Best of our wild blogs: 6 Aug 19

Fish Expedition Day 6 - St John's Island
wild shores of singapore

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Shell considers solar panels to power Singapore refinery site

Jessica Jaganathan Reuters 6 Aug 19;

SINGAPORE (Reuters) - Royal Dutch Shell (RDSa.L) is considering to install solar panels to power its Bukom refining site in Singapore, a company spokeswoman told Reuters on Tuesday.

A general view of Shell's Pulau Bukom petrochemical complex in Singapore July 15, 2019. REUTERS/Edgar Su
“We are exploring the potential of installing solar panels at our Pulau Bukom Manufacturing Site,” she said, without providing further details.

The Bukom manufacturing site includes a 500,000 barrels-per-day refinery, which is Shell’s largest wholly owned refinery.

The oil and gas company has been exploring solar installations for its other sites in Singapore as part of its plans to improve energy efficiency and reduce carbon footprint.

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MPs reiterate call for plastic bag surcharge; MEWR says focus is on reducing excessive use of all disposables

Matthew Mohan Channel NewsAsia 6 Aug 19;

SINGAPORE: Members of Parliament (MPs) reiterated the call for plastic bag charges in Parliament on Tuesday (Aug 6), but Senior Minister of State for the Environment and Water Resources Amy Khor stressed the need for a wider approach beyond “singling out” single-use plastics.

Responding to a question from MP Lee Bee Wah, Dr Khor said that the Ministry of Environment and Water Resources (MEWR) does not exclusively target plastics.

She said: “Our approach has been to reduce the excessive use of all types of disposables, not just single-use plastics, and to promote the use of reusables.

“We do not target plastics alone ... substituting plastics with other types of single-use packaging materials is not necessarily better for the environment.”

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Malaysia: After 66 bush fires, Sarawakians told to stop open burning

Mohd Roji Kawi New Straits Times 6 Aug 19;

KUCHING: State Fire and Rescue Department has urged Sarawakians to stop open burning activities in the current hot and dry weather to avoid triggering haze.

Its assistant operations director Tiong Ling said 66 bush fires have been reported in the first week of August, all of which originated from open burning.

“Since Aug 1, we have received 66 reports, involving 50 hectares of land size in Kuching, Serian, Lundu, Simunjan, Sri Aman, Sibu, Bintulu, Miri and Limbang.

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Malaysia calls on Asean to fight haze

SIRA HABIBU The Star 6 Aug 19;

PETALING JAYA: Malaysia will call on Asean member countries to take proactive measures to avoid trans-boundary haze during a two-day meeting in Brunei beginning today.

In a statement,the Energy,Science,Technology,Environment and Climate Change Ministry said Malaysia wanted concerted efforts taken in accordance with the Asean Agreement on Trans-boundary Haze ratified by member countries.

Deputy Minister Isnaraissah Munirah Majilis,who will lead the Malaysian delegation to the 21st Technical Working Group,and the Sub-Regional Ministerial Steering Committee Trans-boundary Haze Pollution meetings in Brunei,would submit reports on the measures taken to avoid open burning and haze.

“Malaysia will also activate a new National Action Plan for Open Burning and fine-tune the existing National Haze Action Plan,” it said yesterday.

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Malaysia: Sandakan traders still selling turtle eggs despite warnings - Sabah Wildlife Dept

Olivia Miwil New Straits Times 6 Aug 19;

SANDAKAN: Traders here are still selling turtle eggs despite being constantly reminded by authorities that such an activity is against the law.

Sabah Wildlife Department director Augustine Tuuga said turtle eggs could still be found at many shoplots near the market in the district.

“They are doing it secretly... through hand signals (Okay sign, to indicate availbility of turtle eggs).

“However, such activity is still under control because it is being handled by the relevant enforcement agencies,” he said.

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Malaysia: Man held for keeping sun bear cub and protected birds

The Star 6 Aug 19;

JOHOR BARU: The Johor Department of Wildlife and National Parks (Perhilitan) detained a man for keeping a sun bear cub and several species of protected birds without permits in his business premises here.

Johor Perhilitan director Salman Saaban said four Perhilitan officers raided the premises at Jalan Padi Makmur, Bandar Baru Uda, at 4.30pm on Sunday after a tip-off.

“A 52-year-old man was arrested for keeping the protected animals without permits under the Wildlife Conservation Act 2010.

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Indonesia: Haze-induced visibility impairment in Pekanbaru reaches two kilometers

Antara 6 Aug 19;

Pekanbaru, Riau (ANTARA) - Haze, arising from forest fires, has lowered visibility in Pekanbaru, Riau Province, to two kilometers, or two thousand meters, according to information from the Pekanbaru meteorology, climatology, and geophysics station.

"The visibility was only two kilometers this morning, at 7 a.m. local time, due to haze," Sanya Gautami, the station's analyst, remarked here on Tuesday.

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Indonesia: Environmental recovery from Pertamina oil spill may take half a year

Arya Dipa, Ardila Syakriah and Kharishar Kahfi The Jakarta Post 6 Aug 19;

Environmental recovery efforts following the recent oil leak from state energy giant Pertamina’s Offshore North West Java (ONWJ) Block may take more than six months, officials have said, as residents have reportedly begun to bear the brunt of the damages.

The oil spill follows a gas well kick incident, an unplanned and often violent release of gas caused by low pressure in a wellbore, on July 12 in an exploration well called YYA-1, beneath PHE’s ONWJ offshore platform located 2 kilometers north of Karawang, West Java.

Initial reports showed that the oil spill had only affected 11 villages in Karawang and Bekasi, West Java, and seven beaches in the province, but the Thousand Islands administration said on Friday that the spill had reached seven of its southern islands on July 22.

Maritime Affairs and Fisheries Minister Susi Pudjiastuti said that the government and Pertamina would need at least six months to conduct environmental recovery efforts in the affected areas.

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As fires burn, can Indonesia avoid repeat of 2015 haze crisis?

Michael Taylor Reuters 5 Aug 19;

KUALA LUMPUR (Thomson Reuters Foundation) - As another outbreak of forest fires in Indonesia sends harmful smoke drifting across parts of Southeast Asia, researchers and environmental activists have urged Jakarta to step up efforts to prevent a repeat of the last major haze crisis in 2015.

Emergencies were declared in six Indonesian provinces on Sumatra island and in Kalimantan last week as fires raged, while neighboring Singapore and Malaysia issued health warnings about the air pollution that is heading their way.

Arie Rompas, a Greenpeace Indonesia forest campaigner who is from Kalimantan on Borneo island, said that with no rain since July, peatland fires were intensifying in areas burned in the 2015 disaster.

“Our courts have ordered the government to prevent this and commit more resources to extinguishing fires, and to name and prosecute the plantations where fires occurred in the past,” Rompas told the Thomson Reuters Foundation.

“Without this, fires will worsen and the situation could be the same as in 2015.”

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