Best of our wild blog: 12-13 Jun 19

Coney Island is Alive
Offshore Singapore

Going Bananas!
Flying Fish Friends

Symbiosis – Who’s the original: Fragines or Tridacnines?
Mei Lin NEO

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Building resilience against natural disasters among ways Singapore can help Asia grow sustainably: Heng Swee Keat

Tang See Kit Channel NewsAsia 12 Jun 19;

SINGAPORE: The Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) is currently developing the market for insurance-linked securities (ILS) as an alternative risk-financing solution, said Acting Prime Minister Heng Swee Keat on Wednesday (Jun 12).

This can help strengthen Asia’s resiliency against natural catastrophes – one of the three broad ways Singapore can contribute to sustainable growth in the region, according to Mr Heng.

The other two ways include bridging partnerships for regional infrastructure development opportunities through Singapore’s Infrastructure Asia initiative, and promoting sustainable economic growth by growing its sustainable finance sector.

“Singapore seeks to contribute to Asia’s sustainable growth by serving as a key node for channelling financing to the region,” he said.

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More locally grown organic food in store after farm gets first-of-its-kind certification

LAUREN ONG Today Online 11 Jun 19;

SINGAPORE — Singaporeans are set to see more locally grown organic products in their supermarkets after a vegetable farm in Lim Chu Kang took a vital step towards meeting fast-growing demand here for clean, green food.

The farm, operated by Sky Greens, is Singapore’s first farm to secure a new national standard for organic primary produce grown in or near an urban area. The farm received the SS 632 Certification on Tuesday (June 11) at a ceremony attended by Environment and Water Resources Minister Masagos Zulkifli.

NTUC Fairprice director of food quality and safety, Ms Chong Nyet Chin, said Singaporeans’ expanding disposable income, increasing health concerns and consumer awareness are some of the drivers behind the proliferation of the local organic market.

She said consumers here increasingly want to “go for green, go for local and go for niche”.

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An average person could ingest 100,000 plastic particles a year — equal to one credit card a week: Study

CYNTHIA CHOO Today Online 12 Jun 19;

SINGAPORE — An average person could be ingesting as many as 1,900 plastic particles a week — more than 100,000 particles a year — from sources such as tap and bottled water, shellfish, beer and salt, a study commissioned by the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) has found.

This translates to eating about 250 grams of plastic a year. Put another way, it’s like consuming 5 grams of plastic a week — the equivalent of munching through a credit card.

The study, which is the first to estimate and combine insights from over 50 studies globally on the ingestion of plastic by people, was done by researchers at the University of Newcastle in Australia and strategy consulting firm Dalberg Advisors.

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Singapore authorities recall bottled water from Malaysia containing bacteria

Today Online 12 Jun 19;

SINGAPORE — Authorities here have issued a recall of bottled mineral water imported from Malaysia after it was found to contain a common environmental bacterium that is found in faeces, soil, water and sewage.

In a media statement on Wednesday (June 12), the Singapore Food Agency (SFA) said that the bacterium Pseudomonas aeruginosa was detected in Malaysia’s “Starfresh” bottled drinking water during a routine sampling of the product. It comes in 500ml and 1.5 litre bottles.

The agency said it has directed the importer Radha Exports to recall all affected products, with the process ongoing.

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Malaysia: Sabah conservationists caution against issuing mining licences

muguntan vanar The Star 12 Jun 19;

KOTA KINABALU: A group of Sabah conservationists has come out strongly against the issuance of mining licences for the extraction of natural resources in the state.

The group, comprising 12 NGOs, called on the state government to stay out of mining as its past experience from the Mamut copper mine had left irreparable damage to the state's biodiversity.

The group also called on Mineral and Geoscience Department director-general Effendi Abdullah Azizi to reconsider his suggestion to the state government to issue more mining licences to encourage extraction of natural resources in Sabah.

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Malaysia: Endangered eagles, slow loris rescued; turtles eggs seized in wildlife raids

stephen then The Star 11 Jun 19;

MIRI: The Sarawak Forestry Corporation (SFC) has rescued two endangered eagles and a slow loris, also seizing dozens of turtle eggs.

