Apr 3, 2008

Forest and Reef talk at NUS

David Higgitt of the Geography Department, NUS arranged for Karen Teo (NParks, Senior Outreach Officer) and I to speak to his class of about 60 today.

We spoke about "Environmental Awareness". Specifically about raising public awareness of environmental issues in Singapore.

Unfortunately, Arti Mulchand of the Straits Times was unable to make it. I was really looking forward to meeting her as I greatly admire her work at ST.

Wow, I really learnt a lot from Karen's talk, about the complex issues relating to managing the Nature Reserves, from monkey feeding to release of exotic animals, to the impact of large numbers of visitors to construction right up to the reserve boundary, and dealing with exotic plants overwhelming our forests.

The main message is that we really can't (and shouldn't) manage nature. We need to manage our own behaviour before we kill our forests and its inhabitants!

I did a short (by my standards) introduction to the challenges of dealing with issues on our shores. The first challenge being to answer the question "Singapore got marine life, meh?". I whizzed through all our shores and some of the key issues and highlighted the International Year of the Reef (IYOR) effort, and hope some of the participants will sign the IYOR guestbook :-)

November will talk to the class next week about "Community Groups and Environmental Leadership" so they will get a great idea of the work being done in Singapore. As far as I know, she the only one who knows almost all the groups in the community!

I must also thank November for introducing me to David, and for helping (together with Pei Hao) to distribute the shore guidesheets to the participants who asked lots of interesting and thoughtful questions.
Here are the participants, very sportingly putting up with my request for a lively photo.

David hosted Karen, November and I to lunch and we had lots more interesting discussions about issues and possibilities of collaboration. Thanks everyone!

This talk is part of the IYOR effort to offer a wide range of talks by various speakers.

See also November's post about the event on her leafmonkey blog

1 comment:

Goh said...

Hi Ria, thanks for coming to deliver the talk. You never fail to captivate me with your slides even though that was my second time seeing them. Nice meeting you again and see you around! :)