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Pesta Ubin 2020 – A Million Thanks for 110 Trees Planted!

Participants and volunteers at Island Tales and Forest Fables @ Pesta Ubin 2020, a first of its kind storytelling and culture event organised by Cicada Tree Eco-Place and supported by NParks, on Saturday, 12 September 2020.

A million thanks to all our wonderful family participants, storytellers, tree planting volunteers from ActiveSG Pasir Ris Sport Centre, volunteer crew from Cicada Tree Eco-Place and NParks team who planted 110 trees as part of Pesta Ubin 2020 and One Million Trees movement.

Tree Planting

Jalan Jelutong tree planting site.

Jln Jelutong was a piece of quarry wasteland reclaimed from the sea during granite quarry operations in the past.

The tree planting initiative is part of One Million Trees movement which aims to restore nature back into our City through the planting of more than a million trees across Singapore over the next decade.

Click to view photos:

Over 16,000 trees from over 70 native species will eventually be planted at Balai Quarry South, Sungei Teris and Jalan Jelutong on Pulau Ubin.

Despite the sun and torrential rain, our volunteers persisted and successfully planted 110 trees!


Interactive Storytelling

As part of Pesta Ubin 2020, our interactive, socially-distanced storytellers also shared about the history and legend of Pulau Ubin.

Ubin is known as “Granite Island” in Malay. Today, it is one of Singapore’s last traditional kampongs with less than 50 residents.

Ubin is also home to Chek Jawa, an unprotected wetland ecosystem that was saved from land reclamation in the early 2000s.

As the story goes, the island was formed when three animals from Singapore – a frog, a pig and an elephant – challenged each other to a race to reach the shores of Johor.

The animals that failed would turn to stone.

All three failed to swim across. Therefore, the elephant and pig turned into Pulau Ubin whilst the frog became Pulau Sekudu or Frog Island.

Thanks to all our family participants and tree planting volunteers from ActiveSG, Pasir Ris Sport Centre – Urban Farming Interest Group as well as our volunteer event crew from Cicada Tree Eco-Place:

Teresa Guttensohn, Tia Guttensohn, Sean Guttensohn, Jabriel, Amanda Ang, Balakrishnan Matchap, Lisha Raghani, Jelaine Ng Sha-Men, Angela Pinto, Lim Li Fang, Kripa Dubey, Dr George Jacobs, Dr Denise Dillon, Joleen Chan, Jeffrey Roslan, Fatin Syahirah, Farhan, Richard Tan, Rosemary Chan, Susan Kueh.

More photos of our volunteers hard at work:


Grey Heron (Ardea cinerea) at the nearby Pekan Quarry, where NParks piloted a floating wetlands system in 2015. 10 heron-nesting structures have been deployed there.

Ubin: A Refuge for Wildlife

In other news, a comprehensive biodiversity survey of Pulau Ubin since 2018 has found over 20 new species of fauna, said Mr Desmond Lee, minister for National Development on the occasion of Ubin Day.

This includes the new spider species Piranthus sp. – characterised by bright reddish-orange pairs of front legs in the females.

Deputy Prime Minister Heng Swee Keat was taken on a tour of the island and planted a tree there on Ubin Day:

Welcome to Pulau Ubin. This was the message that greeted us on arrival at the jetty. The sky was dreary when we arrived…

Dikirim oleh Heng Swee Keat pada Sabtu, 26 September 2020

Learn more about the discoveries below:

The unique biodiversity found on Pulau Ubin is fascinating. This has been confirmed by the new findings from our…

Dikirim oleh Desmond Lee pada Jumat, 25 September 2020
READ MORE: 20 new species of fauna recorded on Pulau Ubin, including new type of spider: CNA

Zaobao National Day 2020 Feature

提醒国人 动植物也是岛国一分子

★Cicada Tree Eco-Place

创于:2006年

受众群体:5至85岁,主要针对年轻群体。

宗旨:介绍本地生物的多样化,教育公众保护环境的重要性。

只要生活在地球上,地球变暖和海平面上升等环境问题对任何人,无论种族、宗教或语言都有直接的影响。环境问题仿佛一条线,将背景各异的人们联系在一起。

环境课题近几年来备受关注,尤其在年轻群体中。16岁的瑞典环保主义者格蕾塔·通贝里(Greta Thunberg)是最典型的例子。本地也有不少年轻人参与环境组织,为大自然发声。杨志豪(26岁,摄影师)去年为了做一个关于人类和环境之间的冲突的毕业专题作业,发现自然环境教育组织Cicada Tree Eco-Place。

