for International Environmental Law, which estimates the greenhouse gas footprint of plastic from the cradle to the grave for the first time.

While plastic pollution in the oceans has become a high-profile concern, the effect on climate change of the ubiquitous use of plastic has not been a focus.

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Best of our wild blogs: 15 May 19

25 May (Sat): R.U.M. mangrove cleanup
Restore Ubin Mangroves (R.U.M.) Initiative

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From ideas to action, Singapore youth are making a difference in the community in their own ways

AsiaOne 14 May 19;

"Self-absorbed", "apathetic", "deeply self-entitled", "couldn't care less" - do our youth deserve to be stereotyped this way?

If you listen to their life experiences, learn about their life-changing initiatives and read about their hopes for our nation, you will realise that they are nothing like the labels you may have used on them.

In the past year, the Youth Conversations series engaged over 8,000 youth aged 15 to 35 to share their views and ideas for change on various issues that Singapore faces.

Here are some of the insights gathered from these conversations:

Youth are redefining their version of success

The youth are aware that society views success differently from them.

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Malaysia: Two suspected poachers arrested, firearms, bullets seized

T.N.Alages New Straits Times 14 May 19;

KUANTAN: Five men, believed to be poachers, entered the Lesong Forest Reserve in Rompin yesterday afternoon with firearms to hunt.

However, their luck ran out when they were stopped in their tracks by a team of Wildlife and National Parks Department (Perhilitan) rangers who were patrolling in the area about 1.30pm.

As the rangers were inspecting the Mitsubishi Pajero four-wheel-drive vehicle they were travelling in three of the suspects jumped off the vehicle and fled into the forest.

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Malaysia: Lift bags are harmful to turtles - Divers

stephanie lee The Star 15 May 19;

KOTA KINABALU: Professional divers in Semporna are concerned with the “lift bag” method used by certain researchers to tag turtles in waters off Mabul island.

Semporna Professional Divers Association deputy president Dahlan Maizin said using lift bags to bring turtles to the surface might be harmful to the marine species.

“This method was used a few years back and, recently, we saw some researchers using the same method.

“One of us had taken part in the research work a few years ago and took a video of the process.

The researchers were believed to be from local higher learning institutes.

Citing the concept of diving and resurfacing in humans, Dahlan said such a method where a person swims to the surface quickly without any break in between were life threatening due to the drastic change in the pressure to body functions.

“It could be the same for the turtles that are lifted out of the water in such a quick manner.

Read more!

Indonesia: West Java aims to be malaria-free by 2022

Arya Dipa The Jakarta Post 14 May 19;

The West Java administration is aiming to be malaria-free by 2022, as at least four regencies in the province are still being declared malaria-endemic areas.

Data issued by the West Java health agency show 23 of the 27 regencies and cities across the province have obtained malaria-free certification. On the other hand, malaria cases still occur in the Pangandaran, Garut, Sukabumi and Tasikmalaya regencies.

“What occurred in Sukabumi, Garut and Tasikmalaya were imported malaria cases. Meanwhile, an indigenous case occurred in Pangandaran,” West Java governor Ridwan Kamil reported in a statement on Monday.

According to the World Health Organization, imported malaria cases occur when the infection was acquired from outside the area in which it is diagnosed. Indigenous cases are contracted locally with no evidence of importation and no direct link to transmission from an imported case.

Despite being malaria-endemic areas, the four regions' annual parasite incident rate -- the number of malaria cases per 1,000 residents in a year -- was less than one.

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Mismanaged waste 'kills up to a million people a year globally'

Report says plastics adding to death tolls in the developing world from easily prevented diseases
Fiona Harvey The Guardian 14 May 19;

Mismanaged waste is causing hundreds of thousands of people to die each year in the developing world from easily preventable causes, and plastic waste is adding a new and dangerous dimension to the problem, a report has found.

Municipal waste frequently goes uncollected in poorer countries and its buildup fuels the spread of disease. Between 400,000 and 1 million people are dying as a result of such mismanaged waste, according to the charity Tearfund.

While mismanaged waste has been a problem for decades, the growth of plastic pollution, , which does not break down in the environment, is adding a fresh set of problems to an already dire situation. Plastic waste is blocking waterways and causing flooding, which in turn spreads waterborne diseases. When people burn the waste to get rid of it, it releases harmful toxins and causes air pollution.

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Plastic pollution harms the bacteria that help produce the oxygen we breathe

Macquarie University Science Daily 14 May 19;

Ten per cent of the oxygen we breathe comes from just one kind of bacteria in the ocean. Now laboratory tests have shown that these bacteria are susceptible to plastic pollution, according to a study published in Communications Biology.

"We found that exposure to chemicals leaching from plastic pollution interfered with the growth, photosynthesis and oxygen production of Prochlorococcus, the ocean's most abundant photosynthetic bacteria," says lead author and Macquarie University researcher Dr Sasha Tetu.

"Now we'd like to explore if plastic pollution is having the same impact on these microbes in the ocean."

Plastic pollution has been estimated to cause more than US$13 billion in economic damage to marine ecosystems each year, and the problem is only getting worse with marine plastic pollution estimated to outweigh fish by 2050.

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Best of our wild blogs: 14 May 19

Singapore Reefs In A New Light
Hantu Blog

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Policy loopholes turn Indonesia into dumping site: Environmentalists

Straits Times 13 Mar 19;

JAKARTA (THE JAKARTA POST/ASIA NEWS NETWORK) - Environmentalists have called on the Trade Ministry to immediately revise its 2016 regulation on waste imports, saying it contains several loopholes that have turned Indonesia into a dump site for developed countries.

