8 No 3
aqua-tion for life roles of
water in life
meets the lands
fishes of the Park
dispersal by h2o
seeds dispersed by water
some interesting notes on the pacific golden
10th international coastal cleanup 2001 and
5th mangrove cleanup
sungei buloh nature park
an ode to a turtle
The wisdom of Lao Tzu, a 6th century Chinese philosopher, is as fresh
as the morning dew that formed today.
Water (Latinaqua) is indeed ordinary yet extraordinary in nature.
The strength of water is unmatched. All the world's landscapes is
sculpted by water in one way or another.
Drops of water can split rocks with time.
And where forested hills are denuded by man, upsetting the ecological
balance of nature, we have observed time and again, the force and
fiery devastation of landslides and flash floods that belie the gentle
rain that falls on our heads.
Similar scale of destruction is akin to the removal of mangroves by
man also, causing massive coastal erosion, retreating shorelines and
loss of natural barriers that had sheltered coastal communities from
the lashing waves of tropical monsoon storms.
However, water is the very essence of life. Life flourishes on earth
simply because we are blessed with an abundance of water. Without
water there can be no life at all.
The Visitor Centre at Sungei Buloh Nature Park is nestled among several
restive and picturesque ponds. On one side flows the wide expanse
of Sungei Buloh Besar, our main river. Water features here are everywhere.
The opportunity to reflect and to learn about water should not be
We cannot fully undertake nature conservation (of plants, animals
and habitat) without recognizing water as a dynamic and contributing
element in our living environment, especially in a wetland like Sungei
Nothing on earth is
so weak and yielding
but for breaking down
the firm and strong,
it has no equal
is a list of things that you can discuss and reflect on regarding
some of the fundamental roles that water plays in our equation
for life here on earth. Rediscover for yourselves interesting
facts and find out more about the undesirable impacts arising
from abuse of natural processes of water.
The windows to learning are many and surprisingly easy to find
if one has keen eyes to observe and learn at Sungei Buloh Nature
Do you know that water is
two-thirds of your body weight, ninety percent of the blood
in your body is water, and that before birth you lived in water
in the embryonic sac of your mother's womb? Discuss why living
organisms need to consume water.
Do you know that water had
been used as a standard for the measurement of weight in the
metric system, i.e., one-kilogram is equivalent to the mass
of one liter of water? Discuss what other measurements use water
as a standard.
Do you know that wetlands
are areas where water is the primary factor controlling the
environment and the associated plant and animal life? Discuss
what areas are categorized as wetlands and where they can he
found in Singapore, especially the mangroves and freshwater
(Homelandin Malay language)
Do you know that the first
civilizations arose in areas where water was a dominant feature,
e.g., the Hwang Ho (Yellow River), Ganges, Indus, Nile and Amazon?
Discuss why people chose to live near water, and who are the
people who had lived in mangroves of Sungei Buloh in the past.
Do you know that the life
in the rnudflat is very demanding, and the living organisms
within the low and high tide marks have to cope with changes
in temperatures, humidity, and salinity, etc.? Discuss how this
is so, and what other challenges the organisms face.
Do you know that ice at
the Poles is melting gradually and increasing in the sea levels
around the world, and that some low islands are in danger of
disappearing under the sea? Discuss a hypothetical question:
In what way will Sungei Buloh be affected if the old Causeway
is removed for a clear water passage through Johor Straits?
Do you know that the rice
we eat grows in water, and that rice is a grass? Discuss about
rice cultivation, find out where we get our supply from, and
plan a trip to see paddy fields and water irrigation channels
in a neighbouring country.
Arts & Culture
Do you know what is the
common medium in four of the finest art forms in Chinese culture,
namely, Chinese painting, calligraphy, ceramics and tea drinking?
Water, of course! Discuss about local or East Asian art and
cultures where water plays an important role.