Thursday, April 14, 2016

Make judicious use of Singapore's green lung

Source Website: http://news.asiaone.com/news/mailbox/make-judicious-use-singapores-green-lung
By V. Subramaniam (Dr), The Straits Times, April 7, 2016


The untouched rustic charm of the island will be potentially disturbed if man-made developments are allowed to proliferate there.
PHOTO: The untouched rustic charm of the island will be potentially disturbed if man-made developments are allowed to proliferate there.
Photo: Zaobao
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http://news.asiaone.com/sites/default/files/styles/w641/public/original_images/Jan2016/20160113-ZAOBAO-CONEY-ISLAND.gif?itok=m5jllrur&timestamp=1460021018
http://news.asiaone.com/news/mailbox/make-judicious-use-singapores-green-lung


The decision to expand Outward Bound Singapore (OBS) to Coney Island has been the subject of some discussion recently ("$250m Outward Bound campus for Coney Island"; March 25, http://news.asiaone.com/news/singapore/budget-2016-new-outward-bound-singapore-campus-be-built-coney-island).

I particularly agree with Dr Aishworiya Ramkumar's assertion that the untouched rustic charm of the island will be potentially disturbed if man-made developments are allowed to proliferate there ("Keep Outward Bound Singapore campus out of Coney Island"; March 29, http://www.straitstimes.com/forum/letters-in-print/keep-outward-bound-singapore-campus-out-of-coney-island).



The charm of coney island at the start of the West Gate


PHOTO: The charm of coney island at the start of the West Gate.  The other gate is 2.4km away and is near Lorong Halus Island, East Gate.
CIMG2796.jpg, Photo taken on 2 November 2015 at 12:57 pm

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While the Government is to be commended for expanding OBS' facilities to enable some 45,000 young people yearly to benefit from much-needed outdoor adventure exposure, the long-term eco-health of the island as a whole would invariably be affected ("OBS set to be rugged new melting pot", http://news.asiaone.com/news/singapore/obs-set-be-rugged-new-melting-pot; last Thursday, 7 April 2016).



Adorable otters wandering the rustic grounds of Coney Island.


PHOTO: Adorable otters wandering the rustic grounds of Coney Island.
Photo courtesy of NParks, posted by honeykids on Tuesday 12 January 2016

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http://d2q2f0pfv13tpb.cloudfront.net/wp-content/uploads/2016/01/Coney.Island.5.jpg
http://www.honeykidsasia.com/singapore/play/outdoor-play/guide-coney-island-singapores-new-nature-park-punggol-settlement/



Potential development for housing and other needs will most certainly destroy the ecological appeal of the nature park and cause a decline in wildlife.



Spotted wood owl, which are nationally critically endangered.


PHOTO: Spotted wood owl, which are nationally critically endangered.
Picture posted by The Straits Times on on 17 October 2015

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http://www.straitstimes.com/sites/default/files/st_20151017_baconeyjz83_1764604.jpg
http://www.straitstimes.com/lifestyle/home-design/6-things-to-check-out-at-coney-island-park



It cannot be envisaged that the island will maintain its purity and idyllic appeal.

Conservation of such habitats is of vital ecological significance.

The National Parks Board has acknowledged the rustic nature of the island and is keen to keep the park "as basic as possible" ("Safeguard rustic appeal of Coney Island Nature Park"; Jan 13).



A view of Pulau Ubin from Coney Island


PHOTO: A view of Pulau Ubin from Coney Island
CIMG2867, Photo taken on 2 November 2015 at 1:52 pm

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Admittedly, the demands of modern times will present dynamic challenges and unpalatable choices for the preservation and conservation of nature.



A serene canel coming in from the sea.


PHOTO: A serene canel coming in from the sea. There are many small guppy fishes swimming around during the high tide. We have to walk a 50m stretch of "raised wooden path" to reach this area.
CIMG2863.JPG, Photo taken on 2 November 2015 at 1:52 pm
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But do we have to surrender Mother Nature to the machinations of man?

Let us support the process of adaptation. Perhaps the authorities could also ensure a more collaborative and consultative approach in future plans that impact our dwindling green environment.
By V. Subramaniam (Dr), The Straits Times, April 7, 2016
This article was first published on April 7, 2016.
Get a copy of The Straits Times or go to straitstimes.com for more stories.


THE BULL

PHOTO: THE BULL
If you are lucky, you may spot the single, free-roaming bull on the island. It is a Brahman, a breed of Zebu cattle that originates from South Asia.

The shy, gentle animal has large ears that hang loosely by its head, loose skin hanging from its neck and a prominent hump over its shoulders.

It is a mystery how the bull got on the island. It could have wandered from Punggol or Lorong Halus, but no one has reported a lost cow.

It was found sick and malnourished on the island after the dam crossings were built, but has since been nursed back to health. It undergoes a veterinary check-up every six months and is under the care of NParks.

It forages naturally as there is an abundance of vegetation on the island. Feeding by the public is strictly prohibited.

Visitors are also reminded to avoid approaching, disturbing or trying to take close-up photographs of or with it.

They should also not shout at or provoke the animal or use flash photography.
Picture posted by The Straits Times on on 17 October 2015
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http://www.straitstimes.com/sites/default/files/st_20151017_baconeywiyl_1764605.jpg
http://www.straitstimes.com/lifestyle/home-design/6-things-to-check-out-at-coney-island-park


 Cycle along Punggol Point Park and enjoy the lovely breeze and sunshine


PHOTO: Cycle along Punggol Point Park and enjoy the lovely breeze and sunshine
This resemble the Famous Five Series of  21 books by Enid Blyton, which the child George's parents own the 'Kirrin Island'. We used to read her story books during our secondary school days, more than 30 years ago.
Photo courtesy of NParks, posted by honeykids on Tuesday 12 January 2016
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http://d2q2f0pfv13tpb.cloudfront.net/wp-content/uploads/2016/01/punggol_1.jpg
http://www.honeykidsasia.com/singapore/play/outdoor-play/guide-coney-island-singapores-new-nature-park-punggol-settlement/




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