Best of our wild blogs: 29 Aug 19

Wild fun for kids during the September school holidays
wild shores of singapore

Open for registration – Love MacRitchie Walk with NUS Toddycats! on 8 Sept 2019 (Sun)
Love our MacRitchie Forest

14 Sep (Sat): Fishing community join MPA Marine Clean-Up Day
Celebrating Singapore Shores!

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2 turtles rescued by Acres make their way home to Malaysia

TESSA OH Today Online 27 Aug 19;

SINGAPORE — A small crowd gathered at Jalan Lekar on Tuesday (Aug 27) for a heartwarming send-off, as turtles Barni and Queen B set off for their journey back into the wild.

The turtles, who were rescued by the Animal Concern Research and Education Society (Acres) in the middle of last year, will be released at an undisclosed protected area in Malaysia where they can live freely again, in their natural habitat.

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Trash Talk: Packaging waste is everywhere, including in your body

LOW YOUJIN Today Online 27 Aug 19;

SINGAPORE — A shopping trolley, plastic bottles, plastic bags and food wrappers galore. No this is not a scene at a supermarket — this is just a typical dive into the seas surrounding Singapore’s southern islands.

Singapore prides itself on keeping its streets spotless, but if you take a dive with Ms Sam Shu Qin, the 30-year-old co-founder of Our Singapore Reefs, it quickly becomes apparent how much trash surrounds our pristine island.

The volunteers with Our Singapore Reefs, a non-profit organisation that was set up with the sole aim of clearing up the trash from Singapore’s waters, pick up a lot of marine debris during their dives. Last year, they removed 3,439 pieces of marine debris weighing around 704kg from around Sisters’ Island Marine Park and Lazarus Island.

They have collected all kinds of garbage, from car tyres to bits of fishing equipment, and yes, even shopping trolleys. Once, they found a whole washing machine underwater.

But far and away, the biggest polluter in these waters is plastic, mostly in the form of food packaging.

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Singapore needs to lift farm production, cut waste, as global protein shortage looms: Study

NAVENE ELANGOVAN Today Online 28 Aug 19;

SINGAPORE — As a result of climate change and rising population, the world is set to face a 56 per cent shortfall in food nutrition by 2050. Yet, Singapore is still heavily reliant on food imports from countries with weather-dependent traditional farms, a new study has found.

Released on Tuesday (Aug 27), the study by the Singapore Environment Council (SEC) and consulting firm Deloitte said that Singapore's farms are the key to bolstering the country's food security — by deploying smart technology to boost yields.

Singapore should also become a centre for food by-products, as a way to tackle large levels of food waste, it added. Some details of the study, on food waste, were released earlier this month. 

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Singapore may experience slightly hazy conditions in the next few days: NEA

Today Online 26 Aug 19;

SINGAPORE — Singapore experienced slightly hazy conditions on Monday (Aug 26) morning as a result of a brief shift in the direction of the prevailing winds, which blew from the southwest on Sunday, the National Environment Agency (NEA) said.

In an update on Monday evening, NEA said that the “slightly hazy conditions gradually improved when the prevailing winds strengthened to blow from the south-southeast”.

“There were also thundery showers over the island (on Monday),” it said.

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Fighting rising sea levels: 5 approaches from around the world

TESSA OH Today Online 28 Aug 19;

SINGAPORE — Singapore is not alone in assessing measures to mitigate the threat of rising sea levels. 

During the National Day Rally on Aug 18, Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong announced that Singapore is prepared to invest about S$100 billion or more over the next 50 to 100 years to strengthen its coastlines against the threat of rising sea levels.

Significant areas of Singapore are 4m above mean sea level or lower, and they will increasingly be at risk of going underwater when sea levels rise, he warned.

To combat the looming threat, various climate change measures are being considered by the Government. They include plans to build polders — low-lying reclaimed land protected by embankments — along with reclaiming offshore islands or building dykes.

TODAY looks at some of the coastline and river defence measures that have been considered or implemented in other cities across the world that are also seeking to strengthen their flood prevention systems.

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Malaysia, Johor: Iskandar Puteri firefighters battle 100-hectare forest blaze

New Straits Times 26 Aug 19;

JOHOR BARU: Firefighters at Kampung Pekajang in Iskandar Puteri, near here, are winning a battle to extinguish a massive forest fire which grew to almost 100 hectares on Sunday.

