Singapore IYOR efforts

Who are involved in organising IYOR efforts and what are some of the focus areas and activities?

IYOR 08 Singapore Framework

IYOR 08 Singapore has been initiated by a diverse group of individuals and organizations, active in marine conservation, that come together in recent years as the Marine Round Table. Two consultative sessions were held, one in 2006 and the other in 2007. This Marine Round Table has formed the IYOR 08 Singapore Organising Committee. It is an open and inclusive Committee, serving only to initiate and co-ordinate activities, and will welcome any like-minded volunteer who wishes to join in.

The advisors, officers and members of the IYOR 08 Singapore Organising Committee are:

I) Hon Advisors:
Prof Tommy Koh, Ambassador at large
Prof Chou Loke Ming, Professor, the National University of Singapore
Dr Shawn Lum, President, Nature Society (Singapore)
Dr Geh Min, former President, Nature Society (Singapore), Former NMP
Dr Isabelle Louis, Director, Asia Pacific Programme, WWF International
Mr Edwin Khew, NMP, CEO & MD, IUT Global and Chairman, SEAS
Mr Balakrishnan, Commodore, Republic of Singapore Yacht Club
Mr Bob Ashman, Commodore, Changi Sailing Club
Mr Arthur Tay, Chairman, ONE°15 Marina Club
Ms Wang Look Fung, Keppel Corp Ltd
Ms Abigail Alling, President, Planetary Coral Reef Foundation, USA

II) Officers:
Mr Francis Lee, Chairman
Mr Leong Kwok Peng, Dy Chairman
Mr Jeffrey Low, Vice Chairman
Mr Farid Hamid, Vice Chairman
Ms Kelly Ong, Vice Chairman
Ms Ria Tan, Hon Secretary
Ms Kelly Ong, Dy Hon Secretary

III) Focus Clusters:
Reef Database Cluster
Mr Jeffrey Low, Chairman

Blue Plan Cluster
Mr Farid Hamid, Chairman

Awareness & Outreach Cluster
Ms Kelly Ong, Chairman

IYOR 08 Singapore focuses its work in three main clusters, namely:

(1) Reef Database Cluster
Chaired by Jeffrey Low (NParks)
The goal for this Cluster is to collate and review the reef databases already available, find out which are open and which are locked. For locked databases, to explore how these could be opened if only for IYOR 2008 and consolidation, to form a central national database. The Cluster will also consider where additional data is needed, avoid duplication in data collection, and look into updating data, organise training and conduct fresh surveys.

Members include the Raffles Marina, the Republic of Singapore Yacht Club (RSYC), the Changi Sailing Club, ONE°15 Marina Club, Keppel Marina, Singapore Underwater Federation (SUF), NParks, Blue Water Volunteers and other constituent members of the Singapore Reef and Marine Conservation Committee. The RSYC will take the lead on the fresh field surveys needed.

(2) Blue Plan Cluster
Chaired by Farid Hamid (Ithaca)
The goal for this Cluster is to review the previous prototype Blue Plan submitted. Utilizing information gathered from the efforts of the Reef Database Cluster, the Cluster will take the lead in formulating and drafting a new comprehensive Blue Plan for Singapore, as a vital contribution to the conservation of our coral reefs and to actualize the vision of together, making Singapore into a coral paradise over the next 10 years. This new proposal should reflect good master planning, balance development with sustainability and promote the proper stewardship of the reefs in Singapore.

Consideration will be taken of the carbon sequestering aspects of large bodies of waters in Singapore seas, mangroves, reefs and other shore ecosystems. Surveys on how ordinary people value the shores can be done, as well as consultations with the public, reaching out to target groups with materials specific to these groups, for example, fishermen, boaters and divers. Following such efforts, talk-walks can then be offered to decision-makers and captains of industry. These events will have to be managed differently from field trips. It was suggested that these trips should be on a private basis, so that decision-makers and captains of industry can be more relaxed, rather than as publicity trips with the press.

