30 March 2012

Sharing about our shores at Green Drinks

I had a great time sharing about our shores last night at Green Drinks!
Thanks to Olivia Choong for the opportunity to share with this fabulous crowd of socially conscious people.

Green Drinks Singapore is a non-profit environmental group that seeks to connect the community, businesses, activists, academia and government, as well as plug the information gap that exists in the local landscape. They do this by organising informal talks every last Thursday of the month to allow opportunities for information sharing and networking, over drinks. And indeed, there were drinks (lugged up four storeys by Strong Men) and enjoyed by everyone before we began. I was thrilled to see some familiar faces, including Dr Dan! He came even though his flight home was at 2am the same evening.
Olivia arranged for use of this lovely auditorium in the heart of town run by The Thought Collective, an educational umbrella responsible for the School of Thought (‘A' level and ‘O' level tuition progammes to help students think more critically and broadly about both national and global affairs – without sacrificing good grades in examinations), Think Tank Publishing (a current affairs magazine publishing arm), Thinkscape (a learning journeys company) and Food for Thought (a socially conscious restaurant business).
Among some of the issues I was glad to be able to highlight during the talk are the free guided walks by the Naked Hermit Crabs at Pasir Ris mangroves for families and kids. The kids really have a great time and are naturally keen observers. After the talk, there was much passionate discussion about how to get our kids wild about nature! Very nice to hear from so many teachers and parents who feel it is important for our young ones to learn about our wild places early.
Another happy event to share with everyone, a dolphin sighting just last month! Singapore has sea turtles, dugongs, otters and lots of other amazing marine life!
I was also thrilled to be able to share that NParks and some members of the marine community had introduced MOS Tan Chuan-Jin to the wonderful reefs of Raffles Lighthouse!
After the talk, it was great to have a lively discussion among everyone about all kinds of issues. Ranging from better ways to achieve outreach to protecting our biodiversity, issues with the Concept Plan and EIAs (Environmental Impact Assessments), and lots lots more.
I'm so thankful Siti was there to help explain to everyone the importance of Blue Carbon. Here's an earlier post about Blue Carbon which is explained as "The ocean's "biological pump" that removes carbon dioxide, changing it into living matter and distributing it to the deeper water layers. Out of all the biological carbon captured in the world, 55% is taken up at sea by marine living organisms, and thus called 'blue carbon'." Dr Dan also shared important perspectives of how our kids can become citizen scientists. Dr Dan leads an annual trip of students from Duke University so they can study Singapore!
Thanks once again to Olivia for the opportunity to speak. The folks at Green Drinks are very lively and well informed. Do come for their events to find out more about the latest issues and how you can make a difference.

Find out more on the Green Drinks blog or facebook group or follow the Green Drinks tweets.

Olivia live tweeted the event @oliviachoong and here's a summary of the talk! Thanks Olivia for everything!

Andy Lee, an inspiring dad who takes his kids out to our wild places, also shared "Who say Singapore is boring?" on his marvelous blog.


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