As of early today (Aug 26), personnel from the Johor Fire and Rescue Department have successfully doused 45 per cent of the blaze which began on Friday, Bernama reported.

Originally 16 hectares in size, the wildfire grew to 98 hectares due to strong winds and dry conditions in the state.

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Malaysia: Special anti-poaching squad to protect forests of Sabah

Forests Datuk Mashor Mohd Jaini (inset) said the squad would focus on anti-poaching operations from Sept 1. NSTP
Roy Goh New Straits Times 28 Aug 19;

A total of 25 specially-trained contract staff will start operations under the department's Enforcement, Tactical, Operational and Protection squad or Protect Unit.

Chief Conservator of Forests Datuk Mashor Mohd Jaini said the squad would focus on anti-poaching operations from Sept 1.

“They will boost the enforcement capacity of the state government in reducing the number of poaching cases in Sabah,” he said.

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Malaysia: 'Malaysians deserve to know why we voted against proposal to protect sharks, rays'

Olivia Miwil New Straits Times 27 Aug 19;

KOTA KINABALU: It was reported yesterday that Malaysia was among the 40 countries that opposed a proposal to protect certain species of sharks and rays from exploitation.

Tabled by Mexico at the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES) conference, the proposal which would require ratification this week, would see the marine species no longer being traded unless it can be proven that their fishing would not impact their survival.

102 countries voted in favour of the move.

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Malaysia: Kelantan marine police foil smuggling of 90 palm civets, 14 tortoises

Sharifah Mahsinah Abdullah New Straits Times 26 Aug 19;

PASIR PUTIH: Marine police foiled an attempt to smuggle 90 palm civets and 14 tortoises near Sungai Semerak here on Sunday.

The animals, which were seized near a jetty in Taman Sara about 11am, are estimated to be worth about RM19,000.

Marine police third region commander Assistant Commissioner Norzaid Muhammad Said said a marine police team from the Tok Bali base had spotted 90 baskets containing the palm civets and two plastic containers with the tortoises.

He said no suspects were nabbed during the operation, which was launched after a tip-off.

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Malaysia: Heavy downpour helps to put out Miri forest and peat fire

Goh Pei Pei New Straits Times 25 Aug 19;

KUCHING: Heavy downpour this morning and hours of fire fighting operation finally managed to extinguish the forest and peat fire which has plagued the Industrial Training Institute (ILP) station in Miri.

The forest and peat fire caused one of the worst haze episodes recorded in the country’s history.

Miri Fire and Rescue Department chief Superintendent Law Poh Kiong said 68 personnel from the fire and rescue department, Civil Defence Force (APM), Malaysian Armed Forces (ATM), Department of Environment and Emergency Response Team from from Naim Land Sdn Bhd began to put out fire at the site since 8am.

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Indonesia: 7,745 suffer from acute respiratory tract infection in Pekanbaru

Antara 26 Aug 19;

The Pekanbaru City Health Office reported that the number of people suffering from acute respiratory tract infection in the Riau provincial capital between July and August 2019 reached 7,745.

"The figure is based on reports from all public health service posts (Puskesmas) in Pekanbaru City, comprising 3,540 cases recorded in July and 4,205 cases in August," acting chief of the Pekanbaru City Health Office, Muhammad Amin, said in Pekanbaru on Monday.

The increase in the number of those suffering from acute respiratory tract infection in the past couple of months is a result of the haze from land and forest fires in a number of districts and cities in Riau province, as well as in neighboring provinces.

However, the increase is relatively small, at 900 per month compared to more than 3 thousand in August 2018 when no haze was found, he said.

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Indonesia: Man mauled to death in tiger attack

Rizal Harahap The Jakarta Post 28 Aug 19;

A 36-year-old man was mauled to death by a Sumatran tiger in a concession area in Gaung subdistrict in Indragiri Hilir regency, Riau.

Indragiri Hilir Police chief Adj. Comr. Sr. Christian Rony confirmed the incident, saying the victim, identified as Darmawan aka Nang, was attacked while taking a bath near a well in a PT Bhara Induk concession area at 4:30 p.m. on Sunday.

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Indonesia: Jokowi names Penajam Paser Utara as new capital city site

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