Friday, December 01, 2006

Link of the month: Trees for the Future

This is a great initiative undertaken worldwide by some very committed individuals. This is action at its best and shows what a few dedicated individuals can do to help regenerate our depleted earth and help global warming while at the same time help improve impoverished local communities. This is a great illustration of sustainable development and environmentalism helping earth heal itself. Visit their website at: Trees for the Future and help them plant a new forest and sow the seeds for sustainable development worldwide.

Saturday, November 18, 2006

My First Sighting of a Tiger in the Wild

We were on the way to have a look at a feeding site for ungulates that WCS is supporting in Khabarovskyi Krai. It was quite late in the afternoon and we had been driving on this bumpy dirt road used mainly by logging trucks for more than an hour when all of a sudden I saw this dark brown (looked like that in the twilight) animal running about 200 meters in front of the car. Then suddenly I noticed the long tail and before I could say anything to the others the Russian game warden that was in the back of the car cried out loudly Tigr! Tigr!. Unfortunately the tiger ran quickly off the road and into the forest. Although it was not a very good sighting as the tiger was quite far away and it was getting dark I am nevertheless very excited about it. I had been told not to expect to see any tigers in the wild as they are not only very rare but also in general do what they can to avoid humans.

WCS Russia has a Small Grants Program that supports Wildlife Management Organizations in Primorskyi and Khabarovskyi krais to fund projects that help improve tiger and ungulate populations. The project may relate to salt and feeding grounds for ungulates, improving anti-poaching activities, building game warden cabins, etc. It was one of these projects we were going to visit when we came across the tiger. In the picture above we are checking out a different ungulate feeding site in the same county as where we came across the tiger. (Thanks for the photo Anton).

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Link of the Month: Naturewatch

Naturewatch is a non-profit animal welfare campaigning organisation. They have a lot of campaigns aimed at animal welfare worldwide. These include:

- Cruelty-free shopping
- Animal experiments & the 3Rs
- Badger cruelty & wildlife crime
- Live transport across Europe and in Australia
- Animal welfare in Eastern Europe
- The need for animal welfare organisations to work within the democratic system

Please visit their website and if you can help sponsor them in any way possible please do so. Their website can be found at: Naturewatch

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

South East Asia Drought - Climate Change

In a previous posting (August) I posted a video by Greenpeace on severe drought in the Amazon river basin. Here we have yet another reality check on how global climate change is impacting earth's climate. No areas are untouched.

"Greenpeace links rising global temperatures and climate change to the onset of one of the worst droughts to have struck Thailand, Cambodia, Vietnam and Indonesia in recent memory. Severe water shortage and damage to agriculture has affected millions".

Saturday, October 07, 2006

Link of the Month: Wildlife Conservation Society

Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS) is the organization I found work with after finishing my MSc. degree in Environmental Management. It is an incredibly interesting organization to work for and my work as a Manager for the Tiger Friendly Certification Program is multi-faceted as it touches on aspects of biodiversity conservation, sustainable development, community development and poverty alleviation. It has received a grant of US$ 97,000 from the World Bank. To read more about the project please visit: World Bank Development Marketplace: Tiger Friendly Certification in Russia Far East

Below is a short clip on the Amur Tiger and its current condition. This is the sub-specie of Tigers that live in Russia Far East. The Hornocker Foundation was one of the first orgainzations outside of Russia to conduct scientific research on the Amur Tiger. It merged later with WCS.

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

ABC News Story on Global Climate Change

This is an excellent news report by ABC News on the dire threat of Global Climate Change. The report is in two parts. Remember, One life - Live it! One earth - Protect it! (Think about it).



Sunday, September 03, 2006

Sungei Buloh Wetland Reserve: Volunteers

To anyone that has been following this blog it must by now be apparant that that I have an affinity for volunteering as a nature guide or nature interpreter. Sungei Buloh Wetland Reserve in Singapore is one such place that I have volunteered as a nature guide. Sungei Buloh Wetland Reserve has its own newsletter called Wetlands. This year Sungei Buloh celebrates the Volunteer Programme’s 10th Anniversary and have dedicated a whole issue (Vol. 10, No 8, 2006) to its volunteer programme.

