Best of our wild blogs: 31 Mar 19

Student ideas for developing Changi
wild shores of singapore

Night Walk Along Island Club Road (29 Mar 2019)
Beetles@SG BLOG

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NParks launches 36km trail linking Coney Island with Jurong Lake

Channel NewsAsia 31 Mar 19;

SINGAPORE: The National Parks Board on Saturday (Mar 30) launched a 36km trail linking Coney Island Park in the northeast with Jurong Lake Gardens in the west.

The Coast-to-Coast (C2C) Trail cuts across Singapore and takes visitors through a variety of parks and nature areas, with highlights such as Bukit Batok Nature Park and Bishan-Ang Mo Kio Park.

In addition to an online guide, the trail also comes with its very own augmented reality (AR) app, which uses 3D-animated characters to provide information about native flora and fauna and surrounding areas of interest, NParks said in its media release.

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Commentary: Beyond scarcity and security, does Singapore need a new water narrative?

Have strides made in water management drowned out a longstanding attitude concerning the importance of water conservation? Can a new culture of empowerment and ground-up action reverse that tide?
Lin Suling Channel NewsAsia 31 Mar 19;

SINGAPORE: Water conservation has been an ethos drilled into those of my generation.

I remember my primary school conducting at least one water-rationing exercise. Water coolers, taps and toilets were shut off for a few hours.

It was not the most pleasant experience. At 11, when you had to go, you went. And you only had a small pail of water to flush down your business.

But this deliberately painful exercise indeed underscored how precious timely and reliable access to water was.


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Cambodia’s environment, Singapore’s problem

Surekha A. Yadav Malay Mail 31 Mar 19;

MARCH 31 — So, apparently, my neighbourhood smells of urine.

That’s right, Yishun — that proud northern region of our island — denigrated by the ignorant as a hotbed of crime (okay, there were a couple of cat killers) is now literally a pee town?

Honestly, this is rubbish! Firstly, Yishun is a lovely neighbourhood and secondly, I haven’t noticed any urine smell and don’t know anyone who has.

Still, on the online forums it is apparently a thing.

The National Environment Authority has said the urine and burning smells detected island-wide are in fact the result of fires at landfills and farm sites in Johor.

And this brings us to a serious point; from the regional plastic waste that washes up on our shores to the oil slicks that appear due to discharge from passing ships and of course the Indonesian haze that often chokes us in the hot months, Singapore seems to be the perpetual victim of other nations’ inability to take care of their environment.

But is this really the case?

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Malaysia: Is life without plastic bags possible in Penang? Yes, say NGOs

BALVIN KAUR New Straits Times 30 Mar 19;

GEORGE TOWN: Penang non-governmental organisations have called on the state government to ramp up its efforts to tackle the problem of single-use plastic bags in the state.

While welcoming the state government’s move to mull increasing plastic bag charges to 50 sen a piece for consumers, they believe that more needs to be done to beef up existing regulations.

Consumer Association of Penang president S.M Mohamed Idris said that despite Penang being the first state to implement a ‘no free plastic bags policy’ in the country back in July 2009, it is still being widely used in Penang.

“The ‘no free plastic bag’ ruling only applies to shopping outlets but not hawkers and markets,” he said.

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Malaysia: 111 Pasir Gudang schools reopen after Sg Kim Kim pollution disaster

Mohamed Farid Noh New Straits Times 31 Mar 19;

PASIR GUDANG: Classes resumed at 111 schools in Pasir Gudang today after being closed for approximately two weeks following the chemical pollution of Sungai Kim Kim, which sickened thousands.

Checks by the New Straits Times at Sekolah Menengah Kebangsaan (SMK) Pasir Gudang 2, which is located about 5km from Sungai Kim Kim, saw many students still wearing face masks as a precautionary measure.

It is learnt that roughly 90 per cent of pupils have returned to their respective schools.

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Whale shark selfies in the Philippines’ seaside ‘theme park’: A tourist experience that's out of control?

A fleeting sighting of the world’s biggest fish - a rare and mysterious creature - would be special. In Oslob though, a small fishing village in the central Philippines, they appear in a procession, a controversial operation that has divided the country.
Jack Board Channel NewsAsia 30 Mar 19;

OSLOB, Philippines: The effortless glide of the whale shark is a spectacular sight. Close to the surface of the water, the spotted skin of each passing giant shimmers in the refracting sunlight.

A fleeting glimpse of the world’s biggest fish - a rare and mysterious creature - would be special. In Oslob, though, a small fishing village in the central Philippines, they appear in a procession.

On this day, some 15 sharks, most of them male juveniles, have made their way into the so-called “interaction zone”. About 2,000 people will join them, and for five hours the sharks will perform lap after lap along their underwater catwalk.

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Indonesia: Forest patrol continues in anticipation of Ell Nino-induced fires

Antara 30 Mar 19;

Jakarta (ANTARA) - The Environment and Forestry Ministry's Post Command for Forest Fire Control has continued its routine and integrated patrols to anticipate hot spots indicating of forest and land fires as moderate El Nino is expected to develop from April until July 2019.

The post command had extinguished hot spots to prevent forest fires in several provinces, Raffles B Panjaitan, the ministry's director of forest and land fire control, said in a statement here on Saturday.

They are conducting routine patrols among other things in the provinces of North Sumatra, Jambi, South Sumatra, South Kalimantan, South Sulawesi, North Sulawesi, and Southeast Sulawesi.

Integrated patrols are being carried out in West Kalimantan, Central Kalimantan and East Kalimantan Provinces.

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Indonesia: Emergency period ends for flood-torn Sentani

Ivany Atina Arbi The Jakarta Post 30 Mar 19;

The National Disaster Management Agency (BNPB) announced on Saturday that authorities had decided to end the 14-day emergency period in Sentani district, Jayapura, Papua, after a flash flood struck the area on March 16.

It is known that 112 died in the disaster, while 17 others remain missing. Light to severe injuries were sustained by 961 people.

With the end of the emergency period, the transition phase will last three months until July 27, BNPB spokesperson Sutopo Purwo Nugroho said in a statement.

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Alaska bakes under heat wave linked to climate change

Jocelyne ZABLIT, AFP Yahoo News 30 Mar 19;

Los Angeles (AFP) - Alaska residents accustomed to subzero temperatures are experiencing a heat wave of sorts that is shattering records, with the thermometer jumping to more than 30 degrees Fahrenheit (16.7 Celsius) above normal in some regions.

"Both February and March have been exceptionally warm," Rick Thoman, a climate specialist with the Alaska Center for Climate Assessment and Policy, told AFP. "Many places are on their way to their warmest March on record."

He said that cities and towns in the northern half of the state, including Wainwright, Nuiqsut, Kaktovik and Barrow (also known as Utqiagvik), could see temperatures soar 25 to 40 degrees Fahrenheit (14 to 22 Celsius) above normal this weekend as the warm trend continues.

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