What Singapore can do to prepare for the next flood

Floods cannot be completely eliminated, but can be managed, say Cecilia Tortajada and Asit K Biswas.
Cecilia Tortajada and Asit K Biswas Channel NewsAsia 8 Jan 19;

SINGAPORE: The year-end monsoon season typically sets off alarm bells to watch for flooding, particularly in Singapore, once beset by images of an Orchard Road ponding incident.

Although such incidents evince snarls and flare up tempers, in other cities, people have developed creative responses to floods.

In Thailand, we have witnessed how the recent tropical storm Pabuk resulted in heavy floods and left more than 30,000 people in evacuation shelters. This is an example of the severe impact of a single, very unusual weather event for which resilience is much needed.


The reality is that climate change will bring to bear unpredictable and unprecedented weather patterns.

So it is fortuitous that the United National Climate Change Conference organised in Poland in early December 2018 united once again most countries on what should be a coordinated and effective response on adaptation, mitigation and preparedness for coping with climate change.

Climate change has a global reach and is impacting societies all over the world. Extreme climatological events such as floods, droughts and hurricanes are affecting more cities.

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With farms atop malls, Singapore gets serious about food security

Rina Chandran Reuters 8 Jan 19;

SINGAPORE (Thomson Reuters Foundation) - Visitors to Singapore’s Orchard Road, the city’s main shopping belt, will find fancy malls, trendy department stores, abundant food courts - and a small farm.

Comcrop’s 600-square-metre (6,450-square-foot) farm on the roof of one of the malls uses vertical racks and hydroponics to grow leafy greens and herbs such as basil and peppermint that it sells to nearby bars, restaurants and stores.

The farm’s small size belies its big ambition: to help improve the city’s food security.

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Lower Peirce Reservoir fishing grounds reopened after 140 motoro stingrays removed

Choo Yun Ting Straits Times 7 Jan 19;

SINGAPORE - Fishing grounds at Lower Peirce Reservoir have been reopened after around 140 motoro stingrays were removed.

In a Facebook post on Monday (Jan 7), national water agency PUB said that the non-native stingrays were removed from the reservoir waters with the assistance of the National University of Singapore and the National Parks Board.

The fishing grounds, which reopened on Monday, were closed after motoro rays were sighted at Lower Peirce Reservoir on Dec 20 last year.

However, the fishing grounds at Upper Seletar Reservoir will remain closed until further notice, PUB said.

In December, the agency said that 75 motoro stingrays had been removed from the reservoirs and waterways since 2015.

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Malaysia: Sabah Wildlife Dept still unable to identify source in viral photo of abused turtle

stephanie lee The Star 7 Jan 19;

KOTA KINABALU: Sabah wildlife authorities are still not able to find the source behind a viral photo, believed taken on a boat, which showed a turtle being abused.

Sabah Wildlife Department director Augustine Tuuga said all personnel in the department are involved in finding out the source of the photo, and to investigate whether the incident happened in Sabah.

So far, we have yet to get any information as to who took the photo, where it was taken, and who the perpetrators are,” he said.

The photo, which shows a person sitting on a turtle with another stepping on it, had made its rounds on social media like Facebook and on messaging app WhatsApp.

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Indonesia: Ministry prepares for forest fires following moderate el Nino forecast

Antara 7 Jan 19;

Jakarta (ANTARA News) - The Environment and Forestry Ministry has taken early precautionary measures against land and forest fires, with the climatology agency forecasting moderate El Nino during the period from January to February.

"Moderate El Nino will be experienced in Indonesia from early January to February 2019 that will necessitate the adoption of early anticipatory measures," the ministry`s Director General of Climate Change Ruandha Agung noted in a statement here on Monday.

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