23 May 2009

Envirofest 2009 - Day 1

It's time for Envirofest 2009!
There's huge crowds and lots of exciting things to discover!

Envirofest coincides with the International Day for Biological Diversity and there's an entire row of booths dedicated to Singapore's own biodiversity.
Here's the mangrove booth led by Sungei Buloh Wetland Reserve, with colouring activities and lots of specimens to learn from.
From rare mangroves plants, to shells, horseshoe crabs and other mangrove critters and an entire living Tongkat Ali plant!
And here's Karen from Central Nature Reserve sharing more about the amazing flora and fauna in our rainforests.

There's lots of activities for everyone here.
The jigsaw puzzle section is hot! With puzzles of fiddler crabs and other amazing animals of Singapore.
Colouring is also very popular.

Around the corner is the colourful booth of the Nature Trekkers Singapore.
With large posters of our wild places and the many activities organised to explore and appreciate them.

The Raffles Museum of Biodiversity Research booth is always a fascinating draw for young and old.
It is manned by the enthusiastic and accomplished Toddycats, volunteers of the museum, who have lots of stories to tell about each and every specimen.

Next to one another in a row, are the TeamSeagrass, Hantu Bloggers and Naked Hermit Crabs booths.
It's hard to get a picture of the volunteers as the booths are always so crowded!
But here's Chay Hoon having fun with a young visitor at the Naked Hermit Crab's ever popular 'Can Eat or Not' game.
And the tireless Debby Ng sharing about our wonderful Pulau Hantu and reefs, with TeamSeagrass hard at work further down the table.

Then there's the very impressive booth of the Water Ways Watch. Here's the ever energetic Annie sharing about the group's work.
There's lots of information about the issues surrounding keeping our waterways clean. And even a computer game!

Right around the corner is Jun to share about the coral reef nursery project which is always fascinating to visitors.
This booth also hosts NParks Biodiversity Centre's information about theme for this year's International Biodiversity Day: Invasive Alien Species.

And there's lots more!
A major event like this would not be complete without in infamous Grant Pereira, here at his Green Volunteers booth selling an amazing variety of recycled and other products that support environmental causes. Grant loves elephants, so there's a lot of stuff to do with elephants at his booth.I just love this T-shirt that Grant has on sale. And the white one with the pink elephant is also quite funky.

Next door is the Sea Shepherd booth which hosts the very successful Say No to Whale Sharks campaign.
And I caught up with Siva and Jacki here, chatting over lunch.

And the Singapore Environment Council has a fascinating booth on foldable bicycles.You can have a look at one, and volunteers show you how they work, and get more information about these marvellous contraptions.
And here's Brandon and Grace and friends from SEC at the booth to tell you even more about other environmental issues under the SEC's purview.

There's MORE! A very busy section for kids to create recycled toys with household objects.
Another booth with really funky and sophisticated items made of recycled stuff.
Another booth to guess the number of aluminium can ring tabs.
Looks like a bazillion to me!

Visitors can take part in an activity to collect stamps by taking part in activities.
A completed form entitles them to a lucky dip for various prizes.
Among them are these soft toys. At first I thought they were elephants. But apparently they are not. Can you guess what they are?

I caught up with Tien Yun and the long lost, given up for dead Yandi
They are both up to some high drama with setting up a programme to encourage more responsible fishing in Singapore. A thankless but most definitely much needed effort. Bravo!

Everyone seems to be having lots of fun at the Fest.
Even the mascot. Well, maybe not the poor mascot, who must be sweltering in that costume.

Soon it was time for the grand opening of the Fest. Today is made even more special as the International Year of the Reef team is presenting the Blue Plan to Minister Yaacob Ibrahim at the opening!
And present for this momentous ocassion is Prof Peter Ng, Farid, Francis and others involved in the Blue Plan.

Finally, I get to see Boon Wah, the woman behind the event. After months of hard work with a huge number of groups, she gives the welcome address at a very successful event! Well done!
Francis, the Chairman of the International Year of the Reef team gives a short introduction to the Blue Plan, before presenting it to the Minister. Fabulous!
Then it's time for a group photo with the Minister, for the Envirofest organising committee.They are from the Kolam Ayer Youth Group.Another fantastic effort by Boon Wah and her team! Boon Wah was also the lead behind the successful Envirofest 2008. Let's hope she will continue to make this opportunity possible for all of us to share about the wild issues that are close to our hearts.

The Minister, as always, is an enthusiastic visitor as he drops by the booths.
There's MORE booths and other activities I haven't covered in today's post. Hope to catch them tomorrow.

Envirofest 2009 is still on for tomorrow 24 May (Sun) 11am-8pm at HDB Hub. Come down, bring your friends and family. Learn more about our biodiversity and environment, meet people passionate about the issues and find out how you can join their walks and other activities.

See you there!

Blog posts and photos about Envirofest 2009 on the Envirofest Singapore blog: an updated list of links.

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