The activists argued that even though developed nations, excluding the United States, had recently agreed to restrict global waste trade, Indonesia still needed to tighten its policies to prevent plastic waste smuggling.

A Greenpeace report issued in April shows that there has been an increase in the shipment of plastic waste from developed countries to developing nations, including Indonesia, since China banned waste imports. The Chinese ban on imports of 24 types of waste material went into effect in February 2018.

Waste imports to Indonesia soared from 10,000 tonnes per month in late 2017 to 35,000 tonnes per month in late 2018.

Read more!

'Step-change' in energy investment needed to meet climate goals: IEA

Marlowe HOOD, AFP Yahoo News 14 May 19;

Paris (AFP) - The world must double spending on renewable power and slash investment in oil and coal by 2030 to keep the Paris climate treaty temperature targets in play, the International Energy Agency (IEA) said Tuesday.

For that to happen, however, trend lines on both fronts moved in the wrong direction last year, the agency reported in its 4th annual World Energy Investment overview.

Money going into new upstream oil and gas projects -- exploration, drilling and infrastructure -- rose four percent in 2018, while investment in new coal sources went up by two percent, the first increase in that sector since 2012.

At the same time, investment in new renewable power of all kinds dipped by about two percent.

Read more!

Best of our wild blogs: 13 May 19

Bryozoan surveys, May 2019
wild shores of singapore

Awls of Singapore : Part 1
Butterflies of Singapore

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Why rapid extinction of plant, animal species matters

DARYL CHOO Today Online 12 May 19;

SINGAPORE — Human activities are putting a million species worldwide at risk of extinction, threatening ecosystems that people around the world depend on for survival, a United Nations (UN) assessment has found.

The 1,500-page report, compiled by more than a hundred international experts, is the most comprehensive assessment on biodiversity and ecosystems yet.

A summary of findings, released last Monday (May 6) in Paris, paints a bleak picture.

Global plant and animal species’ extinction is now “10 to hundreds of times” higher compared to that over the last 10 million years. Many of these extinctions will happen within decades, and that rate is set to climb, the report said.

At least 680 vertebrate species have already been driven to extinction by human action in the last 500 years. The loss of habitats, overconsumption and pollution will result in countless more facing a similar fate.


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Malaysia: Open burning by pineapple farmers causes haze in Sarawak

KANDAU SIDI New Straits Times 12 May 19;

MIRI: Irresponsible pineapple farmers, conducting open burning in the Vista Perdana and Desa Bahagia areas, have been identified as the culprits behind the haze problem plaguing southern Sarawak.

Assistant Tourism, Arts and Culture Minister Datuk Lee Kim Shin said the farmers had apparently ignored the dry weather notices issued earlier to warn local plantation owners against such activity.

The haze was said to have engulfed several housing areas nearby with some residents claiming to have fallen ill.

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Singapore committed to UN goals on sustainable development: Masagos

Derek Wong Straits Times 12 May 19;

Initiatives to reduce food waste and leverage technology to transform agriculture have been implemented so Singapore can play its part in a global campaign to end hunger, said Environment and Water Resources Minister Masagos Zulkifli yesterday.

Mr Masagos told the G-20 Agriculture Ministers' Meeting in Niigata, Japan, that Singapore is committed to achieving the United Nations' sustainable development goals (SDGs), in particular SDG 2.

This aims to end hunger, achieve food security, improve nutrition and promote sustainable farming.

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Tackling global biodiversity challenge from the ground

Peter Edwards and Justine Saunders Straits Times 11 May 19;

The Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES) report published earlier this week documents a truly alarming picture of the accelerating loss of biological diversity around the world. It concludes that the state of the environment is critical - with 75 per cent of the world's land area significantly altered by humans, and approximately one million species at risk of extinction.

More importantly, it emphasises that this potential loss of species is worrying, not merely for conservation reasons, but because biological diversity is essential for human well-being.

In the past 25 years, we have gained a much fuller understanding of our dependence upon the "ecosystem services" that plants and animals provide. For example, healthy forests help to regulate water and cool the environment, and healthy oceans provide a sustainable supply of fish.

Without these ecosystem services, we jeopardise economic growth and put the lives of future generations at risk.

The problem of biodiversity loss, as presented in the report, is one of a "tragedy of the commons" playing out on a global scale. But despite the gravity of the situation, the report's authors insist it is not too late to act.

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Powering up clean energy on Semakau

Fish farm runs on energy harnessed from renewable sources with micro-grid system
Vanessa Liu Straits Times 11 May 19;

Semakau Island might be known for being Singapore's only landfill site, but it is also producing 100 per cent clean energy to power a fish farm there.

More than 9,500 sq m of solar panels located there, coupled with a wind turbine, can power up to 350 four-room Housing Board units for a year, with a total output of 1.5MW at peak capacity.

Since the end of February, the deep-sea fish farm owned by Barramundi Asia on the island has been running on 100 per cent clean energy harnessed from different renewable sources with an energy integration system.

The Renewable Energy Integration Demonstrator-Singapore (Reids) - a project initiated by Nanyang Technological University (NTU) - is the largest system of interconnected micro-grids in South-east Asia.

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Malaysia’s palm oil growers fall on hard times

Vincent Tan Channel NewsAsia 12 May 19;

KUALA LUMPUR: It has not been a particularly good year for Malaysia's palm oil industry, hammered first by dwindling demand from its traditional markets, and then in March, the European Commission (EC) concluded that palm oil would be phased out from use in transport fuels by 2030 due to environmental concerns.

As the world’s second largest producer of palm oil, Malaysia has hit back, with politicians calling the EC’s decision protectionist and threatening retaliation.

