COVID-19 lockdown in Asia? Never fear, the marine conservation community goes online as never before!

As Singapore and other countries observe physical distancing, restriction of movement, closure of beaches and access to mangroves  to reduce COID-19 infections in the community, the events calendar for groups in Singapore evaporated. 

Gradually and admirably, a plethora of activity has been offered online, both locally, regionally and globally, such that we can barely keep up! Most news of such events are circulated through Facebook and I tried to highlight these on the International Coastal Cleanup Singapore Facebook page at – so do follow that if you are keen. It certainly is a motivational and educational resource which has emerged online as never before.

Many events are long past us, but several are recorded for you to catch up with. Here are some highlights:

“Stories featuring our native wildlife” by Naked hermit Crabs features “Storytelling by Halley and November” [link]. 

Halley  November


Gren Nudge interns took to Facebook Live to chat about working at a social enterprise. A great way for youth to learn from their peers, they had many lessons to impart about how they found their internships, the nature of the work, and were cheerful about challenges they face. This recording is something I am pointing my students towards. 

Green Nudge interns


ADEX Pixel Virtual Expo’s “Global Vision with Local Social Enterprises – Ocean Plastic Pollution” [link; panel begins after 28:00]: This next highlight was a real find for us in ICCS! I was preparing an advert for another session and realised this was live! It was a lovely session with driven, analytical and hopeful people determined to make a difference, and who spoke with great camaraderie.

I will be sharing this with the coastal cleanup community. There was another session, “Plastic Waste: An inconvenient truth for South-East Asia region – what would work for us?” [link], which I too will catchup with later.ADEX-PlasticPollution

ADEX really meant it when they claimed its the World’s First Digital Dive Show. There are a diversity of offerings on their site at – if you are interested in marine conservation in Singapore and Asia, you have plenty of exposure to this wonderful community of people!


The Society for Conservation Biology Malaysia celebrated World Turtle Day with an Open House on 26 & 27 May 2020. It was thrilling to hear so many regional experts present on YouTube Live. I especially loved the session of the Malaysian old guard who trotted out to share their experiences frankly. All the advisors to Singapore’s marine turtle conservation efforts were speaking over the two days and the videos are all available on SCB’s YouTube page [link].



And there is still more to come listen to – this Friday 10th June 2020, scientists in Asia come together to speak about these ancient species on the 1st International Horseshoe Crab Day 2020. Just register at



Amidst the marking of exam papers in May, I responded to excitement over our smooth-coated otters wandering the city during Singapore’s COVID-19 lockdown. It was an opportunity for outreach to a wider audience through print and social media, and the three local radio/online interview sessions were:

  1. 19 May 2020 on One Radio 91.3FM with FD & Glenn [link; 48:30 mins video]
  2. 23 May 2020 on Money FM 89.3 with Glenn van Zutphen & Neil Humphreys [link; 18:29 mins audio]
  3. 27 May 2020 on with Yeo Tsiu Wen & Zheng Zhangxin on World Otter Day [link; 60mins video]

Otters 91 3


These were a sample, there is much more online. The marine community responded wonderfully with these diverse range of marine conservation sessions from technical seminars to interviews, discussions and story-telling for children. While we all miss the sea and our shores, the work does continue – so you can keep learning and share news of relevant sessions with your friends.

Stay safe and stay informed, everyone!

What Happens After The Bin? (Plastic Recycling)

An infographic from the Good Guide to Recycling of the process of recycling and the characteristic of these plastics: Polyethylene Terephthalate (PET), High Density Polyethylene (HDPE), Polyvinyl Chloride (PVC), Low Density Polyethylene (LDPE), Polypropylene (PP), Polystyrene (PS), Polycarbonate (PC).

Screenshot 106

“Valuing Plastic: The Business Case for Measuring, Managing and Disclosing Plastic Use in the Consumer Goods Industry”

-Valuing plastic_ the business case for measuring, managing and disclosing plastic use in the consumer goods industry-2014Valuing plasticsF.pdf (page 1 of 116)

“Valuing Plastic: The Business Case for Measuring, Managing and Disclosing Plastic Use in the Consumer Goods Industry” is a publication on the valuation of plastic that allows us, for the first time, to put a figure on the costs companies would incur if the damage caused by waste plastic was included in their accounting.”