"Sungei Buloh Wetland Reserve (SBWR), to this day, is fortunate to have a group of dedicated and committed volunteers, who have a keen heart for SBWR and for nature. We appreciate all the work that the volunteers have done tirelessly, and their efforts and time. We look forward to see the volunteer group grow together with us, and always staying together as one happy 'Sungei Buloh family'!" -- Chan Su Hoi, Outreach Officer

For anyone thinking about volunteering as a nature guide please read this issue. It can tell you a lot about how grateful Sungei Buloh Wetland Reserve is for your time and dedication as well as what you as a volunteer will gain from this experience.

Link of the Month: Coral Reef Multimedia Project

I have just finished my Master of Science degree in Environmental Management from National University of Singapore. I wrote my dissertation on the topic of Marine Resources Management, with Singapore as a case study. It is titled: The Case for a Marine Protected Area in Singapore - A Future Catalyst for Singapore’s Integrated Marine and Coastal Management. I have just come across this great project called Coral Reef Multimedia Project. There are several video there that you can download that tells the story of the importantance of the world's coral reefs to biodiversity and our global climate. Please visit them at:

Saturday, August 12, 2006

Amazon drought! Climate change

How can it be? Severe drought in the Amazon region, where the world's largest river runs. This is a scary example of how climate change is already effecting our planet at accelerating speed. Scientists thought that this region would not be effected by global warming for several more decades, but it is already happening!

See this video by Greenpeace:

And also watch: Shocking images from Amazon jungle

Thursday, August 03, 2006

New job as Manager for Tiger Friendly Certification

In July 2006 I was offered the position of Tiger Friendly Certification Manager with Wildlife Conservation Society (Russia). I will now be based in Vladivostok, Russia Far East where I will be working on helping conserve the Amur (Siberian) tiger by reducing human-tiger conflicts. We do this through economic incentives to hunters and community members in tiger territories via the Tiger Friendly Certification Scheme. The idea is that these economic incentives will be strong enough to stop poachers from killing tigers and its prey (ungulates). My contract with WCS is until June, 2007 so I have nearly a year to help make a difference in Amur tiger conservation efforts. The project has received about US$ 97,000 in funding from the World Bank. To read more about the WCS project I will be managing please visit: World Bank Development Marketplace: Tiger Friendly Certification in Russia Far East

WCS also has some information about the project on its website: WCS - Tigers and Hunters

This project is also very interesting because it deals with issues at the intersection of development, business, and conservation. Tiger conservation is the ultimate goal of the project, but it is understood that to be effective in addressing the issue of tiger conservation one must also address the issue of development, poverty alleviation and local capacity building as these issues are all interlinked.

I will also in all likelihood be involved in transboundary tiger conservation co-operation between Russia and China due to my background from China (work and masters degree in Chinese politics) and this will also be og great interest to me.

This will be a huge change in my life as I now will be moving to Russia, something which I previously have never considered. However, I feel that this is a unique opportunity for me to get some valuable wildlife conservation experience and to help conserve one of the rarest sub-species of tigers in the world. I am therefore looking very much forward to take up my position with WCS and I sincerely hope that I can make a difference helping reduce human-tiger conflicts and thus help conserve the rare Amur tiger.

Wednesday, July 05, 2006

Tracking the Amur Tiger

I have just returned from a five day visit to Russia Far East (RFE). I went there for a job interview with Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS). It was a very interesting experience and I learned a great deal not only about WCS, but also about the environment and working conditions in RFE. On the first day I wnt straight to Nezhinsky Nature Reserve to meet with the game wardens and NR staff. Stayed over night there and got to try the famous Russian banya (sauna) with an accompanying dip in the cold lake next to it. Then next it was visiting the office in Vladivostok for meetings and interviews there. The last two days was spent in beautiful Lazo NR where Dale Miquelle (the Russia Program Director) and I tracked a tiger for nearly three km along beaches and ridges. We were accompanies by the reserve's "guard" dog that I named Drog (friend in Russian) as he was very friendly. The picture is of me and Drog next to the tiger tracks on one of the beaches.

