Sunday, August 17, 2008

Chek Jawa - Treasure at Pulau Ubin

The Beautiful Bridge - Courtesy of Philips

The View from the top - Courtesy of Philips

The Green View from the top - Courtesy of Philips

Resort House for Visitors - Courtesy of Philips

The Beautiful Bridge Again - Courtesy of Philips

The Mysterious Tree by Night - Courtesy of Philips

Tour Map of Chek Jawa - Courtesy of Philips and Wild Singapore

Chek Jawa by Google Map - Courtesy of Wild Singapore

Chek Jawa Sketch Map - Courtesy of Wild Singapore

The hottest new cause here is the environment, and various activities to save Mother Earth have spread like wildfire online.


'Otterman' spreads the eco-message

POSSIBLY the country's first green blogger, Mr N. Sivasothi (above), 42, helped bring to public attention Pulau Ubin's Chek Jawa, which started the effort to save the wetlands from reclamation in 2001.

In the last decade, the ecology lecturer at the National University of Singapore (NUS) has trained hundreds of NUS students to be nature guides, as part of a commitment to share Singapore's natural heritage with its people.

To spread the message of eco-oriented goings-on here, the tech-savvy zoologist, who goes by the moniker Otterman, began sending out e-mail lists in 1998.

He set up webpages in 1999, and went on to upload digital shots in 2001 on his website, Each step kept pace with the milestones of the Internet's evolution, he said.

His dedication proved useful to galvanising support for Ubin's Chek Jawa.

'One e-mail to NUS staff and another post on habitatnews and we saw several hundreds of people responding and turning up at Chek Jawa over two weekends.'

Today, besides giving talks, conducting guided tours and leading the Toddy Cats in their annual coordination of the International Coastal Clean-up Singapore (ICCS), he encourages students to blog about their discoveries in green, blue and brown - flora, marine life and trash-collecting, calling the few who do 'modern-day naturalists, putting out the news of tomorrow'.

The latest way to get started, he suggested, is 'mini-blogs' at, where each e-mail is turned into a posting.

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