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N. Sivasothi,
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Raffles Museum of Biodiversity Research, Department of Biological Sciences, National University of Singapore. Since 1998 with origins from OneList.

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Tue 13 Mar 2007

"Remember Chek Jawa" to be unveiled at Wildlife Asia 07

Category : marine

13 Mar 2007 - "Remember Chek Jawa," a film by Eric Lim (45min) will be screened at Wildlife Asia 07 at Suntec Rm 302 under Special Presentations: Children's Mobile Cinema.

In 2001, the Raffles Museum of Biodiversity Research, NUS (RMBR), conducted Public Education Visits to Chek Jawa which was then thought to be doomed to reclamation. Thousands came in an unprecedented show of interest by the Singaporean public.

Feedback subsequently submitted to government by the Raffles Museum included Eric Lim's contribution, a 11-minute video hewn out of footage from the visits which included interviews with the public. I still find that striking to watch, more than five years later - this was perhaps the first time a short film was submitted as feedback for nature conservation! Rarely viewed subsequently, except by groups under guide training, it was only screened once at The Giving Tree @ North East in Dec 2005 - "Unveiled!".

Eric had also shot footage of Joseph Lai's Chek Jawa Transect 2001, interviewed volunteers and villagers, guide workshops and covered other post-deferment activity and even hunted for dugongs at night in the high tide - he has the most comprehensive footage of events surrounding Chek Jawa.

This special feature covers the wider events and was cut for Wildlife Asia 07. He completed the video just last night and sent me the synopsis:

"Chek Jawa, an inter-tidal area comprising six different sub-habitats within one square kilometer on Pulau Ubin, Singapore, was discovered by local conservationists only in January 2001. Since the discovery, the amazingly rich marine biodiversity there drew thousands of visitors, both young and old, to revel in the beauty of Chek Jawa’s shores.

Unfortunately, this magnificent shore had an expiration date. Singapore, with its small area, has always struggled with land scarcity issues. In 1992, the Singapore Government approved development plans to carry out land reclamation along the shoreline of Chek Jawa in order to create 'reserve land' for military training. Scheduled to be executed a decade later, that time had now come.

With land reclamation scheduled just months away, most Singaporeans were resigned to the thought that it was impossible to reverse the Government’s decision. Still, a band of passionate volunteers refused to give up on this precious slice of nature in Singapore’s urban jungle, and believed that something could be done. This film tells the story of how these individuals, who came from all walks of life, followed their hearts and made a difference against the odds."

Posted at 2:54AM UTC by N. Sivasothi | permalink | email | Raffles Museum news