Best of our wild blogs: 10-11 Jun 19

Rainbow rocks at Pulau Ubin!
wild shores of singapore

16 Jun (Sun): Turtle Tails - Biology and Conservation of Sea Turtles in the 21st Century
Celebrating Singapore Shores!

Buffer Parks to Nature Reserves
Butterflies of Singapore

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MPA, conservation group team up to promote marine biodiversity

Lim Min Zhang Straits Times 10 Jun 19;

The Maritime and Port Authority (MPA) and local marine conservation group Our Singapore Reefs have teamed up to promote the importance of Singapore's marine biodiversity.

They will organise underwater clean-up activities and public outreach events each year as part of a three-year collaboration.

Kicking off the partnership as part of efforts to commemorate World Oceans Day last Saturday, 20 volunteer divers completed an underwater clean-up exercise in the southern waters around Lazarus Island yesterday.

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Amid the doom and gloom over climate change, environment advocates hold out hope for better future

NAVENE ELANGOVAN Today Online 9 Jun 19;

SINGAPORE — After a week of sitting through discussions about climate change, participants at an environmental conference here walked away feeling a slight sense of optimism despite the challenges ahead for the world.

Around 2,000 global business leaders, policymakers, entrepreneurs and academics converged at the Sands Expo and Convention Centre for the inaugural Ecosperity Week from June 4 to 7 to discuss matters ranging from how to build sustainable businesses to threats facing the ocean.

Some conference participants whom TODAY spoke to acknowledged that these are dire times.

Marine ecologist Alex Rogers likens climate change to a train that is “coming down the tunnel to hit us very, very hard”.

The world will become “increasingly chaotic because of extreme weather events”, he said, as he called for people to start adopting more sustainable lifestyles.

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This Convenience Store Doesn’t Sell Food Or Drinks, But Here’s Why You Should Check It Out Anyway

JASMINE TEO Today Online 11 Jun 19;

This new shop with a difference is nestled in Orchard Road.

There’s a new convenience store right smack in the middle of Orchard Road, but instead of snacks or drinks, you’ll find menstrual cups and discarded telephones on its shelves. Come again?

Welcome to The [Not-So] Convenience Store, with a shopfront so quirky cool, it makes for a great OOTD spot. But it’s more than just a photo opp, okay? What looks like a retro cool convenience store is actually an exhibition to raise awareness about a zero-waste lifestyle, and the massive impact that plastic, household, food and electronics waste have on the environment.

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BreadTalk among 38 companies prosecuted for illegal discharge into public sewers

Channel NewsAsia 10 Jun 19;

SINGAPORE: A total of 38 companies have been prosecuted for illegally discharging trade effluent, or liquid waste, into public sewers, said national water agency PUB in a press release on Monday (Jun 10).

The companies were prosecuted between June 2018 and May 2019, and fined a total of S$253,700. Eighteen of these companies were repeat offenders and given harsher penalties.

Offences ranged from the discharge of trade effluent containing regulated metals or chemical substances exceeding allowable limits, to more serious offences of discharging trade effluent containing dangerous or hazardous substances, or volatile organic compounds (VOCs).

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Recyclers cringe as South-east Asia says it’s sick of the West’s trash

Today Online 10 Jun 19;

TELOK GONG (Malaysia) — Black sedans with government plates raced through a town near Malaysia’s main seaport, flashing blue sirens as they approached rogue trash dumps.

The raid, in the town of Telok Gong this week, was among the latest efforts by officials to shut down unlicensed dumps holding plastic scrap imported from the United States and other rich countries.

“Everybody knows those dumps are illegal,” said Mr Modh Faiz Tamsir, a butcher hawking fly-covered beef in a parking lot on Telok Gong’s main drag. “We don’t like them.”

After China, once the world’s primary dumping ground, abruptly imposed restrictions on “foreign garbage” in late 2017, countries across South-east Asia began taking in the West’s plastic waste.

