Best of our wild blogs: 29 Mar 19

2019 Draft Master Plan on wild shores of singapore

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Burning smell set to be reduced with rain: NEA

Timothy Goh Straits Times 29 Mar 19;

The burning smell reported across the island over the past two months may soon occur less frequently, the National Environment Agency (NEA) said yesterday.

On Feb 8, residents living in several parts of eastern Singapore, including Tampines, Bedok and Pasir Ris, reported a "strong burning smell" similar to haze. The source of the smell was later traced to a landfill fire in south-eastern Johor, which was later extinguished.

Complaints about the smell continued through mid-February and March, however, due to other fires and hot spots in the region.

NEA said yesterday that it has continued to receive feedback from the public about the burning smell in various areas of Singapore.

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Malaysia: All Sungai Kim Kim victims released from hospital

Rizalman Hammim New Straits Times 28 Mar 19;

JOHOR BARU: All victims of the Sungai Kim Kim toxic waste dumping case who were hospitalised for inhaling toxic fumes have been discharged.

State Health, Environment and Agriculture Committee chairman Dr Sahruddin Jamal said he was informed that the last victim who sought treatment following the incident was allowed to go home on March 25.

"All patients who were hospitalised have been released. So far, we have not received any new cases relating to the incident," said Dr Sahruddin.

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Malaysia: ‘Laws needed to protect Ulu Muda’

tan sin chow The Star 29 Mar 19;

GEORGE TOWN: Legislation is needed to gazette the Ulu Muda Forest Reserve in Kedah as a ‘Northern Region Water Catchment Area’, said the Penang Water Supply Corporation (PBAPP).

Its chief executive officer Datuk Jaseni Maidinsa said with laws to monitor and manage Ulu Muda, the reserve will receive protection not only as a rainforest area but also as a regional catchment area.

“There should also be federal compensation to Kedah for conserving Ulu Muda, as well as to Perlis and Penang.

“It is vital to gazette Ulu Muda as a water catchment area and only then can we guarantee raw water security for Kedah, Perlis and Penang,” he said.

Ulu Muda encompasses 163,103 ha of rainforest.

About 70% of Perlis’ raw water, 96% of Kedah’s raw water and more than 80% of Penang’s raw water originates from Ulu Muda.

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Indonesia: Police foil attempt to export Komodo dragons for Rp 500 million apiece

The Jakarta Post 28 Mar 19;

Police in East Java have busted a network of criminals they say attempted to smuggle 41 Komodo dragons out of the country and sell them for Rp 500 million (US$35,000) each.

The special crimes unit head of the East Java Police, Sr. Comr. Akhmad Yusep Gunawan, said the force had also rescued five baby Komodo dragons from the Surabaya-based group of alleged smugglers.

“The criminals intended to ship the animals to three countries in Southeast Asia through Singapore,” Yusep told reporters on Wednesday, as quoted by

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Asia's mega-cities need clean energy drive to cope with environmental threats

Henning Gloystein Reuters 28 Mar 19;

SINGAPORE (Reuters) - Avoiding threats from climate change and pollution will require Asia’s booming cities to become much more efficient in their use of energy resources, delegates at a city development conference said on Thursday.

Asia is home to 15 out of the world’s 20 biggest cities, and the United Nations estimates another 2.5 billion people will live in cities by 2050, by far the most in Asia.

This growth caused serious pollution problems and will challenge transport networks, food supply chains, and energy supplies, the delegates said.

“Cities occupy 2 to 3 percent of our planet’s surface, yet they consume 70 percent of all energy,” said Soren Kvorning, President for Asia Pacific at Danfoss, a Danish engineering firm with a strong focus on Asia.

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Climate change: Global impacts 'accelerating' - WMO

BBC 28 Mar 19;

The World Meteorological Organization (WMO) says that the physical and financial impacts of global warming are accelerating.

Record greenhouse gas levels are driving temperatures to "increasingly dangerous levels", it says.

Their report comes in the same week as the International Energy Agency (IEA) reported a surge in CO2 in 2018.

However, new data from the UK suggests Britain is bucking the trend with emissions down by 3%.

This year's State of the Climate report from the WMO is the 25th annual record of the climate.

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