The much anticipated Encyclopedia has been launched! Finally, a great reference for everyone interested in learning and doing more for Singapore's biodiversity.
What makes the Encyclopedia special is the series of essays that give a great introduction to important issues. There is an entire chapter on intertidal habitats! It discusses why species richness remains surprisingly resilient despite the massive transformation of Singapore's coastlines. Yes, our shores are still very much alive!
Labrador, Chek Jawa and Sungei Buloh Wetland Reserve, all my favourite places!
jellyfish, cave corals and sea fan photos were taken by me at the request of Keppel Marina in their effort to document the marvellous marine life that have settled naturally at their marina. More of my photos of Keppel Marina here. Debby of Hantu Bloggers, Abigayle of the Blue Water Volunteers and other volunteers also contributed photos to this effort which is showcased on the Keppel Marina website.
group of blind men trying to figure out what an elephant is. Understandably, each of us involved in the thick of the Chek Jawa episode have our own view of what happened. I always find it interesting to learn the views of others. Piecing these together gives us a glimpse of the 'elephant'.
Bird Ecology Study Group and Hantu Bloggers. The book also mentions other groups close to my heart such as wildsingapore, TeamSeagrass and the Naked Hermit Crabs.
Habitatnews blog that predates all other web efforts is featured under the chapter on "Non-formal Biodiversity Education". Also the wonderful folks at Cicada Tree Eco Place who focus on much needed nature education of our youngest children.
guidebooks on marine topics have long been online.
Dr Chua Ee Kiam, who shares the illustrious history of photography in raising nature awareness. He includes a section on how to avoid harming biodiversity while taking photos. Author of many many inspiring books lavishly illustrated with photos, Dr Chua is the best author for this chapter!
Project Driftnet. The section on Marine Conservation Laws admits "there are no laws designating any marine parks or sanctuaries, or that protect the marine environment or specific species. It is also unclear which government agency has responsibility for the marine enviroment. Those inadequacies should be addressed." The chapter also discusses EIAs (Environmental Impact Assessments) and considers the lack of provisions mandating EIAs, not withstanding Singapore being party to many international "hard and soft laws", as "one glaring inadequacy in Singapore's environmental laws".
I particularly agree with Prof Peter Ng's hopes for the book as shared the Straits Times article about the launch: "To encourage Singaporeans to cultivate an interest in local creatures and plants, rather than concentrating only on those in other countries, such as pandas."
According to media articles: The encyclopedia project was started by Prof Peter Ng, director of the Raffles Museum of Biodiversity Research, and Prof Leo Tan, director of special projects at the NUS Faculty of Science. It involved 65 contributors from academia, government agencies and environmental activist groups. From insects to flora and fauna, virtually every known living organism in Singapore is featured in the book. The 552-page encyclopedia took three years to complete, and charts almost 200 years of natural history study in the country. The encyclopedia was funded by $1.1 million of donations from firms such as Exxon Mobil Asia-Pacific and the Lee Foundation, as well as private entrepreneurs Sam Goi and Oei Hong Leong. The encyclopedia will serve as a resource material for scientists, policy makers and educationists.
The book retails at $69.50 and N. Sivasothi has kindly listed some other options for getting it at a lower price.
Other posts about this book