Best of our wild blogs: 15 May 19

25 May (Sat): R.U.M. mangrove cleanup
Restore Ubin Mangroves (R.U.M.) Initiative

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From ideas to action, Singapore youth are making a difference in the community in their own ways

AsiaOne 14 May 19;

"Self-absorbed", "apathetic", "deeply self-entitled", "couldn't care less" - do our youth deserve to be stereotyped this way?

If you listen to their life experiences, learn about their life-changing initiatives and read about their hopes for our nation, you will realise that they are nothing like the labels you may have used on them.

In the past year, the Youth Conversations series engaged over 8,000 youth aged 15 to 35 to share their views and ideas for change on various issues that Singapore faces.

Here are some of the insights gathered from these conversations:

Youth are redefining their version of success

The youth are aware that society views success differently from them.

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Malaysia: Two suspected poachers arrested, firearms, bullets seized

T.N.Alages New Straits Times 14 May 19;

KUANTAN: Five men, believed to be poachers, entered the Lesong Forest Reserve in Rompin yesterday afternoon with firearms to hunt.

However, their luck ran out when they were stopped in their tracks by a team of Wildlife and National Parks Department (Perhilitan) rangers who were patrolling in the area about 1.30pm.

As the rangers were inspecting the Mitsubishi Pajero four-wheel-drive vehicle they were travelling in three of the suspects jumped off the vehicle and fled into the forest.

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Malaysia: Lift bags are harmful to turtles - Divers

stephanie lee The Star 15 May 19;

KOTA KINABALU: Professional divers in Semporna are concerned with the “lift bag” method used by certain researchers to tag turtles in waters off Mabul island.

Semporna Professional Divers Association deputy president Dahlan Maizin said using lift bags to bring turtles to the surface might be harmful to the marine species.

“This method was used a few years back and, recently, we saw some researchers using the same method.

“One of us had taken part in the research work a few years ago and took a video of the process.

The researchers were believed to be from local higher learning institutes.

Citing the concept of diving and resurfacing in humans, Dahlan said such a method where a person swims to the surface quickly without any break in between were life threatening due to the drastic change in the pressure to body functions.

“It could be the same for the turtles that are lifted out of the water in such a quick manner.

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Indonesia: West Java aims to be malaria-free by 2022

Arya Dipa The Jakarta Post 14 May 19;

The West Java administration is aiming to be malaria-free by 2022, as at least four regencies in the province are still being declared malaria-endemic areas.

Data issued by the West Java health agency show 23 of the 27 regencies and cities across the province have obtained malaria-free certification. On the other hand, malaria cases still occur in the Pangandaran, Garut, Sukabumi and Tasikmalaya regencies.

“What occurred in Sukabumi, Garut and Tasikmalaya were imported malaria cases. Meanwhile, an indigenous case occurred in Pangandaran,” West Java governor Ridwan Kamil reported in a statement on Monday.

According to the World Health Organization, imported malaria cases occur when the infection was acquired from outside the area in which it is diagnosed. Indigenous cases are contracted locally with no evidence of importation and no direct link to transmission from an imported case.

Despite being malaria-endemic areas, the four regions' annual parasite incident rate -- the number of malaria cases per 1,000 residents in a year -- was less than one.

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Mismanaged waste 'kills up to a million people a year globally'

Report says plastics adding to death tolls in the developing world from easily prevented diseases
Fiona Harvey The Guardian 14 May 19;

Mismanaged waste is causing hundreds of thousands of people to die each year in the developing world from easily preventable causes, and plastic waste is adding a new and dangerous dimension to the problem, a report has found.

Municipal waste frequently goes uncollected in poorer countries and its buildup fuels the spread of disease. Between 400,000 and 1 million people are dying as a result of such mismanaged waste, according to the charity Tearfund.

While mismanaged waste has been a problem for decades, the growth of plastic pollution, , which does not break down in the environment, is adding a fresh set of problems to an already dire situation. Plastic waste is blocking waterways and causing flooding, which in turn spreads waterborne diseases. When people burn the waste to get rid of it, it releases harmful toxins and causes air pollution.

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Plastic pollution harms the bacteria that help produce the oxygen we breathe

Macquarie University Science Daily 14 May 19;

Ten per cent of the oxygen we breathe comes from just one kind of bacteria in the ocean. Now laboratory tests have shown that these bacteria are susceptible to plastic pollution, according to a study published in Communications Biology.

"We found that exposure to chemicals leaching from plastic pollution interfered with the growth, photosynthesis and oxygen production of Prochlorococcus, the ocean's most abundant photosynthetic bacteria," says lead author and Macquarie University researcher Dr Sasha Tetu.

"Now we'd like to explore if plastic pollution is having the same impact on these microbes in the ocean."

Plastic pollution has been estimated to cause more than US$13 billion in economic damage to marine ecosystems each year, and the problem is only getting worse with marine plastic pollution estimated to outweigh fish by 2050.

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