Tuesday, June 20, 2006

Translocation of intertidal marine life Labrador Park

Labrador Park is the last remaining rocky shore on Singapore mainland. Unfortunately the Marine Ports Authority has decided to extend the Pasir Panjang Container Terminal, which sits right next to the park, and it will thus affect a big section of the park. A decicated group of volunteers spent five days betwen May 30th and June 16th to help translocate corals and other intertidal marine life affected by the construction work soon to take place.

Here is a group photo of the many volunteers that helped save the marine life from destruction by translocating them in other areas of the rocky shore further away from the upcoming construction (I am in the back row wearing a blue short sleeved shirt).

For more information on the MPA plans and how they will affect Labrador Park please visit: WildSingapore MPA Plans

Saturday, June 17, 2006

And Bush wants to be taken seriously????

See this clip from BBC shown early this month. It clearly demonstrates how the Bush administration has actively been trying to kill the debate over global warning and continues to do so even though there is now not even a shred of doubt that it is happening and why. How can he be expected to be taken seriously?

Friday, June 02, 2006

Trond on volunteering as a Nature Guide

I believe that one of the most beneficial activities one can get involved in is volunteer work. Firstly you give of yourself to your community and secondly it gives you a great opportunity to learn new things and experience personal growth. For me and my life in Singapore nature guiding and working as a nature interpreter has given me a lot of personal satisfaction. I have volunteered for Singapore Botanical Gardens as a tropical rainforest guide and in the process I have learned a great deal about the tropical rainforest system and continue to learn more. At the same time I have the opportunity to shape people's views of the rain forests and the extreme importance these play in the greater picture of earth's climates and why we should do what is in our power to protect these fragile forests. The photo to the right is of me giving my classmates from the MSc. Environmental Management Programme a guided tour of Singapore Botanical Gardens' Tropical Rainforest. Thanks for the photo Anbu.

I have also recently taken up nature guiding at Sungei Buloh Wetlands Reserve. This is a mangrove eco-system and as such represents a different, but equally as important, aspect of earth's biodiversity. It is my personal experience that in sharing the importance of earth's forests, ecosystems and biodiversity with the public at large we can all help shape the future of nature conservation. I can highly recommend anyone interested to volunteer as a nature guide/interpreter.

To volunteer contact either Singapore Botanical Gardens or Sungei Buloh Wetlands Reserve directly.

Wednesday, May 24, 2006

Black-naped Oriole (Oriolus chinensis)

Today on the way to the bus stop I suddenly found this little guy right next to (less than half a metre) from the busy Pasir Panjang Road. I reckon it has fallen out of its nest. Being afraid it may be run down by cars, eaten by cats or otherwise not in a position to care for itself I decided to take it home and care for it a few days to see how it is doing before I decide what to do with it. I will probably give it to AVA or call Jurong Bird Park to see if they can take care of it. So far it is doing very well and it has a very healthy appetite.
It also does not look sick or injured so I believe it managed to flap its wings enough to soften the fall. I am comtemplating what to do with it as I do not want it to be dependent on humans in the future. I need to feed it quite regularly, which does not fit my busy school schedule these days. I have decided to name it Sunshine because of its bright yellow colors.

Bird watching is one of my favorite past-times and the Black-Naped Oriole is one of my all time favorite Singaporean birds. To learn a bit more about this species and how it is doing in Singapore you can go this excellent link developed by Ria Tan: Black-naped Oriole


Sunshine has continued to eat very well, indeed a healthy appetite for such a small fellow. Today I decided to take it to Jurong Bird Park. They agreed to take it and it will in all likelihood either be released back to nature after it is fully grown or be displayed in the South East Asia exhibit after passing quarantine. It is a very trusting bird and it let the Jurong Bird Park staff handle it without any protests. They decided to take it. I am sure it will be very happy in the park.