The Blue Plan will then be the theme to be considered at the next Marine Roundtable 3, in 2008 and publicity of the Blue Plan would be considered as a 'finale' event for IYOR 08 Singapore.

Members include Chua Sek Chuan, Leong Kwok Peng and Nigel Kaw.

(3) Awareness and Outreach Cluster
Chaired by Kelly Ong (Underwater World S)
The goal of this Cluster is to inform and instill interest in our reefs, to dispel the notion that Singapore does not have any reefs left, and to raise awareness on what we can do to protect coral reefs.

Other than the production and free distribution of literature and collaterals to interested individuals, schools and organizations, a wide range of activities will be held in celebration of IYOR which will include public talks, roving exhibitions, dives at our reefs and intertidal walks on our shores.

The “Singapore celebrates our reefs” blog was set up to publicize these efforts, with feature articles about our shores and issues in marine conservation. A flickr IYOR group was set up to share high resolution photos of our shores. It now has 38 members and nearly 2,000 high resolution photos.

Members include Underwater World Singapore, ECO-Singapore, WildSingapore, Blue Water Volunteers, Hantu Bloggers, TeamSeagrass, Naked Hermit Crabs, Raffles Museum of Singapore, Nature Society Singapore, and many more.

IYOR 08 Singapore Organising Committee members (in alphabetical order)
Aaron Yeo (ECO-Singapore)
Belmont Lay (NUS/Roots & Shoots)
Benny Ng (Raffles Marina)
Commodore Balakrishnan (Republic of Singapore Yacht Club)
Debby Ng (Hantu Blog)
Edzra Iskandar (Ministry of Education/Nature Society Singapore)
Farid Hamid (Ithaca)
Francis Lee
Ivan Choong (Nature Society Singapore/Flying Manta Project)
Jeff Mahon (Underwater World Singapore)
Jeffery Low (NParks)
Jezamine Lee (Haw Par Corpn)
Juward Ho (Underwater World Singapore)
Kelly Ong (Underwater World Singapore)
Kua Kay Yaw (Singapore Underwater Federation)
Leong Kwok Peng (Nature Society Singapore)
Neo Wee Sim (Republic of Singapore Yacht Club)
November Tan (Naked Hermit Crabs)
Ria Tan (wildsingapore)
Roy Yeo (Underwater World Singapore)
Stephen Beng (Singapore Underwater Federation)
Stephen Lau (Nature Society Singapore)
Tan Hang Chong (Nature Society Singapore)
Vivian Mamawag (World Wide Fund for Nature, WWF)
Wilson Ang (ECO-Singapore)
Yves De Leeneer (Planetary Coral Reef Foundation)

IYOR 08 Singapore Calendar of Events

To celebrate Singapore's marine life, the members of IYOR 08 Singapore have consolidated their efforts and programmes to present a year-long calendar of activities. This wide range of activities will cater to almost every member of the public, including monthly dives of our reefs, walks on our shores (for those do not want to swim or dive), talks, outings and excursions, of various kinds.

The dives will be conducted in our southern islands, primarily at Pulau Hantu, while walks will be organised at diverse locations - Chek Jawa, Pulau Semakau, Kusu Island, Sentosa, Cyrene Reef, Sungei Buloh and Pasir Ris. There are also special programmes such as the Marine Fish tours and PrawnWatch at Sungei Buloh.

The public are also welcome to join in the monitoring of our marine habitats, run by TeamSeagrass (monitoring the seagrass meadows) and Reef Friends (monitoring the coral reefs of Singapore).

Schools and volunteer groups will be welcome to not only take part, but create projects to supplement these activities and cater to the needs of their students and constituencies.

Major celebrations of IYOR include outreach activities at the Asian Dive Expo (ADEX) in April, and International Coastal Cleanup Singapore in September. There will also be a roving IYOR road show comprising of exhibits about Singapore's living reefs, that will be hosted at schools, community clubs, recreational clubs, and various locations throughout the year. Talks are also being offered to the public, about Singapore's shores and marine issues.

List of these activities.

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