19 Nov: The Future of MacRitchie Concert

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This Saturday, pop by MacRitchie Reservoir Park for nature walks and a concert, and show your love for our Central Catchment Nature Reserve. Read more below!

The Future Of MacRitchie concert is an open invitation for people from all walks of lives and living in all parts of Singapore to understand the issues surrounding MacRitchie and the upcoming Cross Island MRT Line (CRL).

A group of volunteers has come together to raise the awareness about a potentially serious threat to MacRitchie, which is part of the remaining 1% of our primary forest that lies mainly in the Central Catchment Nature Reserves.

The proposed construction of a tunnel through the forest for the CRL will affect the biodiversity. Johnson’s Freshwater Crab is waiting anxiously. It is endemic to Singapore in the whole world, and is at risk of extinction.

How can we ensure the delicate balance between nature and progress doesn’t destroy the natural charm of MacRitchie, which has been a favourite nature spot for Singaporeans and tourists.

Engagement between Government and nature groups since 2014 has already yielded positive results, resulting in an Environmental Impact Assessment being conducted.

The final decision on the exact alignment of the CRL is still pending with assurances by the Government that all views from stakeholders will be heard and taken into consideration.

So, if you care about MacRitchie and Singapore’s future, it’s time to come together and show that we mean it.

If you do so, the Johnson Freshwater Crab will be delighted.  And remember it has no MP to write letters that will save it!

Date: 19 November 2016 (Sat)
Time: 3pm – 6pm
Venue: Reservoir Deck, MacRitchie Reservoir Park (view map here)
Admission: Free
RSVP: Register at their website here

For more details, please visit their website – http://futureofmacritchie.storm.sg/.

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Upcoming Event: The Green Heart inside the Red Dot

Nominated Member of Parliament Faizah Jamal kicks off the evening by giving a short introduction on the background of the Cross Island Line through the Central Catchment Nature Reserve issue, making references to the Population White Paper Land Use Plan. She will also talk about the engagement between nature groups and the Land Transport Authority (LTA) on this issue.

Tony O’Dempsey will be speaking about the importance of preserving our natural heritage through the Nature Reserves. He will be discussing what is so special about the Central Catchment Nature reserve and how it is more than just “green Space”. Tony will talk in detail about the various threats to our native habitats including the current issue of the Cross Island Line proposed by the LTA as part of its 2013 Master Plan.

Also we’ve heard how an arborist is a ‘protector’ of trees and many of them work for a particular government agency. What does Goh Mia Chun as an arborist do in his tree consultancy firm and what is his role in protecting trees? Find out more…

Date: 23 October 2013 (Wednesday)
Time: 6.30pm  onwards
Venue: The Hub, National Youth Council Academy, 113 Somerset Road
RSVP: Email us at greendrinkssingapore@gmail.com or register at https://www.facebook.com/events/436157453159421/?fref=ts

We hope you can join us!

About our speakers

Faizah Jamal

For more than 25 years, Faizah Jamal has been an advocate for the environment, which started with her forays into the Malaysian forests and the volcanoes in Indonesia as a member of the (then) Malayan Nature Society now known as the Nature Society Singapore.

Formerly a Corporate Lawyer with a law degree from NUS, Faizah had specialized in Intellectual Property Law with top law firms Drew & Napier and Haq & Selvam in Singapore.
Faizah is also a recipient of the European Community (now European Union) Post-graduate Scholarship for ASEAN nationals in Environment Studies in 1992, and has a Master’s degree in Environment Law from King’s College, University of London.

In 2003 Faizah gave up corporate law to pursue her passion for the environment and embarked on a second career as a full time Environment Educator, leading students towards an awareness of, and love for Nature.

Since 2008, Faizah is an Adjunct Lecturer with Republic Polytechnic, pioneering the Environment Education module , where she not only guides young people to be eco–literate, through skillful facilitation, she also encourages her students to reflect deeply on the intangible lessons from Nature in leading examined lives.

In Feb 2012 Faizah was appointed as a Nominated Member of Parliament, after her successful nomination by Nature Society Singapore specifically to represent environment concerns in Parliament.

Most notably, Faizah voted against the White Paper in Parliament in Feb 2013, charging that it is a document that thinks only ‘with the head, and not with the heart’. In particular, she had questioned the government’s plans to build an MRT line cutting through the Central Catchment Nature Reserve and had been vocal in expressing her views against it.

Tony O’Dempsey

Tony is a current council member of the Nature Society (Singapore) and former chair of its Vertebrate Study Group. He is also the author ofwww.florasingapura.com. Tony has been working as a volunteer on various conservation projects relating to the Nature Reserves for the past 20 years and is very familiar with the forest habitats of the Central Catchment Nature Reserve. He is also the principle editor of the NSS Position paper on the Cross Island Line.

TODAY: Culling of Lower Peirce wild pigs ‘necessary in the short term’

TODAY reported that the Nature Society (Singapore) has come up with long-term measures to reduce culling of wild pigs in the future, even though for the shorter term it recommends culling of significant numbers. The society rejected sterilisation, translocation and erection of barriers are inadequate measures to curb the wild pig population, while starting a survey to see if there is correlation between pig densities and abundance of oil palm in the area.

Culling of Lower Peirce wild pigs ‘necessary in the short term’

SINGAPORE – Even as it recommended that the wild pig population at Lower Peirce needed to be “substantially reduced immediately”, the Nature Society has suggested longer-term measures to minimise future culling.

These include fencing off the oil palm forest at the south-east section of the Lower Peirce forest to deny the pigs access to this food source, the removal of oil palm and a study to determine optimum wild pig populations for the Central Catchment Nature Reserve.

In the short term, culling is necessary to stop the forest from being denuded and to allow for regeneration.

It would also ensure sufficient resources for other wildlife such as mousedeer, stop native species like insects and the Malayan box terrapin from being preyed on by the pigs, and improve public safety, the society said in its position paper issued last week.

It identified a 0.3-sq-km area in the Lower Peirce forest – close to Upper Thomson Road – as being severely damaged by two families of between 30 and 40 wild pigs, with a new batch of 10 piglets observed last month.

This means a density of 266 pigs a sq km at the site or over seven times the density of Malaysia’s Pasoh forest, where large wild pig populations adversely impact small animals and flora.

Sterilisation will not solve the problem of overpopulation, while erecting barriers to keep the pigs within the forest is impractical and would not address forest degeneration, the society said.

Translocation would only transfer the problem to another area.

The society is involved in a survey to determine if high wild pig densities are correlated to the presence of oil palm in the area.

As a conservation group, it is not qualified to recommend how culling should be carried out, it added.

Debate on the culling of wild pigs started in June, with animal welfare activists against it and the National Parks Board defending its decision.

On June 22, two wild boars wandered into the Bishan-Ang Mo Kio Park and one attacked a security guard and a five-year-old boy.

Image from Savio DSouza