Singapore starts comprehensive marine biodiversity survey Mustafa Shafawi Channel NewsAsia 7 Dec 10;
Study on Singapore marine life, First extensive Singapore survey Straits Times 7 Dec 10;
Singapore to conduct biodiversity survey on marine ecosystem
S Mustafa Today Online 8 Dec 10
3-year marine life census under way It is hoped that the database will help preserve biodiversity amid development, Amresh Gunasingham Straits Times 10 Dec 10;
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Marine biodiversity survey on track
NParks website 07 Dec 2010
Singapore, 7 December 2010: Singapore has many marine treasures waiting to be documented. Some of these have yet to be discovered and are waiting to be found. For example, did you know that there are mud lobsters in our mangroves and that half the number of seagrass species in the Indo-Pacific region can be found within Singapore's waters? In the last two years, a species of sponge new to science was discovered in Singapore's shallow waters. These are just some amazing plant and animal life that will soon be recorded under Singapore's first Comprehensive Marine Biodiversity Survey.Comprehensive Marine Biodiversity Survey Of Singapore
Led by the National Parks Board (NParks), and partnering experts from tertiary institutions, non-governmental organisations and individual enthusiasts, the survey will take stock of Singapore's marine ecosystem, species diversity and distribution over three years. The survey is targeted to be completed by December 2013.
Prof Leo Tan, Chairman of Garden City Fund said, "We are highly encouraged and grateful for the good multi-party support that the survey has received, from volunteers and corporations. As this national project will benefit everybody, we would like to invite more public and private sector support for the survey."
Organisations supporting the survey include Shell Companies in Singapore and the Care-for-Nature Trust Fund. Shell Companies in Singapore has donated S$500,000 to the National University of Singapore (NUS) for conservation activities, of which S$300,000 will go towards bringing in scientific experts for this survey. The Care-for-Nature Trust Fund has pledged S$250,000 to finance equipment required for the survey.
"We are as proud of the rich marine biodiversity found around our shores as our long and deep heritage in Singapore", said Mr Lee Tzu Yang, Chairman, Shell Companies in Singapore. "Shell has enjoyed 120 successful years in Singapore, and we are proud to support this national survey to help protect and sustain our natural environment for all generations to enjoy."
Work on the survey has already commenced. Sites with coastal and marine habitats around Singapore have been identified and mapped, using satellite images. They are further validated through the ongoing biodiversity surveys conducted at these sites, including Chek Jawa, Cyrene Reefs and Pulau Semakau.
More than 80 volunteers, co-managed by NParks and volunteer Ms Ria Tan, have come forward to register their interest and support. They will be participating in various aspects of the survey, such as photography, outdoor field sampling and collection, specimen processing, database support and organising outreach programmes. NParks is working with NUS to train the volunteers.
Ms Ria Tan said, "I am very encouraged by the enthusiastic response from the public to help with the survey. The volunteers come from all walks of life. They range from seasoned green supporters to first timers. This is a great opportunity for all in Singapore to come together, and learn and share about nature in urban Singapore."
Noting the importance of collective action in environmental conservation, Mr Richard Hale, Chairman of the Management Committee for the Care-For-Nature Trust Fund said, "It takes many hands to protect the environment upon which our prosperity depends on, and the Care-for-Nature Trust Fund is proud to be a part of this survey. We certainly hope that the survey will promote greater awareness of the rich biodiversity in Singapore and the need to conserve our environment, as this is precisely what the Care-for-Nature Trust Fund is all about."
NParks website 7 Dec 10;
Background - Why the survey
Singapore is one of the busiest ports in the world. Yet we have very rich marine biodiversity. Singapore's waters harbour some 250 species of hard corals, or a third of the world's hard coral species. Half the number of seagrass species in the Indo-Pacific region can be found within Singapore�s waters. More than 100 species of inter-tidal sponges have been recorded and many more are likely to be observed in the survey.
We have achieved this through delicately balancing development and biodiversity conservation, which is something that we will need to continue doing given our limited space and resources.
In order for Singapore to remain a sustainable coastal city as we continue to urbanise, we need to better integrate the management of our coastal and marine environments. The start to this is to know comprehensively and understand our marine biodiversity, what we have, where they are and how best to conserve them.
What is the Comprehensive Marine Biodiversity Survey
The Comprehensive Marine Biodiversity Survey (CMBS) will take stock of Singapore's marine ecosystem and species diversity, species distribution and abundance over three years from end 2010 to end 2013.
The survey, led by the National Parks Board (NParks), will bring together the larger community of experts from tertiary institutions, non-governmental organisations and individual enthusiasts.
Shell Companies in Singapore has donated S$500,000 to the National University of Singapore for conservation activities, of which S$300,000 will go towards bringing in scientific experts for this survey. The Care-for-Nature Trust Fund has sponsored S$250,000 to the Garden City Fund, which will finance equipment required for the survey.
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