Written by Jasvic Lye, OWN Campaign Manager
“Partnerships for Wildlife Conservation”
This year’s theme for World Wildlife Day could not be more apt for Our Wild Neighbours (OWN) initiative. OWN is fundamentally the collective efforts of individuals and communities coming together to build a positive relationship between people and wildlife through outreach and education.
Last week, with World Wildlife Day falling on 3 March 2023, numerous nature communities and members of the public celebrated with a series of events and programmes thoughtfully organized for a diverse range of audiences. Just to name a few:
Wild Space, an enterprise in nature education, held their monthly Wild Conversations dialogue session at 2AM: Dessert Bar (Holland Village) last Thursday. Daphne Ong, the founder of Wild Space, and Anbarasi (Anbu) Boopal, co-CEO of the Animal Concerns Research & Education Society (ACRES), shared about the plights of Singapore wildlife and the 3Cs - Coexistence, Compassion and Conservation that can help improve the situation. The evening was filled with interactive games, insights into ACRES’s wildlife rescue work, and artistically crafted desserts by chocolatier Janice Wong. Attendees left with a deeper understanding for our wild friends and useful tips on wildlife management.
Following that, The National Parks Board (NParks) Youth Stewards for Nature (YSN) had their Regional World Wildlife Day Youth Symposium across the weekend. Youth were invited to join them and their partners in a line up of engaging dialogues and workshops to learn more about biodiversity and conservation from mentors at the forefront of conservation in the region.
Key art by Faith Tan; Logo by Raphael Moey
Photo credits (from left to right, top row to bottom row): Kelsie Muir, Raphael Moey, Sandra Chia, Faith Tan, Joshua Liang, Charlie Pang
The symposium, comprising focus group discussions and six workshops across Singapore, brought participants closer to nature and exposed them to efforts in environmental and wildlife protection.
Partnerships and workshops for “Saving Nature” includes:
"Conserving Southeast Asia's Most Threatened" workshop in partnership with Mandai Nature
“Nature Walk: Storytelling through an Artistic Lens” by award-winning photographer-filmmaker, Jayaprakash Joghee Bojan.
“R.E.C.L.A.S.S the way to influence pro-environmental behaviour” by Professor Reuben Clements.
“NParks X WWF Cyber Spotter Program 2.0 Crash Course” held in partnership with NParks and WWF-SG.
“Tree Planting and Invasive Species Management” programme held in partnership with Earthlink NTU, NUS Toddycats and NUS SAVE, in support of the NParks One Million movement.
“Tackling Illegal Wildlife Trade Through Wildlife Forensics” by with NParks’s Centre for Wildlife Forensics and Centre for Wildlife Rehabilitation and Conservation International
Left image: The Fireside chat on 3 March 2023, with Dr Melvin Gumal Deputy CEO, The Sarawak Forestry Corporation, Malaysia, Dr Anna Wong, Director for Wildlife Trade, Centre for Wildlife Forensics, and Centre for Wildlife Rehabilitation at NParks, Singapore, and Dr Jessica Lee, Head of Avian Species Programmes & Partnerships at Mandai Nature, and Coordinator of IUCN-SSC Asian Songbird Trade Specialist Group, moderated by Ting Wai Kit, Singapore youth delegate to CITES COP 19 and organising team member for the first iteration of World Wildlife Day Regional Youth Symposium last year in 2022.
(Photo credit: Charlie Pang)
Right image: The YSN Organising Team and mentors who brought this symposium to life. Listed from left to right, front row to back row, the team consists of: Hazelina Yeo (Staff Lead), Elaine Chan, Ho Sze Koy, Nasrudin Noordin, Collin Chua (Day 0 Lead), Regina Lai (Co-Lead), Gerald Ho (Co-Lead), Darren Choo (Staff Mentor), Tay Li Si (Youth and Staff Mentor), Saloni Swaminathan (Day 1 Lead), Rachel Ong, Sandra Chia (Staff Mentor), Kelsie Muir (Day 2 Lead), Phoebe Zhou, Ting Wai Kit (Youth Mentor), Priscilla Tan (Youth Mentor), Joshua Liang, Faith Tan, Raphael Moey, Ronnie Lai, Sean Ng (Youth Mentor), Muhammad Nasry Bin Abdul Nasir. Not pictured: Anusha Shivram (Youth Mentor), Steffi Tan
(Photo credit: Hazelina Yeo)
Shout out to Steffi Tan (Right), a member of the YSN organising team, representing Singapore and the Southeast Asian youth network in Washington DC for the International World Wildlife Day Event organised by the CITES Secretariat, together with Nabilah Norshuhadah Binti Mohd Hazzrol from Malaysia.
(Photo credit: CITES)
Over at Medway Park, an educational talk on coexistence was conducted by ACRES. This was an initiative by a resident who wanted to empower her neighbours of all ages with the knowledge on how they can humanely manage the wildlife in their backyards, and the key role our wild neighbours play to make up a healthy ecosystem. The session was met with many positive responses as practical tips were shared to instil confidence in the residents should they ever encounter a wild animal.
“Not only does recognizing and embracing the differences in our skills, knowledge and background open doors to endless opportunities and possibilities, but it also sparks conversations that may never occur if we remain in our bubble. Whether it is through outreach, where a community is exposed to new, refreshing content by others, or through conservation work where differing expertise contributes to a brighter future for our biodiversity.” - Jasvic Lye, OWN Campaign Manager
With the joint efforts of local nature groups and organisations, and members of the public, it is quite certain that Singapore will continue to grow into a more wildlife conscious city for everyone and every animal to live in harmony.
Here’s how you can join us to achieve this:
Join us and our partners in our public events or engage us to conduct talks and programmes for your company/school/community. Click here to see what we have installed. Email firstname.lastname@example.org if you would like to engage us for an event or to conduct a programme about human-wildlife coexistence in Singapore.
Use #OurWildNeighboursSG hashtag on your social media posts to spread the word and show your support for this campaign!
Share your knowledge with family and friends.
Expand your knowledge on wildlife and coexistence both locally and internationally. Click here to get resources.
Volunteer your time with OWN and our partners. Click here to join us.
Watch Wild Space's Wild Conversation with Anbarasi (Anbu) Boopal, co-CEO of ACRES:
Learn more about our partners mentioned in this article and the good work that they do: