63-year-old man dies from dengue in 4th death this year

Channel NewsAsia 31 May 19;

SINGAPORE: A 63-year-old man has become the fourth person to die from dengue this year, the Ministry of Health (MOH) and the National Environment Agency (NEA) said on Friday (May 31).

The man died on Wednesday, MOH and NEA added.

“The patient’s residence at Hougang Ave 1 is not an active dengue cluster. Nonetheless, vector control operations to kill adult mosquitoes and destroy any potential breeding habitats are ongoing,” MOH said.

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How Under Threat Singapore Is Taking Action to Battle Climate Change

Revathi Valluvar Bloomberg 31 May 19;

With almost one-third of Singapore just five meters above sea level, land reclamation isn’t only a way to create more space, it’s an environmental imperative. And while politicians elsewhere dither over climate change, the city-state is taking a decisive stance, rolling out a range of initiatives aimed at limiting the effects of global warming.

“It’s an existential threat,” Minister for National Development Lawrence Wong said in an interview Thursday.

Singapore, one of the world’s smallest nations, makes up for its lack of space by careful planning. A draft master plan released in March outlined a strategy to rejuvenate the island’s central area so that more people can live closer to work. It also proposed creating another 1,000 hectares of parks and park connectors so that in future, more than 90% of households will be within walking distance of a green space.

Wong said Thursday that Singapore has been successfully using polders, or dykes, to reclaim land. It’s a Dutch concept that’s cheaper than using sand to fill in the sea and better for low-lying areas.

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Malaysia: Environment and wildlife protection key to Sabah's economic growth

Olivia Miwil New Straits Times 31 May 19;

KOTA KINABALU: Sabah can sustain its positive tourism sector performance and growth by continuously protecting of its environment and wildlife, said economist Dr Rafiq Idris.

The Universiti Malaysia Sabah Business, Economics and Accountancy faculty senior lecturer said Sabah’s natural environment had contributed towards its big tourist numbers.

“People continuously visit Sabah because of its ‘nature’. The beautiful beaches, islands, mountain, waterfalls, jungles and wildlife among others are among the main reasons tourists come.

“Good environment and wildlife protection would attract tourists from around the globe to visit Sabah which has potential to further contribute to the state’s tourism sector significantly," he said in a statement.

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Thailand: Coral bleaching off Koh Phi Phi

Kritsada Mueanhawong The Thaiger 31 May 19;

Corals at Koh Phi Phi near a famous driving point has started to bleach.

Paranya Pantajit, a scuba expert in Krabi says, “Corals near a famous diving point at Koh Phi Phi is beaching. There are many marine lives living around this coral.”

“The temperature at 8 metres deep in the sea is about 31 degree Celsius. Corals in in other islands in Krabi have started to bleach as well.”

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Philippines ships dumped trash back to Canada

AFP 31 May 19;

Tonnes of garbage sent to the Philippines years ago was shipped back to Canada on Friday after a festering diplomatic row, as Asian nations increasingly reject serving as dumping grounds for international trash.

After a long campaign to urge Canada to take back the rotting waste, Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte lashed out at Ottawa last week and ordered the refuse returned immediately.

The 69 shipping containers of garbage were loaded onto a cargo vessel at Subic Bay, a former US naval base and shipping port northwest of Manila, and began the lengthy trip to Canada.

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U.S. biologists probe deaths of 70 emaciated gray whales

Yereth Rosen, Reuters Yahoo News 1 Jun 19;

ANCHORAGE, Alaska (Reuters) - U.S. government biologists have launched a special investigation into the deaths of at least 70 gray whales washed ashore in recent months along the U.S. West Coast, from California to Alaska, many of them emaciated, officials said on Friday.

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) declared the whale die-off an "unusual mortality event," a designation that triggers greater scrutiny and allocation of more resources to determine the cause.

So far this year, 37 dead gray whales have turned up in California waters, three in Oregon, 25 in Washington state and five in Alaska, say officials of NOAA’s National Marine Fisheries Service. Five more were found in British Columbia.

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