Cicada Tree Eco-Place将心系环境课题的新加坡人,不分种族或宗教,都聚在一起。(受访者提供)
Cicada Tree Eco-Place将心系环境课题的新加坡人,不分种族或宗教,都聚在一起。(受访者提供)

Cicada Tree Eco-Place成立于2006年,旨在介绍本地生物的多样化,教育公众保护环境的重要性。该组织每年举办多项适合一家大小参与的活动,包括露营、大自然徒步等。受众年龄介于5至85岁。组织也会在官方网页发表和环境相关的文章。

修读传媒专业的杨志豪认为,新闻报道往往会平衡各方面的观点,“但大自然不能为自己发声,声音往往被忽略。相比保护环境,人类对大自然的伤害更是不成比例的。”杨志豪因为想继续为大自然发声,他完成毕业专题作业后,继续待在Cicada Tree Eco-Place。他目前负责拍照、设计组织网页,以及管理社交平台。

赵琴音(左)和杨志豪认为,环境课题能够将背景各异的国人聚在一起。
赵琴音(左)和杨志豪认为,环境课题能够将背景各异的国人聚在一起。

Cicada Tree Eco-Place目前有十多名活跃成员,包括创办人赵琴音(57岁)在内都不是全职员工。赵琴音认为,Cicada Tree Eco-Place将关注环境课题的人聚在一起。她说:“想和另四名朋友一起创立Cicada Tree Eco-Place是因为人类对环境已经造成非常严重的破坏。人们不能停留在知道地球已病危,必须通过实际行动,减少对环境的伤害。”

让孩子先认识大自然

赵琴音自幼在甘榜长大。她怀念小时候和大自然靠得很近的生活。
赵琴音自幼在甘榜长大。她怀念小时候和大自然靠得很近的生活。

赵琴音认为,从小在甘榜里生活让她对环境有很深的认识和热爱。“我们一群人住在甘榜会一起爬树、养鸡,与大自然生活得非常靠近。现在的孩子反而很少有机会靠近大自然。”赵琴音认为,父母应多让小朋友沉浸在绿意中,“先认识大自然的魅力,才会喜欢它,愿意为保护环境出一分力。”

家庭主妇李慧丽(42岁)就于2019年带着儿子黄纬喆(12岁,学生)参与由Cicada Tree Eco-Place举办的一项到乌敏岛观鸟和种树的活动。李慧丽受访时说:“让孩子有机会接触大自然非常重要。过程中,孩子会意识到保护环境的重要性。”她举例说,儿子有次提醒她带塑料盒去打包食物,“他对环保的意识让我非常欣慰。”

李慧丽(左)和儿子黄纬喆一起到大自然里活动,除了认识到保护环境的重要性,也促进亲子关系。(受访者提供)
李慧丽(左)和儿子黄纬喆一起到大自然里活动,除了认识到保护环境的重要性,也促进亲子关系。(受访者提供)

问黄纬喆乌敏岛的活动哪个环节让他印象最深刻,他回答:“我最喜欢种树,因为可以玩泥巴!”但黄纬喆说,同龄的朋友未必喜欢到大自然去。“有些人怕肮脏,一些则不喜欢被蚊子叮,或担心中暑。”但黄纬喆认为,能够和家人一起沉浸在大自然里不仅可以放松身心,还能够促进亲子关系。他鼓励家长在疫情过后多带孩子到大自然里走走,从小培养孩子对大自然的喜爱。

黄纬喆参与Cicada Tree Eco-Place的活动,到乌敏岛种树投入大自然里。(受访者提供)
黄纬喆参与Cicada Tree Eco-Place的活动,到乌敏岛种树投入大自然里。(受访者提供)

另一名家庭主妇拉迪亚(Radiah Rizal,36岁)则于2018年首次带三名女儿参与“Love our MacRitchie Forest”大自然徒步活动。她感叹:“以前住在甘榜,周围都是花草树木。但从前的绿意已被今天的组屋取代。”她认为,小孩子参与Cicada Tree Eco-Place举办的活动后能更明白保护环境的重要性。“我的女儿最近制作了一些海报送给学校的朋友,希望帮助同学认识本地的自然遗产,积极保护环境。”

