NParks has a whole load of opportunities listed on their Volunteer Page. The good thing is you are now required to select a home-base; with this association, you wi be notified if oppotunities near where you live. If interested in conservation activities, you will have to attend an orientation before volunteering, which wil be helpful.
Preparation of the next generation for participation in conservation is enhanced by a programme initiated in 2017 by the Biodiversity Roundtable, and is called the Biodiversity Friends Forum. And this year, we launched the annual Biodiversity Challenge 2021 over three February mornings of Zoom induction workshops.
We did manage a lot in two hours, and ported the wildlife in Singapore game to a jamboard exercise. It’s less interactive but we managed. And we wil catchup on the more intimate 1:7 field trips allowed for in parks in Singapore. Members of the Biodiversity Roundtable have chipped in with many offerings and will get to know these younglings too!
To ensure the ball got rolling quickly, we listed two activities in the first week: a night walk on the Rail Corridor (South) which includes geography and land use, in addition to a glimpse at the night fauna, and Sapling Protection Action at the coastal forest restoration site at Kranji Coastal Nature Park.
I’m really pleased about the number of BFF Alumni joined the Organising Committee to add valuable help and ideas. Facilitators at the Induction Workshop were mostly all Alumni as well, while Seniors and Mentors of the Biodiversity Roundtable dropped by to say hello to Participant in the Breakout Rooms. I was so glad they were able to do that at the last minute.
Participants can expect to see more of Alumni, Seniors and Mentors at the nature walks, talks and workshops lined up for them in the five months ahead. The BFF series is about building communities as much as awareness and I am looking forward to gettign to know some of them better with time, and learning about their own Acts of Nature!
We will not see big gatherings anytime soon, of course. Already the induction workshop last year was run as parallel sessions in two NUS venues complete with mitigation, due to the threat of COVID-19. Things got much more serious and even the field trips had to be cancelled and negagament driven onine. Our induction workshop is run on Zoom, for all of two hours, but we will complete a second half in March after participants have experienced guided field trips – this is a good thing!
Why we do it?
This is part of NParks’ exciting coastal restoration plan at Sungei Buloh Wetlands Reserve at Kranji Coastal Nature Park. Coastal vegetation were mostly cleared by settlements and reservoir construction by the 1970’s. With the extention of SBWR to the western edge of Kranji reservoir in 2014, this is an opportunity to practice habitat enhancement: soil preparation, tree-planting and sapling protection.
How do we participate??
Join is for the next session on Sat 27 Feb 2021. You will receive details about where to meet, your Team Leader and attire (long pants and covered shoes). We will provide gloves (bring your own if you have them) and tools. LImited spaces due to COVID-19 mitigation. Register on Eventbrite at https://tinyurl.com/kcnpspa-27feb2021
About every decade, the constant pressure of development requires a renewal of the understanding of the fate of green spaces in Singapore. Not just by the public, and nature community, but also all of the purposeful agencies of government. The exercise has become an increasingly vociferous, facilitated by the internet and now social media, and this time too, probably by the introspection COVID-19 forced upon us.
So much so, this has been a hotly discussed topic about nature and the environment in our recent history. Stimulated no less by the humble ex-kampung sites of Ulu Pandan and Clementi. The evolving mechanisms of engagement by government have embraced new voices, and we can expect more dialogue about decisions.
Minister Desmond Lee’s speech in parliament today, in response to questions posed by MPs, is certainly required reading. The issues are no longer the substance of private sessions or university classes but being aired in parliament.
I am glad to see this. Participation can be difficult, as can be engagement. But it is also critical to our way ahead.
MND: “Oral Answer by Ministry of National Development on Development Plans for Green Spaces, Feb 1, 2021” [link; pdf]