Festival of Biodiversity 2013

Can’t get enough of the Festival of Biodiversity?

Well, it’s back!

Join us for more fun activities, storytelling, and exciting exhibitions:

13th and 14th July
from 10:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m.
at VivoCity, Central Atrium B & West Bouolevard


Click here to find out more on this year’s blog.

Click here for the official NParks website.

Or find out more on Facebook.

Do remember to spread the word too!

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If you missed the actual event…

[updated: 4 June 2012]

Not to worry, I’ll be updating this post with materials from the Festival.

Entire Festival happenings

Ivan Kwan and Gladys Chua have kindly compiled Tweets, blogposts and Facebook updates about the Festival using Storify. Check it out here! (Thanks, the both of you!)


Videos of the symposia/talks can be found on this page.

Compiled Tweets on various talks:

Bodies of evidence: A morbid celebration of biodiversity (Thanks to Ivan Kwan)

Conserving South-east Asia’s biodiversity: mission impossible? (Thanks to Ivan Kwan)

Dragonflies of Singapore (Thanks to Ivan Kwan)

Film screenings

The film, Singapore Got Wildlife, Meh? will be uploaded for public viewing once it is ready.

Activity sheets

If you didn’t manage to get hold of the amazing colouring sheet at the marine biodiversity exhibition, feel free to download one from here! (Thanks to Ria Tan, Sabrina Tang & Toh Chay Hoon)

If you’d like to try your hand at the Nature Quiz that was the “bonus” of the Biodiversity Challenge, download it here! Answers can be downloaded here.

Categories: Archive, Updates | 1 Comment

The Festival on the Internet

Here are links to photo albums and blog posts by those who attended the Festival!

[Update: 9 June 2012]

Pre-event blogposts

Nature Society (Singapore): NParks Festival of Biodiversity (2 May 2012)

Raffles Museum Toddycats: Raffles Museum Toddycats at Festival of Biodiversity (26 & 27 May 2012) (2 May 2012)

Raffles Museum Toddycats: Come join us at the Festival of Biodiversity (26 & 27 May 2012) (15 May 2012)

Wildshores of Singapore: 26-27 May: Celebrate Singapore’s Marine Biodiversity! (15 May 2012)

Otterman: Festival of Biodiversity Singapore, 26-27 May 2012 @ SBG (17 May 2012)

Monday Morgue: Shameless self promotion (21 May 2012)

NUS Peace: Festival of Biodiversity (22 May 2012)

International Coastal Cleanup Singapore: Join us at the “Conserving our Biodiversity Symposium”, Festival of Biodiversity (26-27 May 2012)  (24 May 2012)

Photo albums

Boh Zuze on Facebook

Eugene Ang on Facebook

Fung Tze Kwan on Facebook

Heng Pei Yan on Facebook

Islamic Religious Council of Singapore (MUIS) on Facebook

Ivan Kwan on Facebook

Jeremy Ng (Day 1 of Festival) on Facebook

Jeremy Ng (Day 2 of Festival) on Facebook

Jocelyne Sze on Facebook

 Nature Photographic Society, Singapore (NPSS) on Facebook

President Tony Tan on Facebook

Rene Ong on Facebook

Rick Leong on Facebook

Xu Weiting on Facebook

Blog posts

Andy Dinesh: Festival of Biodiversity – Singapore 26 May 2012 (2 June 2012)

ButterflyCircle: ButterflyCircle at the Festival of Biodiversity (2 June 2012)

Heng Pei Yan: Exciting happenings at the Festival of Biodiversity 2012 (28 May 2012)

TeamSeagrass: TeamSeagrass at the Festival of Biodiversity (26-27 May 2012) (28 May 2012)

The Hantu Blog: Singapore got wildlife meh? ABUDEN?! (28 May 2012)

Mega Marine Survey: Mega Marine Survey at the Festival of Biodiversity (26-27 May 2012) (28 May 2012)

Ministry of National Development: MOS Tan Chuan-Jin speaks at launch of Festival of Biodiversity 2012 (26 May 2012)

Naked Hermit Crabs: The Crabs at the Festival of Biodiversity (26-27 May) (28 May 2012)

Nature Photographic Society (Singapore): NPSS booth at NParks’ festival of Biodiversity (27 May 2012)

Wildshores of Singapore: Volunteers at Festival of Biodiversity (28 May 2012)

Wildshores of Singapore: Fabulous marine exhibition at Festival (28 May 2012)

Please drop a comment if you would like to have your blog post/photo album included! :)

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Final day of the Festival!