On the ground, low palm prices and sustainability are only part of the problems faced by smallholders. They also have to deal with pests and low yield; some are considering whether to repurpose their plantations.

Mr Ibrahim Manap, 58, a smallholder in Hulu Selangor, said the declaration by the EC that palm oil is “unsustainable” is only a political excuse.

“They can chop their forests down, but we are (supposed to be) oxygen suppliers. This is not fair,” Mr Ibrahim said.

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Malaysia: Those involved in death of clouded leopard have one week to come forward

The Star 11 May 19;

MELAKA (Bernama): The Wildlife and National Parks Department (Perhilitan) has given two individuals believed to be involved in the death of a clouded leopard at a farm in Kampung Kemuning, Alor Gajah, a week's time to come forward and record their statements.

Melaka Perhilitan director Mohd Hasdi Husin said the individuals spotted in a picture with a carcass of the animal listed as 'vulnerable' (population decreasing) in the International Union for Conservation of Nature's Red List have been urged to come to the Perhilitan office to assist with determining the cause of the animal's death.

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Malaysia: Metal toxicity at sea is harming marine life

arnold loh The Star 11 May 19;

GEORGE TOWN: The heavy metal nickel – in a concentration 944% higher than natural – has been found in the sea off Penang National Park in Teluk Bahang.

It is identified as the probable pollutant that led to anoxic or dead zones with hardly any dissolved oxygen (DO) along the island’s north coast since last month and may also be killing live marine specimens in a research lab at the park’s beach.

The nickel-based pollutant is believed to have spread and caused the sea off Tanjung Bungah, not far from Penang Swimming Club, to record a DO level of just 0.08mg/L – too low to support marine life.

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Indonesia's search for new capital vexes green groups

Straits Times 11 May 19;

JAKARTA • President Joko Widodo has ended a two-day trip to different cities in Kalimantan on Borneo island in search of options to set up a new capital for Indonesia, after his administration decided to move ahead with a plan to create a new administrative hub away from overcrowded Jakarta.

He said he was assessing the "feel" of each city touted as an option for the new capital.

After his city-hopping trip across the Indonesian side of Borneo, he seemed impressed with at least two sites: Bukit Soeharto - or Suharto Hill - in East Kalimantan and the Triangle Area in Palangkaraya, Central Kalimantan.

But there are concerns among green groups that moving the centre of government to Kalimantan might lead to environmental disasters in or around the new capital.

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Thailand: Massive corals off Rayong start bleaching

The Thaiger 10 May 19;

Massive and aged corals have started to bleach off the coast of Rayong in the Gulf of Thailand.

Dr Thon Thamrongnawasawat, assistant dean of the Faculty of Fisheries at Kasetsart University and a marine biologist says, “The coral in Rayong has started to bleach. From a bird eye view we can see clearly the white coral around around the rocks under the water. ”

“These are massive corals which are bleaching very quickly. Normally this kind of coral takes a long time to bleach and react to the changes in temperature and environment.”

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Stalling on Climate Change Action May Cost Investors Over $1 Trillion

Mathew Carr, Bloomberg Yahoo News 11 May 19;

(Bloomberg) -- Delays in tackling climate change could cost companies about $1.2 trillion worldwide during the next 15 years, according to the United Nations.

That’s the preliminary analysis of a UN Environment Finance Initiative project that brought together 20 global fund managers to measure the impact of climate change on 30,000 of the largest listed companies. The group has created a guide for investors to assess how their holdings would respond to different levels of global warming and policy making.

“Investors have a central role to play in moving the world to a low-carbon future,” said Maurice Tulloch, chief executive officer of Aviva Plc, one of the participants in the project. “This collaboration shows how we can all take better decisions, for our customers and for the environment.”

Extreme weather events, including floods, tropical cyclones, and extreme hot and cold days are already hitting business operations. Should governments install tougher policy in the push for cleaner technology, emission-intensive companies will increasingly struggle to compete.

As well as Aviva, the investor group included companies such as Manulife Asset Management, M&G Prudential Ltd. and DNB Asset Management AS. The work was guided by advisory and modeling firms Carbon Delta AG and Vivid Economics Ltd.

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Best of our wild blogs: 10 May 19

12 May: Registration opens for Sisters Islands Intertidal walks in Jun 2019
Celebrating Singapore Shores!

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Why severe haze may return in 2019 and how to mitigate the risk


A Haze Outlook developed by the Singapore Institute of International Affairs (SIIA) has assessed that there is a real, although moderate, risk that severe haze will return in 2019.

The prognosis is “amber”; on a scale of red-amber-green. How did we come to this evaluation? What follow up do we hope for?

Haze pollution from land and forest fires has troubled the region for decades, though new efforts to tackle the problem have shown progress. Since the worst prolonged spell of health-hazard air in 2015, there have been almost three years of blue skies. Yet some underlying factors have not been solved, and there is no room for complacency.

These blue skies mainly result from better policies and stronger implementation under Indonesian President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo.

Corporations too have played a role, with the agro-forestry sector taking on greater responsibility, with banks and the biggest customers in the supply chain demanding traceability and transparency.

But these conditions are not guaranteed to hold.

Climate change increases the intensity and frequency of extreme weather events, including the risk of fire.

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Malaysia: Call to protect and conserve endangered primate species in Johor

esther tan The Star 9 May 19;

JOHOR BARU: There are six types of primates in the wild in Johor, with two now on the endangered species list due to poaching, deforestation and human wildlife conflict.

Malaysian Nature Society (MNS) president Professor Dr Ahmad Ismail said the lack of awareness among the authorities and the public had also led to the decline in the numbers.

