A TOTAL of 41kg of marine litter was collected at Bendera Bay last Saturday (Mar 26) by a group of more than 10 staff volunteers from energy company Aramco. The area, which is nestled within St John's Island that is south of Singapore, has been seeing more marine debris being washed ashore.
The coastal clean-up initiative is a joint effort between the National Parks Board (NParks) and Aramco to protect Singapore's marine biodiversity.
Marwa Al-Khuzaim, managing director of Aramco Singapore, said: "At Aramco, we strongly believe in protecting and preserving the natural environment while delivering our business promise to provide the energy products the world needs . . . and we are very pleased to support the Singapore NParks' efforts in conserving and promoting marine biodiversity in Singapore's waters."
Aramco's sustainability initiatives in Singapore not only aligns with the company's efforts globally, they are also in line with NParks' strategies to build climate resilience through the City in Nature vision, a key pillar of the Singapore Green Plan 2030, she added.
The activity last Saturday was an extension of Aramco's S$260,000 donation in 2021 to NParks' Garden City Fund.
The contribution has gone towards marine biodiversity conservation efforts in Singapore's Southern Islands and educational programmes.
Karenne Tun, director of the Coastal and Marine National Biodiversity Centre at NParks, said that "corals build the foundation of coral reefs, and the complex 3D structures create niches that support a rich variety of marine life, including many fish species that are consumed by humans".
She noted that one misconception is the belief that since coral reefs are hard structures, they are not affected by changes in temperature.
"This is not true because corals are very sensitive to small changes in the environment. It is therefore important to ensure that impacts on reefs are minimised to help corals and other reef organisms build resilience and adapt to changing environmental conditions," she said.
Jeffrey Tan, quality engineer, Aramco Asia Singapore, said that it was "eye-opening to learn that the breakdown of our disposed wastes into microscopic level will feed the fishes and come back to us and our future generations via the food chain".
He added: "The coastal clean-up is a good reminder for us to do our part in our daily lives by being mindful of what we use and how we dispose of these items after use."