Urgent need for action in region to address global biodiversity crisis: Local experts

Vanessa Liu Straits Times 7 May 19;

SINGAPORE - Despite conservation efforts within the country, there is an urgent need to look towards the region when dealing with the global biodiversity crisis, local experts say.

They were responding to a United Nations report released on Monday (May 6) that painted a grim picture of the state of ecosystems worldwide.

Up to a million species on earth are well on their way to becoming extinct due to human activities, according to the report.

Assistant Professor Janice Lee of the Asian School of the Environment at Nanyang Technological University said: "Singapore has come a long way in terms of nature conservation and has been very active in local conservation efforts.

"This has led to the recovery of some species on our island such as the Oriental pied hornbill and the smooth-coated otters, which are inspiring success stories for the region."

However, Dr Lee stressed that Singapore needs to play an active role in safeguarding not only the country's ecosystems and biodiversity, but also the region's.

Read more!

682 enforcement notices issued for pigeon feeding offences in the last 3 years

Matthew Mohan Channel NewsAsia 8 May 19;

SINGAPORE: A total of 682 enforcement notices were issued for pigeon feeding offences over the past three years, said Parliamentary Secretary for National Development Sun Xueling on Wednesday (May 8).

She was responding to parliamentary questions from MP Lim Biow Chuan on the number of summons that have been issued to offenders who feed pigeons, and if there were other measures the ministry could introduce as deterrents.

Ms Sun said that the National Parks Board (NParks) currently makes use of measures such as the installing of cameras and conducting surveillance at identified feeding hotspots.

Read more!

New Corrective Work Order vests introduced as littering offences rise

Channel NewsAsia 7 May 19;

SINGAPORE: Amid a spike in littering offences, Corrective Work Orders (CWOs) are being made more visible with new, brighter vests and signs put up at CWO locations.

Introduced in 1992, CWO involves making recalcitrant litterbugs pick up trash at public areas for between three and 12 hours. The penalty "carries an element of shame" which helps deter littering, according to Singapore authorities.

About 2,600 CWOs were issued last year, a 30 per cent rise compared to 2,000 cases in the previous year, the National Environment Agency (NEA) said on Tuesday (May 7).

A total of 39,000 tickets for littering offences were issued during the year – an increase of nearly 22 per cent compared with 32,000 cases in 2017.

Read more!

Malaysia: Northern states to experience heavy rain, strong winds - MET dept

Bernama New Straits Times 8 May 19;

KUALA LUMPUR: Perlis, Kedah and Penang will experience heavy rains, strong winds and turbulent seas following the start of the southwest monsoon season yesterday.

Malaysian Meteorological Department’s National Weather and Geophysics Operations Centre director Dr Mohd Hisham Mohd Anip said the southwest monsoon would bring heavy rains and strong winds to the states due to the location.

He said the southwest monsoon would bring more winds to Perlis, Kedah and Penang, compared to other states on the west coast of Peninsular that were protected by the Sumatra Island, such as Selangor, Negeri Sembilan, Melaka and Johor.

Read more!