“While we are not sure of the exact numbers of the two endangered primates in the wild, we hope the authorities will do more to protect and conserve them,” he added.

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Best of our wild blogs: 9 May 19

June School Holiday Activities!
Lee Kong Chian Natural History Museum

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Biggest threat to Johor River’s sustainability is lack of environmental protection: Vivian Balakrishnan

Aqil Haziq Mahmud Channel NewsAsia 8 May 19;

SINGAPORE: Foreign Affairs Minister Vivian Balakrishnan on Wednesday (May 8) warned that the "biggest threat" to the sustainability of the Johor River was a lack of environmental protection, as he urged Malaysia to safeguard water quality for the benefit of both sides.

"The biggest threat to Johor's own water supply is actually the lack of environmental protection," Dr Balakrishnan told Parliament. "And the seven episodes since 2017 ... are a clear and present amber warning light."

The minister was referring to the seven pollution incidents that caused PUB's Johor River Waterworks to be temporarily shut down. The most recent case was on Apr 4, when high levels of ammonia were found in the Johor River.

He noted that the PUB plant and two other water treatment plants belonging to Malaysia were "currently drawing more water from the Johor River (than it) can yield on a sustainable basis".

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Tharman calls for innovations in every sphere to reduce trade-off between growth and sustainability

Christie Chiu Straits Times 8 May 19;

SINGAPORE - While more and more young people are seized by the green movement, there is a need for countries and companies to act urgently on the grave risks to sustainability, Senior Minister and Coordinating Minister for Social Policies Tharman Shanmugaratnam said yesterday.

The window is closing fast before there is irreversible damage in living standards for future generations and loss of animal and natural life on the planet.

In his opening address at an international sustainability symposium yesterday, Mr Tharman urged countries and companies to invest in innovations that are more energy efficient and less destructive to the environment.

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New technology being tested to improve detection of illegal shipments

Vanessa Liu Straits Times 8 May 19;

SINGAPORE - The authorities are testing new technology that can more effectively detect illegal shipments including wildlife entering Singapore, especially through the sea checkpoints.

Senior Parliamentary Secretary for National Development Sun Xueling, speaking in Parliament on Wednesday (May 8), said that the Home Affairs Ministry and the Immigration and Checkpoints Authority are testing a prototype of the Multi-Mode Passive Detective System, an automatic scanning system that uses machine-learning algorithms to detect explosives, drugs, humans and other contraband.

She was responding to questions posed by Mr Louis Ng (Nee Soon GRC) about the measures being taken by the Government to deter and detect the illegal trade of pangolins in Singapore, apart from relying on tip-offs and risk assessment work.

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Several trees across Singapore fall amid widespread thunderstorm

Channel NewsAsia 8 May 19;

SINGAPORE: Several trees were uprooted amid strong winds and heavy showers in Singapore on Wednesday (May 8).

Fengshan Member of Parliament Cheryl Chan shared a photo of one of the fallen trees on her Facebook page, which was captured at Block 116 Bedok North Road.

"Due to heavy rain and strong winds this morning, trees have been reported to have fallen," said Ms Chan. "Town Council is working to clear the fallen trees. I seek residents' assistance to stay clear from those areas and please call Town Council for support in you find any in your area."

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'New economics': the way to save the planet?

Matthew Green,Reuters Yahoo News 9 May 19;

LONDON (Reuters) - The science is in: the endless pursuit of economic growth is devouring the foundations of life on Earth, and no country – rich or poor – can expect to escape dire consequences if things go on as they are. So how might the world change course?

Though still confined to the fringes, a globally dispersed but tight-knit coalition of economists, grass-roots organizers, business leaders and politicians, along with some investors, have begun to sketch out an answer.

The vision: a new relationship between the state, local communities and nature aligned behind a more holistic notion of progress than gross domestic product (GDP), the established yardstick for economies as different as those of the United States and Mozambique.

"No country on Earth is doing what is required to make sure we get toward an economic system capable of confronting the twin challenges of ecological collapse and climate change," said Laurie Laybourn-Langton, an associate fellow at London's Institute for Public Policy Research and lead author of a new report on environmental breakdown titled This Is A Crisis.

"There are, though, a number of ideas and small-scale projects being done that arguably – if scaled up – could deal with the problem," he said. One of those gaining traction was measuring progress in other terms than GDP, which, in essence, measures the market value of a country's goods and services.

More broadly, Laybourn-Langton, 30, and other champions of 'new economics' argue that it is time to acknowledge that the state must play the central role in marshalling a response to looming systemic environmental shocks.

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UN chief says 'total disaster' if warming not stopped

SETH BORENSTEIN and EDITH M. LEDERER, Associated Press Yahoo News 9 May 19;

UNITED NATIONS (AP) — The United Nations secretary-general said the world must dramatically change the way it fuels factories, vehicles and homes to limit future warming to a level scientists call nearly impossible.

That's because the alternative "would mean a catastrophic situation for the whole world," António Guterres told The Associated Press in an exclusive interview.

Guterres said he's about to tour Pacific islands to see how climate change is devastating them as part of his renewed push to fight it. He is summoning world leaders to the U.N. in September to tell them "they need to do much more in order for us to be able to reverse the present trends and to defeat the climate change."

That means, he said, the world has to change, not in small incremental ways but in big "transformative" ways, into a green economy with electric vehicles and "clean cities."

Guterres said he will ask leaders to stop subsidizing fossil fuels. Burning coal, oil and gas triggers warming by releasing heat-trapping gases.

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Urgent need for action in region to address global biodiversity crisis: Local experts

Vanessa Liu Straits Times 7 May 19;

SINGAPORE - Despite conservation efforts within the country, there is an urgent need to look towards the region when dealing with the global biodiversity crisis, local experts say.