We had a great turnout at the last day of the Festival on 27 May (Sunday)! Thankfully the weather held up as well, and it was really wonderful that we had two days of great weather and lots of fun.

There was a steady stream of visitors, all of them interested to learn more about our local natural heritage, why conserving our biodiversity is important, and what they can do to help!

Here are some photos of the Festival:

[Follow the tide] The marine biodiversity exhibition was one of the highlights, drawing many to the Festival

[Cicada Tree Eco-Place] School students were very interested to find out about our native wildlife from Cicada Tree volunteers

[Film screening] For those wanting to escape the heat, there were always the films being screened in the Function Room!

[RMBR Toddycats, NUS] Raffles Museum Toddycats volunteer enthuses about birds to the students

[Art & Craft workshops] Fun for the kids at the Ridley Hall, where they learnt to

[Talks] Lee Yan Leong’s talk on Nature photography attracted many to attend!

Many thanks to all who came down to the Singapore Botanic Gardens for the Festival over the past two days, we sure hope you enjoyed yourselves as much as we did! If you have any feedback, please do leave a comment and let us know!


For those who did not manage to catch the talks, not to worry! Recordings of the talks will be uploaded here (with the speaker’s permission).

We will also be uploaded the link to the video “Singapore Got Wildlife, Meh?” for the benefit of all who did not manage to catch this 15-minute video, once it is made available for public viewing.


Thanks all and we look forward to Festival of Biodiversity 2013!

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The Festival in the news!

[Update: 1 June 2012, Wednesday]

During the official launch of the Festival yesterday, Minister of State for the Ministry of National Development and Manpower Tan Chuan-Jin gave the opening speech and it was covered by various news agencies.

Newspaper articles

Call of Nature by The Straits Times, re-posted on The Green Drinks (25 May 2012)

Wildlife Galore by The Straits Times (26 May 2012)

NParks announces plans for Central Catchment Nature Reserve by The Straits Times (26 May 2012)

New Trail around Singapore’s green Heart by Today

NParks to improve access to Central Catchment Nature Reserve by Asia One

New Park to Boost Biodiversity by Asia One, first published in The New Paper

Nature reserves made more accessible to public by Channel News Asia (26 May 2012)

Bringing nature closer to residents by The Straits Times

Bringing nature closer to Singaporeans by Reach (27 May 2012)

Adding 20km of park connectors makes it more convenient for public to visit Central Catchment Area by Lian He Zao Bao

Inviting you to know the local rare species by Lian He Zao Bao

Radio/television clippings

Unfortunately, most of the clippings are not available.

Festival of Biodiversity by 938 Live (23 May 2012)

Berita: Festival of Biodiversity by Suria (24 May 2012 at 8.00pm and 11.00pm)

Festival of Biodiversity by Channel 8 (25 May 2012)

Festival of Biodiversity by Capital 95.8FM (26 May 2012)

Nature reserves made more accessible to public by Channel 5 (26 May 2012)

Nature reserves made more accessible to public by Capital 95.8FM (26 May 2012)

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Great start to the Festival of Biodiversity!

And the BIG DAY is finally here!

Welcome to the Festival of Biodiversity 2012 at the Botany Centre, Singapore Botanic Gardens!

Thankful for the great weather, that there was no great downpour to dampen our spirits. There was plenty of action happening all over the Botany Centre at the Singapore Botanic Gardens – booth exhibitions, talks, workshops etc.

Here are some photos from today:

Register and get a Festival Card to take part in the Biodiversity Challenge! 

[Follow the tide] An exhibition on Singapore’s marine biodiversity with interactive panels

[Follow the tide] There are some marine animals who helped with public education and educating the masses

[Follow the tide] Wonderfully drawn coloursheets to engage the young

[RMBR Toddycats, NUS] RMBR Toddycats has booths on Level 2 and is driving traffic to go up by bringing their specimens down & engaging visitors who walk past

[Raffles Institution] Children enjoying their painting of clay animals 

[Commonwealth Sec Sch] Student volunteers doing their job of explaining their project

[Nature Society (Singapore)] Plenty of eye-catching photographs at the NSS booth!