拉迪亚(右一)认为,人类对环境的破坏是个棘手的问题,她鼓励家长多带孩子到绿意中认识大自然。(受访者提供)
拉迪亚(右一)认为,人类对环境的破坏是个棘手的问题,她鼓励家长多带孩子到绿意中认识大自然。(受访者提供)

当越来越多的新加坡人心系环境课题,愿意为保护本地的生物多样化和环境出一分力——这或许是让Cicada Tree Eco-Place团队最感欣慰的事。赵琴音指出,地球正面临全新世灭绝事(Holocene Extinction),“如果人们不再下意识地保护环境,本地一些濒临绝种的动植物,如印度尼西亚叶猴(Raffles’ Banded Langur)有天可能从世上消失。”

在我国濒临绝种的印度尼西亚叶猴。(档案照)
在我国濒临绝种的印度尼西亚叶猴。(档案照)

赵琴音希望,国人在欢庆新加坡55岁生日之际,别忘了本地的野生动植物也是新加坡的一分子,是我国重要的自然遗产。“但愿45年后,当我们庆祝新加坡100岁生日时,我国的自然生态会比今天丰富。

Source: Zaobao

Winners of the Endangered Species Kids Poster Design Contest

Dear eco-warriors, thank you for your beautiful designs in the inaugural Endangered Species Kids Poster Design Contest.

At Cicada Tree Eco-Place, we believe that nature and culture are intertwined and people must play an active role in conserving the natural world.

Thank you for loving nature and please continue sharing this passion and knowledge with as many friends – together, we can make a difference!

Our team truly enjoyed viewing your creations, and we applaud all your efforts! After careful deliberation, we are happy to announce the winners:

Age 9-11yrs Category

Top 3 winners will receive a one-year free family membership at Nature Society (Singapore) worth $75 and a book prize. We will get in touch shortly on how you will receive your prize!

Raffles Banded Langur by
Han Jia Qian, 11, Keming Primary School
“I chose this vulnerable animal as it is rare and unique to Singapore. Their homes were destroyed to make space for houses and MRTs. We should build more rope bridges to help them cross our roads. “
Sunda Slow Loris by
Juliette Eve Phang, 11, Hong Wen School
“I hope this heartwarming image will appeal to people
and let them know that anyone and everyone can play a
part in saving this beautiful animal so it does not join
the list of extinct animals and disappear forever.”
Red Giant Flying Squirrel and White-Bellied Woodpecker by
Aryn Tan, 11, Henry Park Primary School
“I drew an excavator cutting down trees to show how
their homes are being destroyed by human beings.”

Age 6-8yrs Category

Top 3 winners will receive a $50 book voucher and a book prize. We will get in touch shortly on how you will receive your prize!

Singapore Durian, Singapore Kopsia, Kerinting , Bulbophylium by
Aashvi Muraka, 6, Montessori for Children
“Aashvi often hugs trees, saying they are lonely
as they stand alone throughout the night and day.
We wanted to emphasise that without plants,
there is no life and without life there is no ‘us’.”
White-Bellied Woodpecker by
Amaira Sharma, 8, Invictus International School
“This woodpecker pecks on dead trees.
I think it is very clever as it should be home
to many kinds of tasty delicious bugs.
Every living thing deserves a chance no
matter how big or small it is.”
Singapore Dendrobium, Monitor Lizard Fern, Singapore Freshwater Crab, Singapore Black Caecilian, White-Bellied Woodpecker, Raffles Banded Langur by
Jayna Tan Zi Ning, 8 CHIJ Toa Payoh Primary School
“We need to protect endangered animals and plants because it is important for humans.
A well-balanced ecosystem purifies the environment, giving us clean air to breathe,
a healthy water system to support diverse marine life and arable land
for agricultural production. When ecosystems fail, our own health is at risk.”

Commendable

To thank you for participating and encourage more young eco-warriors, these commendable entries will be awarded a book prize as well. We will get in touch shortly on how you will receive your prize!

Keep up the good work and continue learning about the natural world and Singapore’s precious native wildlife!

View the entries below (click to enlarge):

Foxes that Fly and Sea Turtles that Nest on Land

by Teresa Teo Guttensohn

Today is World Sea Turtle Day (16 June 2020). As we celebrate Sea Turtles, we remember the magical and fortuitous event which took place at East Coast beach of Singapore just weeks ago on World Turtle Day (23 May 2020). A critically endangered Hawksbill Sea Turtle (Eretmochelys imbricata) came ashore to nest!