In a series of enforcement operations in Serikin town at the southern Sarawak-Kalimantan border, SFC units arrested an Indonesian woman, 47, for selling the turtle eggs in the market there.

The operations were carried out in Serikin during the Gawai and Hari Raya holidays.

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Malaysia: Eight-year-old Borneo pygmy elephant with fractured jaw put to death

Avila Geraldine New Straits Times 12 Jun 19;

KOTA KINABALU: An eight-year-old Borneo pygmy was euthanised yesterday after having suffered from severe dental condition as a result of a complete fracture of its lower jaw.

The sub-adult bull elephant, nicknamed Toothie, was put out of misery by Sabah Wildlife Department (SWD) and Wildlife Rescue Unit (WRU) veterinary team at 12pm.

The process was carried out at the Borneo Elephant Sanctuary (BES) in the Kinabatangan Wildlife Sanctuary where Toothie was being kept in captivity for three months.

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Indonesia to make moratorium on new forest clearance permanent: Minister

Channel NewsAsia 12 Jun 19;

JAKARTA: Indonesia's moratorium on new forest clearing for palm plantations or logging operations, which has been regularly extended since 2011, will become permanent, the environment minister said on Wednesday (Jun 12).

Indonesia has one of the highest rates of deforestation in the world, with more than 74 million hectares of rainforest - an area nearly twice the size of Japan - logged, burned or degraded in the last half century, according to Greenpeace.

The moratorium covering more than 60 million hectares of primary forest and peatland was introduced in 2011 in an effort to reduce emissions from fires caused by deforestation.

"I have decided to keep the moratorium instead of renewing it every two years," Forestry and Environment Minister Siti Nurbaya Bakar told reporters.

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Indonesian waters facing possible six-meter high waves

Antara 12 Jun 19;

Jakarta (ANTARA) - Waves as high as six-meters might be seen in Indonesian waters during the next four days, according to the Meteorology, Climatology and Geophysics Agency (BMKG).

Head of BMKG Public Relations Taufan Maulana said here on Wednesday that the agency forecasted waves with heights of four to six meters in West Mentawai up to Bengkulu waters, as well as in the seas west of Lampung, and in part of the Indian ocean running from west Mentawai to Lampung.

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Climate change on track to reduce ocean wildlife by 17%

Marlowe HOOD, AFP Yahoo News 13 Jun 19;

Paris (AFP) - Climate change is set to empty the ocean of nearly a fifth of all living creatures, measured by mass, by the end of the century, researchers have calculated.

In a world that heats up three to four degrees Celsius compared to pre-industrial levels, 17 percent of marine biomass -- from minuscule plankton to 100-tonne whales -- will be wiped out, they reported in the US Proceedings of the National Academy of Science.

To date, Earth's surface has warmed a full degree (1.8 degrees Fahrenheit).

Bigger fish and marine mammals already devastated by overfishing, pollution and ship strikes will see especially sharp declines due to rising temperatures.

Even in a "best-case" scenario of limiting warming to 2C -- the cornerstone target of the Paris climate treaty -- the ocean's biomass will drop off by five percent.

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Devastating coral bleaching around French Polynesia

RNZ 12 Jun 19;

A coral bleaching around the French Polynesian islands of Tahiti and Mo'orea is being described as the most devastating seen in years.

But what's worried scientists most is that it took them by surprise.

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Near-record 'dead zone' forecast off U.S. Gulf coast, threatening fish

Rich McKay Reuters 11 Jun 19;

(Reuters) - A near record-sized “dead zone” of oxygen-starved water could form in the Gulf of Mexico this summer, threatening its huge stocks of marine life, researchers said.

The area could spread to about 8,717 square miles (20,577 square km), scientists at Louisiana State University said on Monday, or about the size of the state of New Hampshire, and larger than the 5-year average of 5,770 square miles.

Experts blamed unusually high rainfall across the U.S. Midwest this Spring that washed farm fertilisers along streams and rivers through the Mississippi River Basin out into the Gulf.

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