“Healing the land to secure the future”
An article in the Straits Times dated 2 May 2022, “Healing the land to secure the future” by David Fogarty, Climate Change Editor, suggested a wake up call to all countries to ‘make good on pledges to restore one billion degraded hectares by 2030’. This comes in the light of a UN report that ‘Damage to landscapes is compounding the twin crises of climate change and biodiversity loss, and large-scale ecosystem restoration is needed to mitigate the problem’ (The Straits Times, 2 May 2022, p A12).
Our relevant government agencies have taken steps to ensure that our land is healthy, setting our eyes on The SG Green Plan which aims to transform Singapore into a greener and more sustainable city by 2030:
- Green Spaces.
a. Creating parks, recreation areas, urban forest and co-existing wildlife habitat.
b. Planting trees and installing green roofs and walls.
c. Develop urban farming and community gardens.
2. Blue Spaces.
a. Creating or restoring streams and ponds.
b. Harvesting urban rainwater.
c. Improving water and waste management and recycling.
But it takes two hands to clap! The Waterways Watch Society is concerned whether our people, the individuals and households, are doing their part well enough to ensure that we have a greener and more sustainable city by 2030. At this moment, we opine that it is still work in progress for sure. Our experience tells us that many people know the need to conserve water, keeping the environment clean but, we are still lacking in responsible actions. Most of us are still very oblivious to the reality of the impact of climate change and biodiversity loss and hence, the need for regeneration of nature and active restoration of the foliage in an urban landscape like ours. Our weekly patrols testify to this; littering and smoking in public places and in the parks and illegal fishing and using live baits in our waterways are still a perennial problem. For instance this week, over a time of 2 hours for each activity our members and participants of our programmes collected 239 masks, 346 cans and 268 plastic bottles from our designated areas alone. We did not consider the ‘tons’ of single-used plastic bags and styrofoam boxes and containers collected which is a lot more.
The Waterways Watch Society will continue to do the needful to spread the awareness of conserving our waters and environment clean and safe for all through our weekly patrols and talks by engaging people. Don’t let us clap alone with one hand. We need you.
This week the following were done:
- We conducted 7 CSR comprising boats, Pedal Boat, Foot and Kayak groups and they collected 164 kg of litter.
- We conducted virtual Assembly Talks to 2 primary schools and a total of 1080 students attended.
- This week a total of 103 members were involved for CSR programmes, talks, patrols, administration and housekeeping duties and the total trash collected = 229 kg.
- Boat Patrol. A total of 5 Boat patrols were carried out; 3 at Marina, 1 at Punggol and 1 at Lakeside.
- Bike Patrol. A total of 4 Bike patrols were carried out; 2 at Marina, 1 at Punggol and 1 at Lakeside.
- Foot Patrol. We conducted 1 Foot patrol at Pang Sua.
- Pedal boat Patrol. 1 Pedal Boat patrol was conducted at Marina.
ACTIVITIES AND REPORT
1. Educational Programmes
2. Volunteer Patrols & Activities
d. Pang Sua Pond
e. Yishun Pond Patrol