[Art & Craft workshops] Origami folding

[Bukit Merah Public Library] Librarians from BMPL came down on Saturday just to do two storytelling sessions for the public!

[Art & Craft workshops] Full house at Painting Nature on a Tile workshop

Crowd at Level 1 exhibition booths

The official launch of the Festival was held at 4pm on 26 May 2012, Saturday.

[Official launch] Arrival of Guest-of-Honour, President Tony Tan

[Official launch] Minister of State for National Development and Manpower Tan Chuan-Jin gives his opening speech

[Official launch] President completes the community artwork of the mural mosaic by placing the last tile in!

More photos to come next! And we prepare for the second and final day of the Festival.

Check out the programme for tomorrow:



Categories: Archive, Updates | 3 Comments

Festival of Biodiversity is in The Straits Times!

Call of nature

A new festival aims to educate Singaporeans on the country’s diverse flora and fauna
Rachel Chan Straits Times 25 May 12;

A bird and butterfly race is on tomorrow at the Singapore Botanic Gardens, in which students will use two new iPhone apps to help them identify and record the species sighted.

The race will launch the Bird Guide and Butterfly Guide apps, created by the Nature Society (Singapore), and is also a highlight of the inaugural Festival of Biodiversity this weekend.

The two-day event, which aims to educate the public about Singapore’s diverse wildlife, is on at the Botanic Gardens. Some 2,000 people are expected to participate in free activities, such as a nature and biodiversity conservation symposium; a garden-city-themed photography exhibition; and an exhibition showcasing Singapore’s marine life.

The National Parks Board (NParks) is co-organising the festival with the Biodiversity Roundtable, a group comprising members of the natural history community including the Animal Concerns Research & Education Society (Acres)and Nature Society (Singapore) and government agencies.

The idea for such a festival came from the roundtable session, after participants realised there was a need to engage the public. It also wanted to raise awareness and the profiles of other organisations doing their part to conserve Singapore’s natural heritage.

The annual festival is held in conjunction with the International Day of Biological Diversity, which falls on May 22. The date was designated by the United Nations in 2000 to promote biodiversity issues.

Talks, given by nature lovers, range in topic from dragonflies, to habitat loss and conservation, to the importance of examining dead animals.

Two books will also be launched at the festival: Our Fragile Rainforest by Dr Leong Tzi Ming and James Gan, and Caterpillars Of Singapore’s Butterflies by Khew Sin Khoon and Horace Tan.

Walk on the wild side
Straits Times 25 May 12;

The Festival of Biodiversity’s activities are free and take place at the Singapore Botanic Gardens tomorrow and on Sunday. Here are our picks.


Where: Botany Centre, Singapore Botanic Gardens

When: Tomorrow and Sunday

Admission: Free

Info: Go to www.nparks.gov.sg/festivalofbiodiversity or the blog at http://festivalofbiodiversitysingapore.wordpress.com/


What: Follow a volunteer guide through the rainforest trail at the Botanic Gardens. The one-hour tour is suitable for all ages and fitness levels.

When: Tomorrow, 10 to 11am, 11am to noon; Sunday, 9 to 10am, 4 to 5pm.

Where: Meet the guide at the Visitor Centre 15 minutes before the tour starts.


What: Learn what dead animals can tell us about wildlife and the impact of human activities on the natural environment in urban Singapore. Presented by nature blogger Ivan Kwan.

When: Sunday, 2 to 2.45pm

Where: Function Room


What: A presentation, with aerial photos and satellite images, on how urban development has changed Singapore’s natural environment starting from the late 1700s, when Teochew gambier planters from the Riau Islands arrived. Presented by Mr Tony O’Dempsey, chairman of the Vertebrate Study Group of the Nature Society.

When: Sunday, 2 to 2.45pm

Where: Function Hall


What: A 40-minute documentary filmed by a team of dedicated researchers, citizen scientists and bird-lovers who spent more than six years studying the Oriental Pied Hornbill. This bird was thought to be extinct in Singapore as it had not been seen for more than 150 years. The 2010 film chronicles the efforts at helping the hornbill re-establish its home here after it was rediscovered in 1994.