They were responding to a United Nations report released on Monday (May 6) that painted a grim picture of the state of ecosystems worldwide.

Up to a million species on earth are well on their way to becoming extinct due to human activities, according to the report.

Assistant Professor Janice Lee of the Asian School of the Environment at Nanyang Technological University said: "Singapore has come a long way in terms of nature conservation and has been very active in local conservation efforts.

"This has led to the recovery of some species on our island such as the Oriental pied hornbill and the smooth-coated otters, which are inspiring success stories for the region."

However, Dr Lee stressed that Singapore needs to play an active role in safeguarding not only the country's ecosystems and biodiversity, but also the region's.

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682 enforcement notices issued for pigeon feeding offences in the last 3 years

Matthew Mohan Channel NewsAsia 8 May 19;

SINGAPORE: A total of 682 enforcement notices were issued for pigeon feeding offences over the past three years, said Parliamentary Secretary for National Development Sun Xueling on Wednesday (May 8).

She was responding to parliamentary questions from MP Lim Biow Chuan on the number of summons that have been issued to offenders who feed pigeons, and if there were other measures the ministry could introduce as deterrents.

Ms Sun said that the National Parks Board (NParks) currently makes use of measures such as the installing of cameras and conducting surveillance at identified feeding hotspots.

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New Corrective Work Order vests introduced as littering offences rise

Channel NewsAsia 7 May 19;

SINGAPORE: Amid a spike in littering offences, Corrective Work Orders (CWOs) are being made more visible with new, brighter vests and signs put up at CWO locations.

Introduced in 1992, CWO involves making recalcitrant litterbugs pick up trash at public areas for between three and 12 hours. The penalty "carries an element of shame" which helps deter littering, according to Singapore authorities.

About 2,600 CWOs were issued last year, a 30 per cent rise compared to 2,000 cases in the previous year, the National Environment Agency (NEA) said on Tuesday (May 7).

A total of 39,000 tickets for littering offences were issued during the year – an increase of nearly 22 per cent compared with 32,000 cases in 2017.

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Malaysia: Northern states to experience heavy rain, strong winds - MET dept

Bernama New Straits Times 8 May 19;

KUALA LUMPUR: Perlis, Kedah and Penang will experience heavy rains, strong winds and turbulent seas following the start of the southwest monsoon season yesterday.

Malaysian Meteorological Department’s National Weather and Geophysics Operations Centre director Dr Mohd Hisham Mohd Anip said the southwest monsoon would bring heavy rains and strong winds to the states due to the location.

He said the southwest monsoon would bring more winds to Perlis, Kedah and Penang, compared to other states on the west coast of Peninsular that were protected by the Sumatra Island, such as Selangor, Negeri Sembilan, Melaka and Johor.

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Best of our wild blogs: 7 May 19

25 May (Sat) - Free guided walk at Pasir Ris Mangroves
Adventures with the Naked Hermit Crabs

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PUB's Johor River Waterworks temporarily shut down in 7 pollution incidents since 2017: Masagos

Channel NewsAsia 6 May 19;

SINGAPORE: There have been seven pollution incidents along the Johor River since 2017 that caused PUB's Johor River Waterworks to be temporarily shut down, said Minister for the Environment and Water Resources Masagos Zulkifli on Monday (May 6).

Mr Masagos said this in a written response to parliamentary questions by Member of Parliament Seah Kian Peng on the impact that prolonged stoppage of the water treatment plant's operations had on Singapore, as well as Singapore's obligations to provide treated water to Johor under such a scenario.

"PUB will shut down its Johor River Waterworks when the Johor River is affected by pollution upstream of our waterworks," said Mr Masagos.

"Johor also has water treatment plants along the Johor River, upstream of the Johor River Waterworks, and will shut down the plants when pollution occurs upstream of them."

The seven pollution incidents were traced to illegal discharge from places like palm oil mills and chicken farms within the catchment area. So far there have been two pollution incidents in 2019, both involving high ammonia levels in the Johor River.

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Indonesia: Endangered Green and Hawksbill Turtles Released Back Into the Sea

NUR YASMIN Jakarta Globe 6 May 19;

Jakarta. Thirty endangered sea turtles that were discovered when they were about to be smuggled out of Indonesia were released back into their natural habitat in Riau's Natuna Sea on Sunday, the Maritime Affairs and Fisheries Ministry announced in a statement.

The turtles were seized from their smugglers by Polair Kepri (Riau Water Police), the ministry said.

Maritime Affairs and Fisheries Minister Susi Pudjiastuti and high-ranking officials from her ministry, including acting director general of maritime and fisheries resource monitoring Agus Suherman, and Riau government officials attended the official ceremony to release the endangered turtles back into the sea on Sunday.

"The 25 green turtles and five Hawksbill turtles were discovered in Batam by Riau Water Police," Agus said in the statement,

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Best of our wild blogs: 6 May 19

Butterfly of the Month - May 2019
Butterflies of Singapore

JOB OPPORTUNITY: Scientific Officer (Outreach and Education Unit)
Lee Kong Chian Natural History Museum

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2 new spots for Nee Soon residents to share reusable bags

Lim Min Zhang Straits Times 6 May 19;

While Singapore has not imposed a charge for single-use plastic bags, Nee Soon South constituency yesterday took another step towards encouraging the use of reusable bags.

It launched two more reusable bag-sharing stations, placed at the Sheng Siong and NTUC supermarkets in Khatib Central.

Anyone who requires the bags can take one, and they are encouraged to return them for the next user.

