Sep 7, 2009

TeamSeagrass featured in the Singapore National Biodiversity Strategy and Action Plan (NBSAP)

Wow, the Team's work is featured as one of the actions taken in protecting Singapore's biodiversity!
Sometimes, as we focus on the nitty gritties, it isn't obvious how the work we do during a monitoring session can add up to the larger efforts to make a difference for our wild shores! And the biodiversity of Singapore as a whole!

Well done to the Team for relentlessly monitoring over these last three years. And also undertaking outreach efforts for our shores!

Here's what is said about the Team in NBSAP ...

On the PDF version of NBSAP

Team Seagrass
Seagrasses are flowering plants that live underwater and they play an essential role in the marine environment, being a nursery, food source and habitat to a variety of marine animals. Seagrasses also act as sentinels of coastal change and with regular monitoring, can provide early warnings changes in the coastal environment.

Len McKenzie and Rudi Yoshida from Seagrass-Watch HQ (Seagrass- Watch is the largest scientific, non-destructive, seagrass assessment and monitoring program in the world.) witnessed for themselves a delectable spread of seagrass species when they visited Chek Jawa on Pulau Ubin with nature enthusiasts, Ria Tan and Siti Maryam Yaakub, on 8th October 2006.

Their visit started the ball rolling for Seagrass-Watch here in Singapore and sparked off a strong partnership between Ria, Siti and National Parks Board as well as the catchy name “TeamSeagrass”.

Since its genesis in November 2006, TeamSeagrass, a volunteerbased seagrass monitoring programme, grew from strength to strength, both in volunteer numbers as well as the relationships fostered between various groups of people working towards a common vision and aspiration for the natural environment.

NParks plays a vital role in this 3P (People-Public-Private sectors) project by working closely with the people, school students and private organisations, creating a synergistic collaboration for nature conservation.

An enthusiastic team of volunteers monitors the seagrass meadows at Chek Jawa, Pulau Semakau, Cyrene Reef and Tanjong Rimau on Sentosa once every three months. Schering-Plough, a pharmaceutical company based at Tuas runs the monitoring programme at the site adjacent to its premises as part of its Corporate Responsibility and Environmental Stewardship.

TeamSeagrass and NParks have also developed a partnership with Raffles Girls School to monitor the seagrass site at Labrador Nature Reserve and carry out scientific studies on seagrass as part of the school’s science research programme.

These volunteers come from all walks of life with the common goal of caring for Singapore’s intertidal habitats. The popularity and success of the Seagrass-Watch programme in Singapore highlights the importance of natural environments in an urban society where people are not directly dependent on natural resources for their livelihoods. It also underscores the increasing trend of public awareness and the community’s desire to play an active role in the protection of their natural heritage.

On the website version of NBSAP

OBJECTIVE: The surveys are part of Seagrass-Watch, a global seagrass assessment and monitoring programme spanning 18 countries with more than 200 monitoring sites worldwide.

LOCATION: Pulau Semakau, Cyrene Reef, Chek Jawa, Labrador Beach, Sentosa (Tg. Rimau) and Tuas.


PARTNERS: NParks, Seagrass-Watch HQ and TeamSeagrass volunteers, consisting of more than 60 active volunteers from all walks of life ranging from professionals to retirees. Also in partnership are Schering-Plough, a pharmaceutical company monitoring seagrasses at Tuas and Raffles Girls School (Secondary), which monitors and conducts experiments on the seagrass meadow at Labrador Beach as part of its Science Programme.

APPROACH: NParks adopts methods developed by Seagrass-Watch, which are scientific and non-destructive. Data gathered is fed back to Seagrass-Watch HQ, which then analyses the trends and condition of seagrass habitats at the local, regional and global scale.

Read more about the Singapore National Biodiversity Strategy and Action Plan (NBSAP).

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