Best of our wild blogs: 30 Apr 19

FREE guided walks on Sentosa's natural shores in May
Celebrating Singapore Shores!

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Singapore buildings put on a cool, green face

Eco-friendly certification scheme helps fulfill Lee Kuan Yew's garden city dreams
MAYUKO TANI Nikkei 29 Apr 19;

SINGAPORE -- Hotels, stores and shopping malls in Singapore, looking for a way to cut their air conditioning bills and spruce up their environmental image, are increasingly adding greenery to their exterior walls.

The 27-story Oasia Hotel Downtown in the Tanjong Pagar business district, whose outer mesh cladding is swathed in trailing green plants, stands out among its high-rise neighbors. The Parkroyal on Pickering, a hotel in nearby Chinatown, has layers of balcony gardens.

The greening is one part environmental conservation and one part bottom line: Green walls help reduce the cost of cooling a building by reducing the temperature of exterior walls and mitigating the heat-island effect -- the higher temperatures found in heavily built-up areas.

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60% of Singaporean households recycle regularly, but many not doing it right: Surveys

Channel NewsAsia 29 Apr 19;

SINGAPORE: Can plastic toys, clothes and glass pots be recycled? If you say yes, you're not alone, but these items do not belong in a recycling bin, according to authorities.

Around 60 per cent of Singaporean households recycle regularly, but many still find it difficult to identify contaminants and non-recyclables, surveys conducted by the Ministry of the Environment and Water Resources (MEWR) and the National Environment Agency (NEA) have found.

The two surveys, which were conducted between June 2018 and February 2019, covered different aspects of household recycling, said the agencies in a joint media release on Monday (Apr 29).

According to the findings, the top items recycled were paper materials like newspapers, magazines, junk mail, brochures and writing paper.

Clothes, shoes and bags were also among the top items recycled. However, these items should be donated – if in good condition – instead of being recycled, said the agencies.

“These wrongly recycled items contribute to the high contamination rate of the recyclables collected from the blue recycling bins,” said MEWR and NEA.

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Malaysia: Water Resources Bill to address water pollution and river problems

Tasnim Lokman New Straits Times 29 Apr 19;

PUTRAJAYA: The Water, Land and Natural Resources Ministry is in the midst of drafting a uniform and comprehensive Water Resources Bill to clamp down on water pollution.

Its minister Dr Xavier Jayakumar said the bill would empower all states to enhance the management, control and enforcement of their water resources.

He said the new legislation would also be a guide for discussions and coordination on issues involving water resources that are shared by two or more states.

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Indonesia: Jokowi wants to move capital out of Java

Marguerite Afra Sapiie The Jakarta Post 29 Apr 19;

President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo has decided to push ahead with a plan to move the capital from Jakarta by establishing a new center of government outside Java, citing the need to ensure more equitable development and address overpopulation in the country’s most populous island.

The National Development Planning Agency (Bappenas) presented its initial study on the relocation plan during a Cabinet meeting led by Jokowi on Monday, where the top executives discussed alternatives to establish a new political and government hub amid environmental concerns and overcrowding in Jakarta.

“The President has decided in the meeting to move the capital outside Java,” Bappenas head Bambang Brodjonegoro said in a press conference after the meeting on Monday.

Bappenas presented three alternatives.

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Indonesia: Death toll in Bengkulu floods, landslides climbs to 29

Ivany Atina Arbi The Jakarta Post 29 Apr 19;

At least 29 people have died in flash floods and landslides that hit the province of Bengkulu over the weekend, while 13 remain missing, according to the latest figures.

The National Disaster Mitigation Agency (BNPB) revealed on Monday that Central Bengkulu regency accounted for the majority of casualties, with 22 people found dead. Three more fatalities were reported in Kepahiang regency, one in Lebong regency and three in Bengkulu city.

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Thailand: Coral off Phuket suffering from bleaching

The Thaiger 27 Apr 19;

Corals have started to bleach off the coast of Phuket. The problem is due to the warming of the sea, according to reports from the Phuket-based operations centre of the 2nd National Marine Park.

Marine scientists at the centre conducted a survey of coral reefs off Nai Yang beach in the Sirinat national park last Thursday and found that the sea surface temperature was over 30 degrees Celsius and that 10% of the staghorn and mushroom corals, between 1-4 metres deep, had started to bleach, although they are not yet dead.

The report says that, if the warming of the sea continues, the coral bleaching problem will become more serious and will affect the ability of the reefs to regenerate.

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Coral bleaching in Arabian Gulf modulated by shamal winds, say NYUAD researchers

Emirates News Agency 29 Apr 19;

ABU DHABI, 29th April, 2019 (WAM) -- Corals in the Arabian Gulf are not immune to extreme heat events associated with global warming that are impacting coral reefs elsewhere in the world, researchers at New York University Abu Dhabi have revealed.

Using reef-based temperature loggers and mathematical models, research published in the journal Frontiers in Marine Science, showed that coral in the Gulf - the most thermally tolerant in the world - has become more vulnerable to bleaching events when weak summer winds do not cool the water's surface.

Without these winds, which are known as shamal (northerly) winds, the Gulf’s shallow waters can reach temperatures considered lethal to coral for extended periods in summer, according to the study’s authors, NYUAD Associate Professor of Biology John Burt, and NYUAD Associate Professor of Mathematics Francesco Paparella.

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