“The report highlights the urgent need for businesses to measure, manage and disclose information on their annual use and disposal of plastic, as many companies already do with carbon emissions. It also provides a series of recommendations for companies that are designed to help ensure a sustainable future for plastic.”

“It also provides a series of recommendations for companies that are designed to help ensure a sustainable future for plastic.”

Read the original report at and the CNN report, “U.N. report: Our oceans are trashed with plastic,” by by Casey Tolan. CNN, 24 Jun 2014.

The curse of plastics – in beautiful Norway as much as it is everywhere!

Northern Norway – stunning coastlines, clear water and a mountainous backdrop. Yes, nature is in perfect shape. Or is it? The camera pans to plastic amidst the Norwegian coastline.

“Norwegians for Clean Coasts” is a six-minute video which remind viewers that plastic will enter the food chain, and the footage of micro fragments being.

Ren Kyst (Norwegians for Clean Coasts), aims to clean up marine litter along 35 heavily littered beaches and coastline in northern Norway. The County Governors office fund the cleanups by volunteers and the programme involves various municipalities, councils and the Norwegian Coast Guard, the Norwegian Coastal Administration, fishermens associations and the municipal waste management company.

The Coast Guard also helps with trash removal after cleanups.

This project is led by Bo Eide, an environmentalist at the Tromsø Municipality. He had previously worked on the upstream project reinforced the deposit/refund system where producers are granted a refund of their environmental fee for a 95% recycling rate of non-refillable plastic bottles and beverage cans.

Even in a country that faces the happy problem of having insufficient garbage to fuel energy plants, the issue of bioaccumulation of plastics in organisms is still a problem which requires Ren Kyst to mobilise support and raise awareness.

The call of the video is universal, and is something we experience in Singapore too. You can begin by hitting a beach to conduct a cleanup or sign up to volunteer with us!

ICCS Workshop 2011 powerpoints

ICCS Workshop 2011 powerpoints – click to download individual sections or download the zipped file of the lot here (92.6 MB).

— beg —

00-Introduction – introducing ICC and ICC Singapore.

01-Marine life in Singapore – featuring a small selection of larger marine animals and locations around Singapore which the cleanup helps to protect.

02-The impact of marine debris – discussing entanglement, ingestion of plastic and plastic fragments.

03-How to organise a cleanup – An Organiser’s step by step guide. and includes “What happens on the cleanup day,” which can be extracted for the volunteer briefing along with the other sections.

04-Know your trash! – this addresses the categories of trash in the ICC Data Card, to prepare volunteers about the diversity of debris on the shore and how to categorise items.

05-Data Submission and Trash Quiz – data consolidation can be done n the spot and submission is expected within hours of completion of your cleanup.

06-Applications to daily life – the annual data urges us to become greener in our use and management of resources. Some pointers used in the discussion are listed here.

— end —

For videos, see the 2010 resources.

Year-Round Coastal Cleanups in Singapore: Site suggestions

To handle the queries that stream in throughout the year about beach cleanups, we have begun preparing this document to handle most of the basic queries: Year-Round Coastal Cleanups in Singapore: Site suggestions. This will reduce the burden on our side and improve response time to Organisers about basic issues.

This is a first draft to which links will be added about being independent, green and raising participant awareness minimally at least. Besides operational links to recce reports and photos of the sites, a useful addition will be a comparative table of sites for Organisers to figure out what where to work. This will have them reflect on their motivational state and operational capability, their volunteer’s enthusiasm and the organisation’s commitment level.

Year-Round Coastal Cleanups in Singapore: Site suggestions

Links to resources for Organisers, 2010

The resources we distributed at the Organiser’s Workshop in July are listed here for convenience:

  • Powerpoints, Organiser’s Guidelines and ICCS2010 report (88.2mb) – link
  • Short videos (56.7mb) – link
  • Long video – the ICC 2009 video (130.5mb) – link
2010 ICCS Resources for web

Wild Fact Sheets updated – Dugong, Sea Turtles and Indo-Pacific hump-backed dolphin!

Ria Tan of WildSingapore has updated these Wild Facts Sheets on the Dugong, Sea Turtles and Indo-Pacific hump-backed dolphin! These are resource pages about sightings of these marine animals in Singapore and their status, brief notes about the biology and the issues they face.

Organisers and presenters of the International Coastal Cleanup who run an education programme with participants in the months ahead of a cleanup will find this really useful to accompany the powerpoint that deals with the popular question, "Is there marine life in Singapore?"

Thanks, Ria!