Best of our wild blogs: 16-18 Jun 19

Sea fan garden at Changi fading away
wild shores of singapore

Participate in "My Defining Maritime Moment" Social Media Contest (1 Mar to 31 Aug)!
Celebrating Singapore Shores!

24 Jun (Mon): Chasing Coral - Public Screening & Discussion Forum
Celebrating Singapore Shores!

6 Jul (Sat): A World Without Functional Mangroves? Public Forum
Celebrating Singapore Shores!

Bobs of Singapore
Butterflies of Singapore

Night Walk At Ang Mo Kio Garden West (14 Jun 2019)
Beetles@SG BLOG

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Tackling issues like building resilience and an inclusive society

Linette Lai Straits Times 16 Jun 10;

Whatever the cause Singaporeans believe in and want to act on, the Government will be happy to partner them in their efforts as long as it is good for Singapore, Deputy Prime Minister and Finance Minister Heng Swee Keat said.

He also encouraged people to look beyond the immediate issues that need solving, and think harder about Singapore - such as what it might look like when it turns 100. "How will our economy look like? How will our society look like?" he asked at the end of a dialogue session yesterday that lasted nearly two hours and was attended by more than 400 people.

Concern over the environment, the plight of the disadvantaged, being a small nation in a tumultuous world and what people can do to tackle challenges in these and other areas were among the issues raised by 25 people at the session that was jointly organised by Reach and CNA.

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Student’s lightbulb moment leads to installation of solar panels on school’s roof

REBECCA METTEO Today Online 16 Jun 19;

SINGAPORE — One can call it a lightbulb moment.

For Hemal Arora, 16, all it took was him finding out that his school’s electricity consumption was almost 6,000 megawatt hours a year.

That would have been enough to power about 1,300 four-room Housing and Development Board flats. (The average monthly electricity consumption for a four-room flat is about 372.9 kilowatt hours, according to statistics from the Energy Market Authority.)

So Hemal, a Grade 10 student at the United World College South East Asia (UWCSEA) East campus, decided that he needed to take action.

“If all of this was coming from natural gas, then it is not sustainable because of the huge greenhouse gas emissions that we're still responsible for just by switching on the lights,” Hemal said.

The solution, he figured, was to use solar panels.

Together with seven other Grade 10 students, they started a project called “Solar for East”.

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Malaysia: Elephant calf falls into drain

The Star 15 Jun 19;

KOTA TINGGI: A baby elephant, believed to be merely a day old, fell into a drain while crossing the road with its mother at a plantation near the Kota Tinggi Rubber Research Station.

He said the animal was trapped for about six hours before its mother managed to help it out and return to the forest reserve. The calf is said to have sustained bruises.

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Indonesia: Aceh hit by 283 forest fires since 2016

Antara 16 Jun 19;

Aceh Province has recorded a total of 283 cases of forest fires that hit Indonesia's western most province since 2016 until early June 2019.

Traditional farming using slash-and-burn method contributed to the high number of forest fire cases in the province, according to M Daud, head of the forest management office for Region IV of Aceh, said here on Sunday.

In Aceh, there were 103 fire spots in 2016, 113 in 2017, and 65 in 2018, according to him.

"And in 2019, there are only two fire spots, notably in West Aceh District," he remarked.

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Vietnam seizes 7.5 tons of elephant ivory, pangolin scales

Associated Press 14 Jun 19;

HANOI, Vietnam (AP) — Authorities have seized 7.5 tons of elephant ivory and pangolin scales in one of Vietnam’s biggest wildlife trafficking cases.

The 3.5 tons of ivory and 4 tons of pangolin scales were found Wednesday in barrels when customs officers checked a shipping container arriving at northern Hai Phong port, the Vietnam News Agency reported.

The steel barrels containing the ivory and scales were mixed with ones containing tar to conceal the trafficked animal parts from customs authorities.

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Asian countries take a stand against the rich world’s plastic waste


When the MV Bavaria cargo ship chugged out of a Philippine port one morning last month carrying 69 containers of rotted Canadian garbage, it didn’t just end a messy diplomatic spat between the two countries.

It also signaled a sea change in the global recycling system.

After years of pressure, Canada had agreed to take back the waste, which had been exported to the Philippines beginning in 2013 falsely labeled as plastic scrap. The shipments were part of a decades-old practice in which rich countries including the United States sent used plastic to Asia to be recycled. Often, the shipments included contaminated waste that couldn’t be recycled but made it past customs checks anyway, and countries had few legal avenues to send it back.

That began to change 18 months ago, when China, the biggest consumer of discarded plastics, banned nearly all waste imports to stop the smuggling of non-recyclable scrap. The trade in plastics quickly rerouted to neighboring Southeast Asian countries that lacked effective recycling plants and disposal laws, leaving much of the waste to be burned or dumped in fields and waterways, creating health and environmental hazards.

Now those countries are closing their doors, too.

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Hundreds of dolphins have died along Gulf Coast since February, scientists say

At least 279 animals have been stranded, triple the usual figure, and 98% have died, prompting investigation
Associated Press The Guardian 15 Jun 19;

At least 279 dolphins have become stranded across much of the US Gulf coast since the start of February, triple the usual number, and about 98% of them have died, scientists from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (Noaa) said.

Scientists will investigate whether lingering effects from the 2010 BP oil spill and more immediate effects from low salinity because of freshwater flowing from high rivers and a Louisiana spillway contributed to the deaths, said Teri Rowles, coordinator for Noaa fisheries’ marine mammal health and stranding response program.

BP spill effects included problems with lungs and adrenal glands, which produce stress-related hormones; blood abnormalities; and general poor condition, according to earlier reports. Those reports said the spill contributed to the Gulf of Mexico’s largest and longest dolphin die-off.

“We do know some of the health conditions … are improving, but some have been slow to improve,” Rowles said on Friday. “Reproduction in the heaviest-oiled areas continues below normal.”

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