Saturday, May 20, 2006

ASEAN Environment Year 2006 "launched" in Indonesia

From: PRESS RELEASE from the ASEAN Secretariat

ASEAN launches Environment Year 2006 at Bogor, Indonesia, on 18 May 2006

ASEAN has designated the year 2006 as ASEAN Environment Year (AEY) with the theme, “Biodiversity: Our Life, Our Future”. The official launch of AEY 2006 was held at the Bogor Botanical Gardens, Bogor, Indonesia, on 18 May 2006 in conjunction with the 189th Anniversary of the Bogor Botanical Gardens.

The launch of AEY 2006 aims to raise people awareness of the region’s rich biodiversity, and strengthen regional cooperation and implementation of actions on environment conservation. It supports ASEAN’s commitment to achieve the goals of sustainable development envisaged in ASEAN Vision 2020 on the establishment of a ‘clean and green ASEAN’.

For a copy of the complete press release go here: ASEAN launches Environment Year 2006 at Bogor, Indonesia, on 18 May 2006

The aims described in the press release are very worthy goals. It remains to be seen what results will come from the efforts. If the "cooperation" on the regional haze problem is any indicator the aims may be too ambitious as ASEAN clearly has not been able to control the haze problem as agreed to previously and if so how can it be effective in implementing environmental conservation? Maybe I am too pessimistic in my view and that some very good results will come from these efforts.

The ASEAN Vision 2020 is also an ambitious plan, but here I am more optimistic that ASEAN can to a high degree have some impact in meeting their objectives set forth. ASEAN has 14 years to accomplish the goal and as the evidence for human induced climate change becomes stronger and stronger so hiopefully will the governments will to do something about it increase. It is hopefully just a matter of time (and hopefully not too late) before governments will concur with the world's leading scientists that the global climate change is indeed caused by human activities and thus take action to counteract the current trends. To read more about ASEAN's Vision 2020 check out these websites:

ASEAN Vision 2020
An Assessment Study on the Progress of ASEAN Vision 2020

Wednesday, May 10, 2006

Movie of the Year: An Inconvenient Truth

Here is the trailer. DO NOT MISS this gripping movie by Vice President Al Gore.

Sunday, April 23, 2006

One Chapter Soon Finished

Dear 1-earth Blog Readers,

The MSc. in Environmental Management that I am currently taking at National University of Singapore is soon drawing to an end as the last semester's exams are coming up. I have therefore recently been very busy preparing for the exams, the dissertation and at the same looking for work in the environmental field. This last task will soon be my highest priority as I hope to get out there and work for the environment and put what I have learned into practice as soon as my dissertation has been submitted (in June).

There are in particular two areas in the environmental field that I would like to work in and they are:

1. Global Climate Change
2. Conservation/Biodoversity.

Although these two areas are the closest to my heart I would also consider working in other areas. My main working experience is from ASEAN, China (including Hong Kong) and Taiwan. As I want to leverage my extensive experience from these geographic regions in my future environmental career I hope to find work that deals with these geographic regions.

I am very committed to the environment and to work for change on the ground and with the public, governments, the private sector, NGO's and other stakeholders. I am particularly interested in policy related research and lobbying. So if you hear of any opportunities out there that could be of interest please drop me a note.

Have a happy GREEN day everyone!

Trond Lovdal

Friday, March 17, 2006

UNEP-COBSEA part-time research assistant

UNEP is building a marine database under the The Coordinating Body on the Seas of East Asia or COBSEA programme and Tropical Marine Science Institute at NUS is in charge of putting this database together. I have now been hired on a part-time basis as a research assistant for this project. As I am currently researching and writing my dissertation on the topic "The case for a Marine Protected Area in Singapore - A Future Catalyst for Singapore's Integrated Marine and Coastal Management" this project will be a very interesting project for me to work on as I can learn a great deal about what other countries' governments are doing with regard to marine conservation and environmental protection. It will also help me see how Singapore's efforts in marine environmental conservation fit within the broader Asian context.

I will be researching the following three areas for the database:

- Member Country Profiles,
- State of the Marine Environment, and
- Regional Activities

This will indeed be an exciting project to work on over the next few weeks and months.

Thursday, March 16, 2006

10 ways you can help the environment.

