Show how effects of global warming hit close to home

The longest coral bleaching incident faced by Singapore from June to September due to warming seas was worrying news ("Warming seas cause longest coral bleaching in S'pore"; Oct 24).

Singapore is situated in the Coral Triangle that covers Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines and Timor Leste, and supports a huge diversity of marine life, with nearly 600 different species of reef-building corals.

The bleaching of the corals could threaten more than 2,000 species of reef fish and six of the world's seven species of marine turtles that depend on these corals to provide food and habitat.

Coral bleaching not only affects marine biodiversity, but also our food sources and fishing industries. This could change our diets, the livelihood of fishermen and the market for seafood drastically.

Hence, I am relieved that the corals are now recovering.

I applaud the efforts by the National Parks Board (NParks) to restore the corals by closing the diving trails at Sisters' Island Marine Park, to minimise the stress on the corals from human activities.

However, efforts by NParks alone are not enough.

Singaporeans can do their part in reducing the effects of global warming through various ways such as reducing, reusing and recycling.

We can play our part in changing our lifestyles to be more eco-friendly and reducing our carbon footprint, before it is too late.

The Government can also do more in terms of educating Singaporeans about the impact of global warming on local issues, such as in the case of the bleaching of Singapore corals.

By bringing the problems closer to home, Singaporeans would feel the impact directly and find its relevance to their lives, motivating them to do their part.

The Government could also put in place more preventive measures to protect these corals, instead of doing so only when the corals have already bleached.

These include protecting some areas by restricting human activities at the coral reefs, and revising land reclamation plans.

Jolene Teo Jia Xuan (Ms)