When: Tomorrow, 11am; Sunday, 10am

Where: Function Room


What: A slideshow of short video clips and photos of native wildlife, taken by various nature enthusiasts. Catch interesting images, such as those of animals coupling in the reefs and those answering the call of nature while perched high up on the trees.

When: Tomorrow, 10am; Sunday, 3pm

Where: Function Room


What: Librarian Chen Wanyingfrom the Bukit Merah Regional Library will be reading books such as The Giving Tree and The Lorax. For ages four and up.

When: Tomorrow, 11to 11.45am, 3 to 3.45pm

Where: Ridley Hall


What: An introduction to macro nature photography and basic techniques by accomplished nature photographer Lee Yan Leong who has shot for the United Nations Environemental Programme-World Conservation Monitoring Centre. He will share where shooters can go, the range of subjects available in Singapore, and the ethics of nature photography. Recommended for ages 15 and above.

When: Sunday, 1 to 1.45pm

Where: Function Hall

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Sneak preview of “Singapore Got Wildlife, Meh?”!

Many people have asked this question: “Singapore got wildlife, meh?”. And our answer has always been a loud and firm “YES!”

This video compilation of Nature photos and videos taken by members of the biodiversity community aims to prove just that. Despite the rapid development of Singapore, especially in the past 50 years, and the subsequent urbanisation of many of our Nature areas, there is still much wildlife around. We need not even venture too far, for urban wildlife exists right at our doorstep even.

But perhaps, the greatest consequence is that we end up fearing our wildlife, which should NOT be the case. What we have left is a minute fraction of what we used to have, all of it precious, and all of it important. And most of it, harmless (:

Enjoy the preview, and come down to watch the full video this weekend!

Singapore Got Wildlife, Meh? will be screened at the Function Room (level 2) on 26 May 2012 (Saturday) at 10.00am, and on 27 May 2012 (Sunday) at 3.00pm.

This video compilation is compiled by David Tan, Eunice Soh and Jocelyne Sze.

Categories: Archive, Highlight | 1 Comment

Behind-the-Scenes of Painting Nature

A big thank you to all the participants who joined in our Painting Nature workshop! However, a BIGGER thank you goes to the extra hardworking volunteer artists, Mr Tham Pui San and his Buloh Dabblers for coming down on additional days to prepare for the mural mosaic!

Here are some photos of the preparation work that we did.

Interested to see the final product? Head down to the Festival of Biodiversity on 26 & 27 May, this weekend, at the Botany Centre of the Singapore Botanic Gardens!

Our Guest-of-Honour, President Tony Tan, will be putting in the final tile to complete the community artwork! The official launch of the Festival of Biodiversity is at 4pm on 26 May 2012, Saturday.

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Take part in the Biodiversity Challenge!

At the Festival of Biodiversity this weekend, take part in the Biodiversity Challenge!

How to take part:

1. Grab a Festival Card from the Registration booth. The Registration booth will be at the drop-off point near Tanglin Gate.

Get a Festival Card from the Registration booth!

2. Enjoy the Festival! Visit the following stations and take part in the activities. Then get a stamp from the volunteers wearing a Festival of Biodiversity badge and lanyard! (Look for people carrying stamps with them.)

Get stamps from these stations AFTER visiting them!

The stations are:

Follow the Tide (the marine biodiversity exhibition)[Green pavilion]
Booths on Level 1 [Level 1 courtyard outside the Library of Botany and Horticulture]
Booths on Level 2 [Level 2 garden rooftop outside the Function Room]
Connecting with Nature  (the NParks Public Engagement booth)  [Level 1 courtyard outside the Library of Botany and Horticulture]
Any concurrent event [Function Hall, Function Room, Ridley Hall]

If you’re feeling particularly enthusiastic, try your hand at the Nature Quiz! The Nature Quiz is a BONUS (:

3. Redeem your souvenir at the Redemption booth! The Redemption booth will be next to the Registration booth.

Souvenirs are given out as follows:

Any 3 stamps collected = One sticker sheet
All 5 stamps collected = One sticker sheet + one button badge OR one car decal
All 5 stamps + Bonus (Nature Quiz) = One sticker sheet + one button badge + one car decal

Please note that each stamp can only be counted once, and that designs will be randomly given.

Some of the souvenirs you get to collect!

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