Best of our wild blogs: 4 Jul 19

Beting Bronok slowly fading away
wild shores of singapore

Open for registration – Love MacRitchie Walk with NUS Toddycats! on 14 July 2019 (Sun)
Love our MacRitchie Forest

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In blow to Singapore's expansion, Malaysia bans sea sand exports

Fathin Ungku, Rozanna Latiff Reuters 3 Jul 19;

SINGAPORE/KUALA LUMPUR (Reuters) - Malaysia, Singapore’s biggest source for sea sand, has banned the export of the commodity, according to officials in Kuala Lumpur, a move that traders said could complicate the island-state’s ambitious expansion plans on reclaimed land.

Those plans include the development of the Tuas mega port, slated to be the world’s biggest container terminal. Singapore has increased its land area by a quarter since independence in 1965, mostly by using sand to reclaim coastal areas.

Malaysian Prime Minister Mohamad Mahathir, who came to power in a shock election last year, imposed a ban on all sea sand exports on October 3, two senior government sources with direct knowledge of the decision told Reuters.

The government sources, asking not to be named due to the sensitivity of the matter, said Mahathir was upset that Malaysia’s land was being used to increase the size of its wealthier neighbor. He was also concerned corrupt Malaysian officials were benefiting from the secretive business.

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Singapore must continue to take early action against impact of climate change: Teo Chee Hean

Lester Wong Straits Times 4 Jul 19;

SINGAPORE - As a small, low-lying island state, Singapore will continue to take preventive action against the impact of climate change, Senior Minister Teo Chee Hean said on Thursday (July 4).

Mr Teo drew attention in particular to the Republic's efforts in going low-carbon and managing rising sea levels in a speech at the sixth Asian edition of the Shell Powering Progress Together forum.

Singapore raised the minimum level for newly reclaimed land by 1m in 2011, a move that preceded the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change's (IPCC) most recent report in 2014 by three years.

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Donation bins for reusable bags placed at 8 supermarket outlets

Jeanell Kiew Straits Times 4 Jul 19;

Forgotten reusable bags collecting dust around the home can now be put to good use.

As of yesterday, the public can drop unused reusable bags into a donation bin at eight supermarket outlets - two each from FairPrice, Sheng Siong, Cold Storage and Prime Supermarket.

Local environmental group Zero Waste SG (ZWSG), which is behind the initiative, will then collect the bags and ensure that they are in good condition before redistributing them to shoppers at each of the selected outlets.

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Malaysia: Perhilitan and cops to fight tiger poachers

Nuradzimmah Daim, Hana Naz Harun New Straits Times 4 Jul 19;

KUALA LUMPUR: WITH an estimated population of only 200, the future looks bleak for the Malayan tiger.

If nothing is done, the apex predator, faced with a host of challenges, including poaching and loss of habitat, could be driven to extinction within three years, according to experts.

Efforts are underway to ramp up measures to protect the species.

Spearheaded by the Water, Land and Natural Resources Ministry, these initiatives include an unprecedented joint action force comprising the police and the Department of Wildlife and National Parks (Perhilitan) to prevent poaching and sale of protected wildlife.

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Malaysia: 5 wild elephants wreak havoc in village near Tasik Kenyir

Rosli Zakaria New Straits Times 3 Jul 19;

HULU TERENGGANU: A herd of five wild elephants have been destroying banana trees and betel nut palms in Kampung Basung near Tasik Kenyir since last week.

Led by their matriarch, the pachyderms have been encroaching into agricultural plots near the houses at night.

One of villagers, Ismail Mamat, said they were living in fear.

“The elephants have destroyed my banana trees about 10m from my house,” he said.

“This is the first time the animals have encroached into the village.

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Indonesia: Bengkalis BPBD workers, firefighters put out bush and forest fires

Antara 3 Jul 19;

Bengkalis, Riau (ANTARA) - The Bengkalis Disaster Mitigation Agency (BPBD) workers and firefighters successfully doused fires that spread across four hectares of land in Bathin Solapan Sub-district, Bengkalis District, Riau Province.

"Thank God, we have been able to extinguish the bush and forest fires that spread in the villages of Petani and Air Kulim of Bathin Solapan Sub-district," Head of the Bengkalis Mitigation Agency Tajul Mudaris stated here on Wednesday.

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Indonesia: Illegal animal trading suspects arrested in Central Java

The Jakarta Post 4 Jul 19;

The National Police have arrested and named suspect four people in Central Java for allegedly trading protected animals and violating the laws on wildlife conservation.

The arrests were made following reports filed by several wildlife organizations.

The four suspects, identified only as S, MUA, KG and AM, allegedly purchased wild animals, including different types of parrots, cockatoos and honey bears, to later be sold again.

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Indonesia: Baby orangutans traumatized after smuggling attempt

Apriadi Gunawan The Jakarta Post 3 Jul 19;

Three Sumatran orangutans are undergoing treatment after being saved from smugglers who had taken them out of their habitat in an attempt to take them to Malaysia.

The three primates are in intensive care at a rehabilitation center in Batu Mbelin, Sibolangit district, Deli Serdang regency, North Sumatra.

Yenny Saraswati, a veterinarian with the Yayasan Ekosistem Lestari (YEL) foundation, which is involved in the Sumatran Orangutan Conservation Program (SOCP), said the three orangutans – named Digo, Duma, and Dupa – had been in a stressed condition, dehydrated and dirty when they were admitted to the center .

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Indonesia to impose duties on plastic bags

The Jakarta Post 3 Jul 19;

The Finance Ministry’s Customs and Excise Directorate General said it would slap a plastic bag duty of Rp 200 (US 1.4 cents) per sheet.

“The duty has considered many factors,” Heru Pambudi, the customs and excise director general, told reporters at the House of Representatives building on Tuesday.

“[The duty] could not be too high or too low as we need to balance many factors,” he added.

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Indonesia sends more toxic waste, trash back to US, Europe, Australia

Fadli The Jakarta Post 2 Jul 19;

The Batam Customs Office is sending 49 containers proven to contain toxic waste and trash back to their countries of origin, including the United States, Australia, and several European nations, upon receiving a recommendation letter from the Environment and Forestry Ministry on Monday.

The ministry said earlier that it had returned five containers of trash to the US after finding out that they held diapers, plastic scraps, wood, fabrics and shoes in “significant amounts” when they were supposed to only hold clean paper scraps. The ministry announced then that it would examine 65 more.

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