Since April last year, reusable bag-sharing stations have been set up at the eight residents' committees in the district and at Nee Soon South Community Club.

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Indonesia: BMKG issues extreme weather warning over next three days

Antara 6 May 19;

Jakarta (ANTARA) - The Meteorology, Climatology, and Geophysics Agency (BMKG) has forecast extreme weather in the subsequent three days in different parts of Indonesia.

Extreme weather conditions will arise due to low-pressure concentration in the Pacific Ocean, north of Papua, and in the Banda Sea, the agency noted in a written statement released on Monday.

Bengkulu, South Sumatra, Lampung, Banten, Jakarta, Java Sea, South Kalimantan, Southeast Sulawesi, Maluku, and Papua will experience wind shears, while East Kalimantan will bear witness to convergence.

The agency remarked that Jambi, Lampung, West Java, Yogyakarta, Central Kalimantan, North Kalimantan, Central Sulawesi, Southeast Sulawesi, and Papua were among the regions that could potentially be lashed by heavy downpours on Monday (May 5).

In the meantime, Aceh, North Sumatra, Bangka Belitung Islands, Jakarta and its surrounding areas (Jabodetabek), East Java, West Kalimantan, and Maluku were among the areas that may potentially receive high-intensity rainfall along with strong winds and flashes or lightening.

Torrential rains can potentially hit Jambi, Lampung, West Java, Yogyakarta, North Kalimantan, Central Sulawesi, Southeast Sulawesi, and Papua on Tuesday (May 7)

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A million species risk extinction, are we one of them?

Marlowe HOOD, AFP Yahoo News 6 May 19;

Paris (AFP) - Humanity is rapidly destroying the natural world upon which our prosperity -- and ultimately our survival -- depends, according to a landmark UN assessment of the state of Nature released Monday.

Changes wrought by decades of pillaging and poisoning forests, oceans, soil and air threaten society "at least as much as climate change," said Robert Watson, who chaired the 132-nation meeting that validated a Summary for Policymakers forged by 450 experts.

One million animal and plant species face extinction, many within decades, they reported.

Alarmingly, the accelerating pace at which unique life-forms are disappearing -- already tens to hundreds of times faster than during the last ten million years -- could tip Earth into the first mass extinction since non-avian dinosaurs died out 66 million years ago.

In the short term, humans are not at risk, said Josef Settele, a professor at the Helmholtz Centre for Environmental Research in Germany and co-chair of the UN Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES).

"In the longer term, it is hard to say," he told AFP. "If humans do go extinct, Nature will find its way, it always does."

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Australia's capital cities face water restrictions as dams near 50%

Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane have seen water levels hit near-decade lows after a hot summer and dry autumn
Naaman Zhou The Guardian 6 May 19;

Sydney, Darwin, Brisbane and Melbourne are all facing the prospect of dams below 50% capacity after low rainfall and high temperatures across the country.

In Sydney, inflows are at their lowest since 1940. Greater Sydney’s 11 dams were at a combined 55% capacity on Sunday – compared to 73% at the same time last year.

Sydney activated its desalination plant in January, when dam levels dropped below 60%, but levels continue to drop 0.4% a week. Stricter water restrictions will come into effect if the level drops below 50%. The last time Sydney’s dam levels neared 50% was in 2011.

In the Northern Territory, the Darwin river dam received its lowest-ever rainfall in March, as the territory recorded its driest wet season in 27 years. On Sunday, Darwin’s dam was at 76% capacity, compared with 98% last year.

In Melbourne, dam levels were at 51% on Monday, compared with 59% last year and 61% the year before.

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Best of our wild blogs: 5 May 19

International Coastal Cleanup Singapore (Sat 21 Sep 2019): Registration for Organisers is open!
News from the International Coastal Cleanup Singapore

Call for Toddycats Volunteer Festival of Biodiversity 2019 – signups are still open!

A Walk At Pasir Ris Park (26 Apr 2019)
Beetles@SG BLOG

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Why doesn’t recycling rope in the karang guni?

Singapore’s National Recycling Programme could be boosted if our rag-a-bone men were given a new lease of life as employed ambassadors, says Kavickumar Muruganathan.
Kavickumar Muruganathan Channel NewsAsia 5 May 19;

SINGAPORE: On Saturday (Apr 27), Nee Soon East, led by Member of Parliament Louis Ng, pledged to eliminate the use of plastic disposables from meetings and events over the next two years.

The community also announced a range of efforts to curb waste as part of its newly launched zero-waste masterplan, including innovative ways for residents to communicate with each other when they have excess food to give away through the use of Telegram.

Such local efforts to reduce waste ought to be commended. Unfortunately, recycling woes continue to plague Singapore in its designated year of climate change action.

Despite efforts to improve awareness, our overall recycling rate dipped slightly from 61 per cent in 2017 to 60 per cent in 2018, according to statistics from the National Environment Agency (NEA).

While the household recycling rate increased marginally from 21 per cent in 2017 to 22 per cent in 2018, these numbers need to show a significant improvement for Singapore to meet its 30 per cent recycling rate target by 2030.


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HDB unveils plans for new park in Bidadari estate

Channel NewsAsia 5 May 19;

SINGAPORE: A new park will be developed to form a “green lung” in the upcoming Bidadari estate, the Housing and Development Board (HDB) announced on Sunday (May 5).

The 10-hectare Bidadari Park will feature a lake, a heritage walk, experiential trails and a play area for children.

In designing the park, the team drew inspiration from the fictional Hundred Acre Wood in the Winnie-the-Pooh children’s series, said HDB.

“The team behind the planning and design of the park saw the opportunity to retain the wooded and rustic nature of Bidadari and to create a unique park experience for visitors,” it added.

