Category Archives: Mangrove News

Assessing the value of Singapore’s mangrove swamps

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The concept of ecosystem services in conservation was increasingly being used by scientists. It is an anthropocentric approach to promote nature, by telling people how much service they provide. More debatable is a branch of ecological economist works to assess the monetary value of nature.

In Singapore, limited extent of mangroves has its value. It provides ecosystem services to public, mainly through providing a ground for education and recreation; and to a certain extent, climate regulation and coastal protection.

In this article, Dr.Dan Friess apply the concept of “ecosystem services” in discussion of Singapore’s mangroves and its value to the society.

Read the article here: http://www.straitstimes.com/the-big-story/asia-report/singapore/story/assessing-the-value-singapores-mangrove-swamps-20150221

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When spring tide is in, boardwalks are out

Source: The Straits Times

Published on 25th January, 2015 by Feng Zengkun

The partially submerged Mangrove Boardwalk at the reserve during the high spring tide last Friday. — Photo: Lim Yaohui for the Sunday Times

Visitors to Sungei Buloh Wetland Reserve last Thursday and Friday may have found themselves closer to the water than expected.

High spring tides of up to 3.5m submerged the wooden walkway on both afternoons.

The reserve’s deputy director, Ms Sharon Chan, said such high tides occur several times a year and added that there are plans to raise the height of the reserve’s boardwalks.

“Some sections of the boardwalks may be flooded during the spring tides,” she told The Sunday Times. “On these days, signs are put up to inform visitors that the trails are closed.”

Spring tides occur when the Sun, Moon and Earth are aligned, according to the United States’ National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).

The gravitational pull of the Sun is “added” to the gravitational pull of the Moon on Earth, causing the oceans to bulge more than usual.

This means that the high tides are a little higher and low tides are a little lower than average.

Tide timetables on the National Environment Agency’s website show that the high tides are expected to reach 3.4m on Feb 20 slightly before noon and on Feb 21 at about 12.30pm.

Visitors to the Sungei Buloh reserve were unfazed by the occasional flooding.

“Even if you get there and some parts of it are closed, there are lots of other things you can do,” said Ms Georgina Tan, 30, a sales executive.

The reserve recently opened a new extension that includes five lookout points that give people unobstructed views of the reserve and the sea, and a gallery featuring plants and animals found in the mangroves.

Entry to the reserve is free and it is open from 7.30am to 7pm from Mondays to Saturdays, and 7am to 7pm on Sundays and public holidays. For the tidal timetable, call 6794-1401.

Concerns over impact of coastal barriers will be looked into

Source: Channel News Asia

Published on 3rd December,2014

TODAY reports: Authorities such as the Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA) and Singapore Police Force have been involved in making sure the impact of the environment is minimised as more barricades are put up.”

SINGAPORE: With 40 per cent of Singapore’s 197km coastline to be barricaded in the coming years to beef up security, the authorities have reiterated that further studies will be conducted if there is a need to better understand the barriers’ impact on the surroundings — especially if they are near sensitive areas such as nature reserves or marine and coastal areas.

Questions on the impact of barriers being built off the Kranji and Poyan reservoirs were raised recently on the Wild Shores of Singapore blog, run by nature enthusiast Ria Tan.

The Kranji and Poyan barriers are not part of the additional 80km announced by Deputy Prime Minister Teo Chee Hean in October. Work on the barriers near the reservoirs started in August and will be completed in January 2016, a Singapore Police Force spokesperson said.

The Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA) and four other Government agencies had reviewed the proposal for any potential environmental concerns, a URA spokesperson told TODAY. The police is to do environmental monitoring and put in place mitigating measures such as silt control during construction.

The police were required to conduct an environmental impact assessment (EIA) for the Kranji barriers, but not for the Poyan ones.

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Ubin day 2014

Ubinday2014

 

Let’s celebrate Pulau Ubin on Ubin Day 2014!

Mangrove actions squad will be having their presence in Ubin Day 2014.

Come and join us!

Time: 2-4pm

Venue: Assembly Area opposite the HSBC Volunteer Hub

Event webpage: http://ubinday2014.wix.com/ubin#!Learn-about-mangroves-with-the-Mangrove-Action-Squad/c1h84/D10D6D7B-CC84-4BE1-B56D-BDD20C64FC73

 

There are many exciting and fun activities for people with various interest!

More information on http://ubinday2014.wix.com/ubin or visit their facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/pulauubinday

 

New extension of Sungei Buloh Wetland Reserve opens Dec 6

Source: The Sunday Times

Published on 20th November 2014 by Feng Zengkun

The Sungei Buloh Wetland Reserve boasts a rich variety of mangrove wildlife, which includes the migratory shorebirds. — PHOTO: ST FILE

SINGAPORE – The Sungei Buloh Wetland Reserve will celebrate its 21st birthday on Dec 6 with the opening of a new 31-hectare extension.

The new recreational space, which is linked to the 130ha reserve, will have rich mangrove and coastal forests for visitors to explore, observation points, and a mid-canopy walk on a suspended bridge that takes people through the understorey of a secondary forest.

Six new guided walks have also been added to the reserve’s original one, including two walks meant for children under 12 years old. Each free, 1.5-hour walk will be guided by volunteers from Regent Secondary School or the public.

Visitors can step onto mudflats during low tides to get up close to creatures such as Tree Climbing Crab, Solitary Tube Worm and Giant Mudskipper.