Within months, Malaysia, which has a sizable ethnic Chinese population, had replaced China as the world’s largest importer of plastic scrap. But this country, and others across the region, soon saw the waste as an environmental nightmare, and a heavy backlash has begun. With public support, some advocacy groups have urged officials to permanently ban the import of plastic waste.

But at a time when the world is awash in such plastic, some experts worry that this backlash could block the flow of raw material to South-east Asia’s aboveboard recyclers and manufacturers — and raise the chances that plastic scrap will end up in rivers, oceans, dumps and illegal burn sites.

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Malaysia: Penang to return 265 waste-filled containers to countries of origin

Balvin Kaur New Straits Times 10 Jun 19;

GEORGE TOWN: Penang will send 265 plastic waste-filled containers, which are currently held up at the North Butterworth Container Terminal, back to their countries of origin.

State Environment Committee chairman Phee Boon Poh said that the state is taking the action after receiving instructions from the Energy, Science, Technology, Environment and Climate Change Ministry.

The plastic waste containers arrived in Penang from Belgium, Hong Kong, France, Germany, Canada and several other countries.

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Indonesia to re-export illegal plastic waste

Antara 10 Jun 19;

Jakarta (ANTARA) - Indonesia will re-export illegal plastic waste entering the country, Environment and Forestry Minister Siti Nurbaya said, following news of the illegal import of plastic waste in Gresik, East Java.

"The waste that enters Indonesia, which has plastic, is definitely not legal. And basically the provisions are there, therefore we will perform a re-export," Nurbaya said in Jakarta on Monday.

The import of illegal plastic waste is not a new problem. From 2015 to 2016, Indonesia re-exported dozens of containers of plastic waste.

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Indonesia: Sulawesi engulfed by floods, thousands evacuated

The Jakarta Post 10 Jun 19;

Floods in three provinces in Sulawesi have forced thousands of people to flee their houses for higher ground.

Sutopo Purwo Nugroho, spokesperson of the National Disaster Mitigation Agency (BNPB) revealed that 4,198 people in North Konawe regency in Southeast Sulawesi had been evacuated to safer areas.

"Asera district is the worst effected, with 13 of its villages inundated. Seventy two houses have been washed away, while thousands of other houses are inundated and hundreds of hectares of rice fields, corn fields and fish ponds have been damaged," Sutopo said in a press release made available to The Jakarta Post Monday.

Besides areas in Southeast Sulawesi, he said the floods that began at the beginning of June following torrential downpours had also left villages in South Sulawesi and Central Sulawesi under water.

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Philippines: Surge in giant clam population seen as spawning starts in Palawan

The Inquirer 11 Jun 19;

CLAM NURSERY Rows of giant clams are protected in a nursery run by the University of the Philippines Marine Science Institute near Silaki Island in Bolinao, Pangasinan province. The endangered giant clams (Tridacna gigas) are also propagated in marine research facilities in other parts of the country. —REM ZAMORA

PUERTO PRINCESA CITY, Palawan, Philippines — The future is bright for the conservation of giant clams (Tridacna gigas) after a private foundation has successfully fertilized 9.5 million eggs of this marine species that poachers seek in Philippine waters.

The Malampaya Foundation Inc. (MFI) on Monday said it had embarked on an ambitious project to propagate in large numbers the endangered giant clams, starting in the hatchery of Western Philippines University (WPU) in Barangay Binduyan here.

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‘Frightening’ number of plant extinctions found in global survey

Study shows 571 species wiped out, and scientists say figure is likely to be big underestimate
Damian Carrington The Guardian 10 Jun 19;

Human destruction of the living world is causing a “frightening” number of plant extinctions, according to scientists who have completed the first global analysis of the issue.

They found 571 species had definitely been wiped out since 1750 but with knowledge of many plant species still very limited the true number is likely to be much higher. The researchers said the plant extinction rate was 500 times greater now than before the industrial revolution, and this was also likely to be an underestimate.

“Plants underpin all life on Earth,” said Dr Eimear Nic Lughadha, at the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, who was part of the team. “They provide the oxygen we breathe and the food we eat, as well as making up the backbone of the world’s ecosystems – so plant extinction is bad news for all species.”

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