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Malaysia: ‘Brace for heatwave’

clarissa chung The Star 5 May 19;

PETALING JAYA: Thunderstorms are likely now especially in the evenings, but Malaysians should brace themselves for dry and hot weather with the onset of the southwest monsoon.

The Malaysian Meteorological Depart­ment (MetMalaysia) said the southwest monsoon is due now and expected to last till September.

The winds during the southwest monsoon period would lead to a drier climate and less rain cloud formation, its director-general Datuk Alui Bahari said.

As such, heatwaves and dry spells are forecast to take place in many parts of the country.

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Malaysia: Man frees dolphin from fishing net in Sungai Kilim

Bernama New Straits Times 4 May 19;

LANGKAWI: A tourist boat skipper saved a dolphin that was entangled in a fishing net at the Sungai Kilim estuary here on Thursday (May 2).

Afiq Ali, 27, said during the 9am incident, he and a friend were heading towards the Teluk Mempelam and Gua Cherita beaches from the Sungai Kilim tourist jetty.

“About two kilometres from the jetty, I saw a wooden stick, used to fasten fishing nets, moving slowly in front of the boat.

"At the same time, I saw two or three dolphins swimming nearby.

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Malaysia: New oil spill detected off Tanjung Balau

Mohd Sabran Md Sani New Straits Times 3 May 19;

KOTA TINGGI: Another oil spill, estimated to weigh 60 tonnes, was detected in the waters off Tanjung Balau here on Thursday evening.

Southern Region (Johor) Marine Department assistant marine officer Roslee Ibrahim said the new oil spill was captured via satellite, and the images were forwarded by a United Kingdom-based non-governmental organisation.

“The oil spill was detected at 7pm yesterday (Thursday).

“The matter was relayed to the Johor Marine Department director Dickson Dollah at 8pm.

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Indonesia: 10 critically endangered Javan leopards spotted in West Java


A recent field survey conducted by environmental organization Conservation International (CI) Indonesia, in collaboration with the West Java Natural Resources Conservation Agency (BBKSDA) and supported by Chevron, has spotted 10 endangered Javan leopards in Guntur Papandayan conservation forest, West Java.

The leopard sightings were caught on 60 camera traps previously set up by CI Indonesia for a two-year field survey, from 2016 to 2018.

Eighty-three images captured by the cameras show that the leopards roam the conservation forest in the morning from 6 a.m. to 8 a.m. and at night from 10 p.m. to 12 a.m.

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Carbon tax best way to cut greenhouse gas emissions: IMF

AFP Yahoo News 4 May 19;

Washington (AFP) - At $70 per ton of carbon dioxide, a carbon tax would be the most efficient means of cutting greenhouse gas emissions, according to an International Monetary Fund report published Friday.

But for the moment, carbon taxes remain unpopular, particularly in France, where plans to increase it to 55 euros (or $61.60) from 44.60 euros recently ignited the Yellow Vest protest movement.

The French government was forced to suspend the plan in the face of popular revolt.

The Paris Agreement, adopted in 2015 by more than 200 countries, aims to cap overall increases in global temperatures at two degrees centigrade above the pre-industrial era.

"The 2C target would require cutting emissions by roughly a third by 2030 and a global carbon price of around $70 per ton," IMF Managing Director Christine Lagarde and Vitor Gaspar, the fund's head of fiscal affairs, said in a joint blog post.

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Best of our wild blogs: 3 May 19

5 May: Registration opens for FREE St. John's Island tour on 9 Jun (Sun)
Celebrating Singapore Shores!

Join us as volunteer educators at Festival of Biodiversity!
News from the International Coastal Cleanup Singapore

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Singapore shoppers given tool to choose products using ethical palm oil

Michael Taylor Reuters 2 May 19;

KUALA LUMPUR (Thomson Reuters Foundation) - A new online shopping tool gives Singaporeans the option of buying products made using ethical palm oil, a non-profit behind the scheme said on Thursday, as it looks to tackle the region’s haze fires.

Launched by the Singapore-based People’s Movement to Stop Haze (PM Haze) and advertising agency Havas Group, EcoCart is a Google Chrome ‘plugin’ that allows online shoppers to identify items that use sustainability produced palm oil.

As well as flagging items that do not contain sustainable palm oil, the tool suggests similar products that do.

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Malaysian minister criticises 'sensationalised' signs on palm oil at Singapore Zoo

NAVENE ELANGOVAN Today Online 2 May 19;

SINGAPORE — A Malaysian government minister has used a speech in Singapore to take a swipe at what she called “sensationalised” signs at Singapore Zoo that deal with palm oil production and deforestation.

Primary Industries Minister Teresa Kok called for solidarity among the Association of South-east Asian Nations (Asean) on the issue, in a keynote address at the 6th Singapore Dialogue on Sustainable World Resources, a forum organised by the Singapore Institute of International Affairs, a think-tank.

She said that Malaysia is working hard to create a sustainable palm oil industry and “it is sad to hear that sentiments against palm oil have also taken root in Singapore”.

“For example, the Singapore Zoo has on several occasions created sensationalised displays on palm oil and deforestation at its orangutan’s enclosures,” she told the audience at the Fullerton Hotel Singapore.

“These damage the image of palm oil producing countries within this region despite progressive efforts towards sustainability and wildlife conservation. In this case, Singapore Zoo acted possibly in haste and (is) reflecting emotions expressed by many ill-informed visitors.”