A new bird-watching walk added to the original reserve will also teach people to spot shorebirds such as plovers and sandpipes, and passerines, also called perching birds, such as sunbirds and bulbuls.

National Parks Board deputy director of conservation Sharon Chan said the extension will help relieve pressure on the original reserve, which gets 100,000 visitors a year. “It also presents a host of invaluable new opportunities for visitors of all ages to experience nature and learn about the importance of conserving our mangroves,” she said.

Meet the stars of the bird-watching season

PHOTO: ALPHONSUS CHERN

 

Birding season is here! Whether you enjoy photography or just simply enjoy watching them in their natural habitat, do some reading before you put on your binocular!

The migratory season usually starts from September until March. Sungei Buloh Wetland Reserve is an important roosting and feeding ground for these migratory birds before they continue their journey to the South.

Here is some articles published by The Straits Times on migratory birds you can see in Singapore mangroves!

http://www.straitstimes.com/news/singapore/environment/story/thousands-migrant-birds-fly-singapore-escape-winter-20140922

http://www.straitstimes.com/news/singapore/environment/story/meet-the-stars-the-bird-watching-season-20140922

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Pulau Ubin coast faces erosion risk

Source: The Straits Times

Published on 24th August, 2014 by Melody Zaccheus

Minister of State for National Development Desmond Lee doing his part at the reforestation initiative on Pulau Ubin yesterday. He says that one solution to tackle the island’s fast-eroding northern coastline could be to install breakwaters. — PHOTO: LIANHE ZAOBAO

Pulau Ubin’s northern coastline is fast being eroded by tides and currents.

If left unchecked, the island could lose parts of its coastal forest and mangroves.

To turn the tide, the Ministry of National Development plans to carry out a study to establish the extent of erosion, the types of vegetation affected and the impact it will have on hydrology.

Speaking at a reforestation initiative on the island yesterday, Minister of State for National Development Desmond Lee said the study will help it “properly design restoration measures and erosion control measures”.

One solution could be to install breakwaters, he said.

The fast-eroding shoreline is one of several pressing needs facing the 10.2 sq km island, which is about the size of Changi Airport.

Another is to fix the dilapidated buildings on the island, some of which have fallen into disrepair due to neglect.

Capturing the stories of the island’s remaining 38 elderly dwellers is another urgent matter, Mr Lee said.

That is why the ministry has been gathering ideas from different Ubin interest groups and stakeholders on how to preserve and enhance the island’s rustic character and natural environment, while sensitively providing access to the public. This intention was first announced by Mr Lee in Parliament in March.

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Malaysia’s Mangrove Forest Rapidly Depleted And Degraded

Source: Bernama

Published on 4th September, 2013 by Jailani Hasan

LABUAN (Bernama) — Mangrove forests in Peninsula, and Sabah and Sarawak are being rapidly cleared due to the pressures from growing populations in coastal areas.

The ever changing population dynamics has led to changes in land use and over-utilization of resources.

The mangrove depletion is further exacerbated by rapid economic development in the coastal areas apart from unsustainable forest practices, land conversion/reclamation for agriculture, aquaculture, mining, industrial, port expansion, urbanisation, tourism, infrastructure development.

The news article further discuss on current trend of mangroves ecosystem in Malaysia, their threat, the implications. The author also uses Matang mangrove forest in Perak to illustrate the ingredients for successful mangrove management program.

Read the full article here: http://www.bernama.com.my/bernama/v7/fe/newsfeatures.php?id=974683

UNEP Environmental Alert: Global Mangrove Forest Cover Fading Fast

Source: Travel Impact Newswire

Published on 22nd August, 2013

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Nairobi, Aug 2013 – The uniquely adapted mangrove forests on the marine-terrestrial interface preserve coastline integrity by buffering wave energy from marine processes. The ecosystem services they provide and their support for coastal livelihoods worldwide are worth at least US $1.6 billion a year. Despite their global importance, mangroves are being lost rapidly and action is urgently needed to protect them.

The news article listed the findings of the report which includes the importance of mangroves, threats and progress in mangrove conservation. The article also states the implication of these findings on policy worldwide.

Read the full news article on http://www.travel-impact-newswire.com/2013/08/unep-environmental-alert-global-mangrove-forest-cover-fading-fast/#ixzz2czKSC7Xg

 

Coastal ecosystem for carbon storage

A newly-publish paper provides more evidence to mangrove ecosystem function as carbon sink.

This paper pointed out that conversion of the small global extent of mangroves contribute to a large proportion global carbon emission, more than that of tropical rainforest. The paper also estimated the emission of carbon from the conversion of coastal ecosystem.  The ecosystem being discussed in this paper includes tidal marsh, mangroves and seagrass.

“These coastal ecosystems are a tiny ribbon of land, only 6 percent of the land area covered by tropical forest, but the emissions from their destruction are nearly one-fifth of those attributed to deforestation worldwide,”

“One hectare, or roughly two acres of coastal marsh, can contain the same amount of carbon as 488 cars produce in a year. Comparatively, destroying a hectare of mangroves could produce as much greenhouse gas emissions as cutting down three to five hectares of tropical forest.”

Chart: Emissions from conversion of coastal ecosystems
Emissions from conversion of coastal ecosystems

CITATION: Pendleton L, Donato DC, Murray BC, Crooks S, Jenkins WA, et al. (2012) Estimating Global “Blue Carbon” Emissions from Conversion and Degradation of Vegetated Coastal Ecosystems. PLoS ONE 7(9): e43542. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0043542

Source: Mongabay.com