Best of our wild blogs: 23 Mar 19

Pesta Ubin 2019 workshop
wild shores of singapore

St John's Island shores after one year of closure
wild shores of singapore

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Green label soon for firms' water-efficient equipment

Effort to help businesses like hotels, eateries conserve water to start from this April or May
Shabana Begum Straits Times 23 Mar 19;

Water-efficient equipment such as commercial dishwashers will soon carry a green label, in an effort to help businesses such as hotels and restaurants conserve water. This is the latest move in Singapore's push to ensure that taps here do not run dry for future generations.

Speaking at the GoBlue4SG night carnival at Marina Barrage yesterday to mark World Water Day, Environment and Water Resources Minister Masagos Zulkifli, who was joined by Senior Minister of State for the Environment and Water Resources Amy Khor, reiterated the need for households and industries to commit to using less water.

He said: "Water demand here is projected to double by 2060, and that is also around the time when our water agreement with Malaysia ends." The water agreement will expire in 2061.

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Johor expecting water treatment plants in next three to four years to reduce reliance on Singapore

Asia One 22 Mar 19;

JOHOR BARU - The state hopes to have several new water treatment plants to enable it to better manage its resources and not be reliant on buying water from Singapore.

Johor Menteri Besar Osman Sapian said the state government is sharing and providing ideas to the federal government on ways to reduce dependence on treated water from Singapore.

"I have brought forward proposals that would be helpful for the federal government to realise this aim.

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Malaysia: All 111 schools in Pasir Gudang to re-open on March 31

The Star 22 Mar 19;

JOHOR BARU (Bernama): All 111 schools in the Pasir Gudang area closed following the Sungai Kim Kim chemical waste pollution incident will re-open on March 31.

Johor Education Department deputy director Azman Adnan said

work to clean-up the schools would be carried out first, with the cooperation of the Parent-Teacher Association.

“Those involved in the cleaning-up will be the parents, communities, government agencies, non-governmental organisations and the private sector. Students won't be involved.

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Malaysia: Penang dams take a critical dip

r. sekaran and n. trisha The Star 23 Mar 19;

GEORGE TOWN: With the current dry spell, the dams in the state have dipped to critical levels.

The Ayer Itam Dam capacity has fallen to 49.1% compared to 60.4% on March 8, while at the Teluk Bahang Dam, it has dipped to 70.7% from 75.6% during the same period.

Chief Minister Chow Kon Yeow is expected to visit the Ayer Itam Dam tomorrow to attend a briefing on the water levels.

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Why kill these gentle giants of the oceans, nature lovers question 150kg stingray catch

stephen then The Star 22 Mar 19;

MIRI: Giant stingrays are being blatantly caught offshore northern Sarawak by local fishermen, and nature lovers are questioning whether there is a need to catch and kill these gentle giants of the ocean.

On Friday (March 22) morning, a local fishermen in Sibuti district, 60km south of Miri, publicly boasted about catching a stingray weighing 150kg in the South China Sea off the coast here.

He posted pictures of himself hauling up a huge stingray, measuring the height of an adult man.

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Malaysia: Most landfills in Johor at full capacity

venesa devi The Star 23 Mar 19;

JOHOR BARU: Most landfills in Johor are severely overloaded and could be shut down at any time, says Tan Hong Pin.

The Local Government, Science and Technology Committee chairman said currently, there were 16 sanitary landfills throughout the state.

“Some of them have reached their limit while several others are almost full.

“We are having a challenging time figuring out ways to resolve the issue, especially at areas in northern Johor as plans for the opening of a landfill in Bukit Payong, Parit Sulung, has been postponed,” he said when met after the SuteraFOLO Farm open day yesterday.

“We are in the process of identifying suitable areas for rubbish disposal and sanitary landfills, as well as other methods to safely dispose waste materials.

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Indonesia: S. Sumatra to likely face longer drought

Ujang Idrus, Rahmad Nasution Antara 22 Mar 19;

Palembang (ANTARA) - The South Sumatra Disaster Mitigation Agency (BPBD) has forecast that this year's drought may last longer than that of 2018, so necessary preventive measures should be taken against the threats of bush and forest fires.

No rain was received during the peak of this year's dry season. Hence, to halt bush and forest fires, preventive measures are necessary since South Sumatra has peatland areas, the agency's head, Iriansyah, stated in Palembang on Friday.

It was not easy to extinguish the wild fires in peatland areas, he stated, adding that the BPBD officials had mapped South Sumatra Province's fire-prone districts of Ogan Komering Ilir, Ogan Ilir, Banyuasin, Musi Banyuasin, and Muaraenim.

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Project promises to turn palm oil plantations back into rainforest in Borneo

Brooks Hays UPI 22 Mar 19;

An aerial photos shows the first 38 acres of palm oil plantation that will be turned back into rainforest on the island of Borneo. Photo by Robert Risch

March 22 (UPI) -- Across the island of Borneo, conservationists are preparing to rewild palm oil plantations. The project will see agricultural acreage turned back into near-natural rainforest.

The list of species threatened by deforestation as a result of palm oil production in Malaysia and Indonesia includes the orangutan, Sumatran elephant, Bornean pygmy elephant, Sumatran rhino and Sumatran tiger.

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Plastic pollution: can the ocean really be cleaned up?

While the ultimate goal is to stop plastics from entering the water in the first place, cleanup projects play an important role
Joanna Khan The Guardian 21 Mar 19;

Somewhere in Hilo, on Hawaii’s Big Island, a team of scientists and engineers are tending to The Ocean Cleanup’s 600-metre-long rubbish-herding device, after its maiden voyage to the Great Pacific garbage patch was cut short in December 2018, because it fractured into two pieces.

The project has had its fair share of problems since it was unveiled in May 2017 and has been criticised by marine scientists and environmental groups for its potential negative environmental impact. However, some still herald The Ocean Cleanup for having a positive effect on plastic pollution.

Pete Ceglinski, the Australian co-founder and chief executive of the Seabin Project – plastic-cleaning devices deployed in harbours and marinas – is one. He credits Boyan Slat, the inventor behind The Ocean Cleanup, with increasing the global awareness of the ocean plastics issue over the past six years.

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