Apr 19, 2008

Shore volunteers reach out at Asian Dive Expo (ADEX)

I paid a brief visit to Asian Dive Expo (ADEX) today and wow, there were so many volunteers at the outreach area, called the Eco Village, that ADEX kindly provided.There were volunteers from the Blue Water Volunteers, Hantu Bloggers, Green Volunteers Network, Eco Singapore, NParks Conservation Division, Keppel, Nature Society (Singapore) and international outreach groups like WWF and PADI.The organisers had arranged for school groups to visit the expo.
The students were enthralled by the many photos and messages about our reefs and shores.The volunteers had a great time sharing about our shores.These ranged to issues such as plastic bags, emphasised by PADIThe Coral Triangle at the WWF booth manned by Eco Singapore volunteers.Sharks' fins at weddings, dolphin hunting and other marine issues at the Green Volunteers Network boothAnd our wonderful shores manned by the Hantu Bloggers, Blue Water Volunteers, Nature Society (Singapore) under the International Year of the Reef banner.PADI also had a children's drawing competition.The use of coffee table books helped to bring our shores to life.As well as slide shows.There were also lots of splendid displays, like Debby's fabulous article about our very own Pulau Hantu.NParks Conservation Division and Keppel also had a display about our coral nursery at Pulau Semakau. With photos and stories of a typical day at the nursery.Some visitors to the nursery...And a closer look at our coral babies.ADEX also featured International Year of the Reef!And the IYOR roving reef exhibits made their debut at the expo! They were created by Underwater World Singapore and are available for display at your school, community and workplace. More about these exhibits on the singapore celebrates our reefs blog.YES, Singapore HAS reefs! Not convinced? Come for Jeffrey Low's "Are there coral reefs in Singapore?" talk on 22 Apr (Tue).

The organisers had also arranged for auctions of dive equipment, and little shop.All proceeds would go towards the efforts under the International Year of the Reef.

Wow, it's touching to have such support for conservation efforts for our shores. More in Asia Dive Expo sets standards in conservation awareness.

Alas, just adjacent to the outreach area, there was a booth that was giving out helium-filled balloons to visitors!But after I spoke to the people there, and Grant Pereira raised his concerns to the organiser, we noticed that they stopped giving out the balloons. But only for a while.

It is rather distressing to learn that dive operators are not aware of the terrible impact of balloons and other plastic impact on marine life.

This is why outreach efforts such as this remain important.

Bravo to all the volunteers!

Links to other posts about this event


juanicths said...

Drats. Must have missed you while I was doing my gear shopping *whoops* Great that there's some conservation representation at ADEX, though is kinda sad that other than the times that school groups are led through the Eco-Village, not much of the general public came along to talk to us.... Oh, feel free to contact me if you want to use the coral nursery photos. ^_^

Ria Tan said...

You have such a nice booth! I'm sorry too that I missed you. I guess I shouldn't have come during lunchbreak :-)