The tapered head and beak-like jaw of the critically endangered Hawksbill Sea Turtle (Eretmochelys imbricata) are adaptations for it to forage in coral reefs to feed on sponges. Tragically, most sea turtles will ingest plastic in some form during their lifetime. We must keep our oceans and sea shores free of marine litter! PHOTO: Kevin Li (IG: @lkevyn)

Nesting in Broad Daylight

To the amazement of the few out exercising at East Coast Park beach during the COVID-19 lockdown, this Hawksbill Sea Turtle dug into the sand and laid her eggs in broad daylight before safely heading back to sea.

The closed beaches, off-limits to humans for their own good, meant more space, peace and quiet for our native wildlife to do their thing.

Sea turtles migrate long distances between feeding grounds and hatching beaches. Hatchlings will return to their natal beaches to lay eggs. However, sea turtles have to compete with humans to find suitable undisturbed beaches to nest on. In Singapore, excessive bright lighting along our beaches discourage nesting and cause hatchlings to wander inland to die.
PHOTO: Green Sea Turtle (Chelonia mydas) by Kevin Li (IG: @lkevyn)

Flying Foxes Galore

Not long after, another rare phenomenon took place serendipitously on World Environment Day (5 June 2020) – a large colony of about three hundred Flying Foxes (Pteropus sp.) flew into the rainforest of our Central Catchment Nature Reserve.

Wow! Are those birds? Are they drones? Nope, just ‘foxes’ that fly! – Flying Fox (Pteropus sp.).
PHOTO: Teresa Teo Guttensohn

Biggest Bats

With faces that resemble foxes and with a wingspan of about one metre, they are among the biggest bats in the world.

These Flying Foxes (Pteropus sp.) are members of a large colony which has come to roost in a tall tree in the rainforest on the fringe of Seletar Reservoir Park. As in the recent case of the Openbill Storks who had migrated to Singapore, it is likely that these mega-bats had been forced to leave their original home site in a neighbouring country due to disturbance of the colony, destruction of their habitat, or a lack of food sources. Unfortunately, it is currently not the fruiting or flowering season here in Singapore’s forests, which will make foraging difficult for these amazing flying mammals.
PHOTO: Courtesy of Sabrina Jabbar, who first sighted them on 5 June 2020.

Mega-bats Under Threat

Flying Foxes are found in parts of Asia, Africa, Australia and some oceanic islands in the Indian and Pacific Oceans. They can fly long distances to forage for food. In Singapore, resident colonies of the native Large Flying Fox (Pteropus vampyrus) have long been extirpated. Many species of Flying Foxes are threatened by hunting, habitat loss and deforestation.

An unprecedented wild sighting in Singapore! A large colony of about 300 Flying Foxes (Pteropus sp.) circling above their tree top roost in the Central Catchment Nature Reserve.
GIF: Teresa Teo Guttensohn

Time to Turn the Tide for Nature

As we witness more of such phenomenon, and with one million species believed to be facing extinction, will our children and our children’s children be able to see nature’s wonders as we now still have the privilege to enjoy?

If we all act decisively now, there is still time to turn the tide for Nature and ourselves!

“The food we eat, the air we breathe, the water we drink and the climate that makes our planet habitable, all come from nature. Yet, these are exceptional times in which nature is sending us a message: To care for ourselves, we must care for nature.

It is time to wake up. To take notice. To raise our voices. It’s time to build back better for People and Planet. This World Environment Day, it’s Time for Nature.”

THE UNITED Nations
The endangered Green Sea Turtle (Chelonia mydas) has serrated jaws adapted for feeding on sea grasses and algae. As they forage, they maintain the health of sea grass beds which provide nursery grounds for marine life, and which are the only feeding grounds of the endangered Dugong (Dugong dugon). Sea grasses were once common here up to the 1960s, with extensive meadows found off the eastern coast of Singapore and its offshore islands. The most damaging impact to sea grasses is total destruction due to land reclamation. We can help to conserve sea grass by not polluting or stepping on seagrass!
PHOTO: Kevin Li (IG: @lkevyn)

Turtle Hatchery

To help save Singapore’s population of sea turtles, a protected turtle hatchery located in Sisters’ Islands Marine Park was launched in September 2018.

What can you do? To contribute to turtle conservation,  volunteer with the ‘Biodiversity Beach Patrol’ by NParks to patrol beaches at night during the nesting season.

Singapore now has its very own turtle hatchery! Strategically located on Small Sister’s Island, the hatchery will serve…

Dikirim oleh NParks pada Jumat, 28 September 2018

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