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Joint effort needed to fight climate change: Masagos

Minister suggests three new focus areas to combat challenges
Cheryl Teh Straits Times 3 May 19;

Dealing with the impacts of climate change and fundamentally transforming the way we produce and consume is an urgent global issue that calls for collective and integrated action, Minister for the Environment and Water Resources Masagos Zulkifli said yesterday.

This strong global and regional effort must come from all segments of society, he said.

"The world is at a critical turning point. We must adopt a more integrated approach to the way we develop our economy, cooperate with other countries in the region and globally, and work together in a society to build a sustainable and enduring home for all. Only then can we safeguard our planet for future generations," he added.

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Singapore at ‘moderate risk’ of severe haze in 2019: Report

NAVENE ELANGOVAN Today Online 2 May 19;

SINGAPORE — There is a "moderate risk" that Singapore will see a severe haze this year, similar to the one last seen in 2015.

The forecast is based on an inaugural haze outlook report by the Singapore Institute of International Affairs (SIIA).

The think-tank launched the Haze Outlook for Southern Asean Summary Report on Thursday (May 2) at the 6th Singapore Dialogue on Sustainable World Resources Conference, held at the Fullerton Hotel Singapore.

The full report will be available on SIIA’s website later this month.

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Brunei, Singapore enter agreement to set up state-of-the-art sea bass hatchery

Azlan Othman Borneo Bulletin 3 May 19;

BRUNEI Darussalam and Singapore signed a multi-million dollar contract to set up a world class hatchery and nursery for the production of juvenile barramundi (Asian sea bass) in the country for supply to offshore fish cages yesterday.

Two agreements were signed by the Department of Fisheries, Ministry of Primary Resources and Tourism with Barramundi Asia (B) Sdn Bhd as part of the contract: the Sea Licence Agreement and Land Lease Agreement.

Member of the Board of Directors of Barramundi Asia Andrew Kwan pointed out that sea bass is a well-loved fish in Southeast Asia, and there is a natural demand for the fish.

“As the global population grows rapidly from seven to nine billion, between now and 2030, we found out that (the need for) good animal protein will also be there. Sea bass is primarily for the Southeast Asian market,” he said.

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Malaysia: Harsher punishment under new environmental law - Minister

New Straits Times New Straits Times 3 May 19;

KUALA LUMPUR: The government aims to replace the Environmental Quality Act 1974 with a new act, which would see greater enforcement powers and stiffer punishments meted out to those who pollute the environment.

Energy, Science, Technology, Environment and Climate Change Minister Yeo Bee Yin said the new law would focus on boosting enforcement and legislative powers, given that current laws were insufficient to tackle environmental issues.

She said the bill was being drafted and once completed, could resolve environmental pollution issues, such as that in Sungai Kim Kim, Pasir Gudang, Johor, by providing heftier punishments.

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Indonesia sees drop in hotspots due to peatland restoration efforts, says agency

Vanessa Lim Channel NewsAsia 2 May 19;

SINGAPORE: The number of hotspots in restored peatlands in Indonesia has dropped by nearly 93 per cent since 2015, on the back of restoration efforts.

The figure was revealed on Thursday (May 2) by the head of Indonesia's peatland restoration agency Nazir Foead, on the sidelines of the 6th Singapore Dialogue on Sustainable World Resources.

Indonesia in 2016 launched an initiative to restore peatlands as part of efforts to tackle forest fires that sparked one of the region's worst haze crisis the year before.

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Indonesia: South Sumatra forest fire task force identifies five fire-prone areas

Antara 2 May 19;

Palembang (ANTARA) - The South Sumatra Forest and Land Fire Task Force has identified five fire-prone areas, the districts of Ogan Ilir, Ogan Komering Ilir, Musi Banyuasin, Muara Enim, and Banyuasin.

In Palembang on Thursday, commander of the South Sumatra Forest and Land Fire Task Force Task Force, Col. Arh Sonny Septiono, said that the five regions were their priorities because they had extensive peatlands.

"Basically, we are looking at all regions, but of course we will prioritize certain areas, given the limitations of existing personnel and equipment," said Colonel Arh Sonny Septiono.

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Indonesia: Five giant leatherbacks lay clutches of eggs in Raja Ampat

Antara 1 May 19;

Waisai (ANTARA) - Five giant leatherback turtles (Dermochelys coriacea) had reportedly laid clutches of eggs in Yenbekaki Village in Raja Ampat District, West Papua Province, in April 2019.

Yenbekaki Conservationist Group Chairman Yusuf Mayor remarked here on Wednesday that Warebar Beach in Yenbekaki Village has become the preferred spot for leatherback turtles to lay their clutches of eggs during the year.

Mayor confirmed that five leatherback turtles had surfaced, prepared their nesting sites, and laid their clutches of eggs at Warebar Beach in April this year, with their nests presently reach five.

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Best of our wild blogs: 1 May 19

Join NParks to patrol Singapore shores for sea turtles and more!
Celebrating Singapore Shores!

Singapore Bird Report – March 2019
Singapore Bird Group

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Thousands of fish dead near Lim Chu Kang jetty: Warmer temperatures suspected as cause

Vanessa Liu Straits Times 1 May 19;

SINGAPORE - The warmer weather in recent days may have caused thousands of fish to die in waters near Lim Chu Kang jetty and in nearby fish farms.

The fish started surfacing in the sea about two or three days ago, said Mr Simon Ho, communications officer at the Singapore's Fish Farmers Association.

"Because of the higher temperatures these few days, there's a lack of oxygen in the water. I believe the fishes died as a result," he noted.

He added that fish farmers in the area sent motorboats out to remove and dispose of the dead fish.

About four or five farms are said to have been affected with each reporting a loss of about one to two tonnes of fish on average - estimated to be worth from $3,000 to $4,000.

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