26 October 2020

Changes to EIA framework announced, Oct 2020

An Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) is done to identify potential impacts of developments on nature, and outline way to avoid or mitigate such impacts. In Singapore, an EIA framework was set up in 2008.
Sentosa: reclamation of reef
Reclamation on Sentosa for Resorts World Sentosa, Jul 2007.

The recent changes enacted to the framework:
  • Common standards for consultants to follow
  • Greater transparency on when EIAs must be done
  • All EIAs to published online by developers
  • The planning process - and not just the development work itself - to be more sensitive to Singapore's natural environment. This will be done through earlier engagement with nature groups in the planning and development process, and through the introduction of a course on basic ecology and the EIA process for planners from development agencies. 
Massive reclamation on Jurong Island
seen from (and impacting?) Cyrene Reef, Sep 2020.
These changes to the framework are NOT officially codified in an EIA law. Instead, the Ministry of National Development (MND) says it will, for instance, use the recently amended Wildlife Act which enables NParks to take direct enforcement action against developers that fail to comply with required measures.
Forest City reclamation in Johor from Tuas Merawang
Tuas Merawang Beacon: our last western reef - reclaimed in 2015.
On the horizon, reclamation of 'Forest City' in Johor.

20 October 2020

Starry at Pasir Ris with special mangrove tree

Pasir Ris is a highly accessible shore and is well used by many people. But it remains rich in a variety of marine life and is home to the last large specimen of a rare mangrove tree on the mainland.
Living shores of Pasir Ris
The rare tree is still standing and we encountered lots of sea stars. As well as many other fascinating creatures.

19 October 2020

St. John's with little green sea stars

A short boat ride from the Central Business District on the main island of Singapore, are the amazing living shores of St John's Island!
Living shores of St John's Island
It was a relief to see the hard and soft corals seemed alright, while seagrasses remain lush. Rare mangrove trees on the untouched western shore were also doing well. A special treat was to see many little green Knobbly sea stars!

18 October 2020

Pulau Semakau (South) still seagrassy

We survey the seagrasses and shores at Pulau Semakau South on the first of the evening low tides of the year. Singapore's largest fish farm lies opposite these shores.
Sunset over fish farm off Pulau Semakau
The corals seem alright. Although Tape seagrasses have not returned and vast stretches remain bare of seagrasses, there was good seagrass growths near the landfill wall. It was worrying to see Horse mussels expanding on the shore. 

08 October 2020

How much sh*t is in our waters?

Finally, NEA is providing public weekly water quality assessments. Previously only provided once a year.
from NEA's Beach Short-term Water Quality Information

This water quality information is based on the levels of enterococcus bacteria in the water.

Enterococcus bacteria comes from feces of humans and warm-blooded animals. Possible sources include human sewerage released untreated into the water, and untreated waste from live-stock farms. 

Levels of enterococcus bacteria indicate the possible presence of disease-causing bacteria/viruses. These can sicken people who swim, dive or do water sports; with possible diseases of the skin, eyes, ears and respiratory tract. Eating fish or shellfish harvested from waters with fecal contamination can also result in human illness. 

What are possible sources of enterococcus bacteria in the northern shores?

02 October 2020

12 Nov (Thu): "It’s Not A ‘Clamity’! Navigating through Marine Conservation in Singapore"

A marine biologist working on Singapore shores, Dr Neo Mei Lin will share more about what inspires her. Best known for her work on Giant clams, Dr Neo will also highlight the important role of scientists in public engagement. 
Mei Lin with Giant clam overlooking the city
Dr Neo with a Giant clam on Pulau Jong
with the Singapore city skyline on the horizon.

Date: 12 Nov (Thu)
Time: 5pm, Singapore

Register online here.


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