There are many ways you can help the environment and reduce heat trapping emissions. I have found this excellent website by the Union of Concerned Scientists. The website lists ten areas in which an individual can have a major impact in helping reduce the global warming impact. They are:

1. The car you drive: the most important personal climate decision.
2. Choose clean power.
3. Look for Energy Star.
4. Unplug a freezer.
5. Get a home energy audit.
6. Light bulbs matter.
7. Think before you drive.
8. Buy good wood.
9. Plant a tree.
10. Let policymakers know you are concerned about global warming.

Not of all of these are equally applicable to where you might live, but there may be other ways that you can think of to supplement these 10 ways.

Please go visit: Ten ways you can help the environment for a more detailed description of what you can do to help care for our global home.

The websites also has a lot MORE great information on the environment. It is a great resource for those interested in learning more about the environment and how we can change our thinking and lifestyle to positively effect the global climate and environment. As a resource I would rate it ten out of ten!

Friday, February 17, 2006

Vandana Shiva: Planting the Seeds for Change

"Vandana Shiva is one of the world's most powerful voices for global environmental justice and cultural and ecological diversity. She is the founding director of the Research Foundation for Science, Technology and Ecology in New Delhi. Vandana Shiva is also the author of numerous books including Stolen Harvest: The Hijacking of the Global Food Supply. Series: "Walter H. Capps Center Series" [Public Affairs]"

This google video is a bit old, about 1.5 years old and also quite long at more than 50 minutes. But the speech given by Vandana has a very imoportant message for us all and should be watched. Much of what Vandana Shiva discusses is a sound basis for humanity's relationship with earth and if all cultures of today could but observe a small part of her message we would have a lot less problems. Her viewpoints on biopiracy is refreshing and she turns the whole issue of biopiracy around and argues very well how large corporations actually help destroy today's biodiversity and thus take control the world's food chain.

To learn more about the center and their work check out: Navdanya

Navdanya is actively involved in the rejuvenation of indigenous knowledge and culture. It has created awareness on the hazards of genetic negineering, defended people's knowledge from biopiracy and food rights in the face of globalisation. It has its own seed bank and organic farm spread over an area of 20 acres in Uttranchal, north India.

Monday, January 30, 2006

Practical Earth Care

How we live our daily lives have a great impact on Earth and sustainability. Besides changing our lifestyle one can also start volunteering for organizations whose aim it is to improve our environment. If we all pitch in 1-2 days a month (or even in a year) helping out, a lot can be accomplished. l have listed 3 organizations in the links section that I volunteer for. There are many others out there. You can also become a member and thereby support these organizations or give memberships as gifts to friends and family. If you cannot spend the time for whatever reason most of these organizations also accept donations. Other ways to volunteer is to write stories for newsletters, local newspapers, etc.

To see me in action please refer to the links below:

NUS Kentridge Park
Labrador Park Clean Up

Thanks for the links Anbu.

The first photo below is from the Labrador Park Clean Up (I am third from the left). In the second picture I am volunteering at Kent Ridge Park, helping in clearing and controlling invasive species (Smilax). As you can see I literally had the work "cut out" for me. We removed something like 20 huge bags of smilax that day.

Thursday, January 26, 2006

1-EARTH Start up kit

I guess that so far only a few of my friends and possibly a couple of my classmates have had the fortune (or misfortune) of reading my blog that I have just started. As the name indicates it is all about Earth care. Unfortunately I believe that not many people understand or are concerned with taking care about the most precious thing to all of us in the universe: EARTH.

Earth cares for us by giving us life, shelter, nourishment, a livelihood, entertainment, and so forth. Is it not about time that we reciprocate? This blog will be a starter for me on my path towards informing friends, family, classmates and the wider public about what we can do in our own small ways to help care for Earth. As there are already many websites out there discussing issues related to climate change, biodiversity conservation and other urgent environmental issues I will help direct my readers towards some of these sites that I have found more useful.

Please feel free to write in any comments and suggestions you may have on how to improve on this blog. Photographs and stories are also welcome, but they must be related to Earth care or global environmental issues. Also if you have any innovative ideas, found a good webiste, etc. on how to be a responsible earth citizen and how to care for Earth please also post it here.

So here we go, the official launch of the 1-EARTH blog.