Comprehensive Marine Biodiversity Survey (ongoing, since 2010)


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Asia Pacific Breweries (Singapore) Pte Ltd

S$250,000 to finance the seabed survey and a roving marine biodiversity exhibition.

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HSBC Care for Nature Trust Fund

S$250,000 to finance equipment required for the survey.

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S$300,000 to support overseas scientific experts/researchers.

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The Air Liquide Group

Euro$20,000 to finance the coral reef survey.

About the Project

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The Comprehensive Marine Biodiversity Survey (CMBS) was initiated by a proposal from the Blue Plan Group which was submitted to the Singapore government in 2009. It was agreed that Singapore should conduct a comprehensive survey to document all of our marine life in all of our natural marine habitats.

Apart from taking stock of Singapore's marine biodiversity, CMBS also aims to build local capacity in the field of marine biology, spread awareness and increase appreciation of our marine natural heritage.

Led by the NParks, the survey brings together experts and partners from tertiary institutions (National University of Singapore, Nanyang Technological University), non-governmental organisations (Blue Plan Group, Nature Society Singapore) and volunteers from the community at large.

Launched in November 2010, the CMBS will be carried out in phases over five years. Some 350 local volunteers have contributed in various aspects of the CMBS, including photography, outdoor field sampling and collection, specimen processing, database support as well as organising outreach programmes.

As of May 2013, the project has collected some 30,000 specimens through surveys conducted in mudflats, seabeds and reef habitats. Of these, 14 species have been identified as possibly new to science, more than 80 new records for Singapore have been found and about 10 species have been rediscovered.

Read more here.

Coral Nursery

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Keppel Group

S$250,000 to finance a coral nursery research project. Keppel Group's employees also volunteered their time on dives to maintain the coral nursery.

About the Project

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Development and industrialisation have impacted on coral reefs in Singapore over the years. Even though it has been reported that 60% of the local original reefs have been lost, Singapore still boasts high biological diversity with almost 200 species of reef-forming hard corals. This accounts for about 25% of the global total species.

NParks' and National University of Singapore have embarked on a marine conservation project with sponsorship from Keppel Group and support from the National Environment Agency.

The aim of this proactive marine conservation initiative is to ensure the survival of existing marine habitats in Singapore.

In order to enhance and restore the current coral cover in Singapore, a coral nursery was established off Pulau Semakau in 2007. Unlike commercial methods of harvesting corals, which breaks up healthy coral colonies for planting, the Pulau Semakau nursery is the first coral nursery in the region to use the "coral of opportunity" (that is, coral fragments that lie free on the reef having been fragmented by some force) as seed corals for growth and transplantation.

The method is akin to a horticultural nursery providing seedlings to be planted in forest sites that need to be reforested. The coral nursery enabled efforts to proactively enhance existing marine habitats by maximising the survival of naturally occurring corals.

Coral fragments that have been successfully grown in the coral nursery are transplanted onto the degraded reef sites off the southern coast of Singapore.

Read more here.

Mangrove Biodiversity Monitoring Study

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S$15,000 cash and in-kind support for the survey. Panasonic's employees also volunteered their time to carry out 16 survey sessions conducted over the two years.

About the Project

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NParks carried out the first mangrove biodiversity monitoring study in Pasir Ris Park's mangrove forest. The study, which commenced in March 2012, consisted of 16 biodiversity monitoring sessions conducted over two years. It included the monitoring and data collection of mangrove trees, snails and mudskippers.

Results of the study study enabled the collection of valuable information to aid long-term conservation and management of Singapore's mangrove forests.

Covering an area of 6 hectares, the mangrove forest at Pasir Ris Park is one of the few mangrove sites left in Singapore. It is also a popular attraction – scores of nature lovers and families visit the mangrove forest every month to experience and learn about its rich biodiversity.

Read more here.