05 February 2017

Celebrating World Wetlands Day at Pulau Ubin with RUM

I had a great time with fabulous people who joined the free monthly mangrove walk! Lively students from the College of Alice and Peter Tan spelled out R.U.M. Cool!
World Wetlands Day on 2 Feb celebrates wetlands such as mangroves. We grabbed this opportunity to share about the awesome mangroves at Pulau Ubin and the work of the Restore Ubin Mangroves (R.U.M.) Initiative there.

Thanks for joining us: Lexus and friends, Heiri who lives on Pulau Ubin, Pushan who knows all about mangroves, and Yen Leng from Water Ventures and of course I wouldn't have made it without Mohammad Juhari, the best RUMbler ever! And of course, Uncle Lim at no. 42 Pulau Ubin for letting us gather at his shop before and after the walk.
Photo by Mohammad Juhari.
I'm so grateful to Pushan for sharing the wonderful stories and photos of plants and kampung life with all of us. Also Heiri for sharing about living on Pulau Ubin, so inspiring. Alas, he had to leave early to help his family.
Restore Ubin Mangroves (R.U.M.) Initiative monthly walk, Feb 2017
Pushan showed us a secret trail where we could get a closer look at mangroves, mud and mudskippers!
Restore Ubin Mangroves (R.U.M.) Initiative monthly walk, Feb 2017
Mangrove trees produce 'baby trees' (propagules) in humungous quantities. They grow rapidly when they land in a correct spot (not too low where they drown) or too high where they have to compete with land plants. This is why Ecological Mangrove Restoration begins by focusing on creating the correct conditions for mangroves to grow. Instead of planting mangroves, R.U.M. hopes to help Mother Nature do the planting.
Restore Ubin Mangroves (R.U.M.) Initiative monthly walk, Feb 2017
The water was very clear today! We are looking at R.U.M. Site 1 from the mouth of Sungei Ubin.
Restore Ubin Mangroves (R.U.M.) Initiative site 1
Alas, abandoned fishing nets and trash often entangle mangrove roots. Among R.U.M.'s focus actions is to remove such litter from the mangroves before restoration begins, so that new mangrove trees can grow in a clean environment.
Abandoned fishing net entangled in mangrove tree
We stopped by to chat with a fisherman at the mangroves. Mangroves have lots of social and economic functions including providing fish to fishermen as well as fish farmers. And ensuring good water quality which is so vital to fish farmers.
Restore Ubin Mangroves (R.U.M.) Initiative monthly walk, Feb 2017
We stopped at kampung homes to admire the colour flowers growing at the gate. What makes Pulau Ubin special is that it is the last offshore island in Singapore with residents who have lived there all their lives. Ubin's culture and heritage will be an important aspect of R.U.M. It is important to R.U.M. that the community who live on Ubin and who love Ubin have a part to play in mangrove restoration. Our hope is to restore Ubin mangroves not just ecologically and biologically, but also their social and cultural role and value to the community on Ubin and beyond.
Restore Ubin Mangroves (R.U.M.) Initiative monthly walk, Feb 2017
Thanks to Lexus and team for making our walk such a lively one! They came to observe and understand R.U.M. as a civil society action group and came prepared with good questions for the participants as well as RUMblers. I am very impressed.
Restore Ubin Mangroves (R.U.M.) Initiative monthly walk, Feb 2017
We are so touched that Colin Koh and Elaine Tan of Adventures by Asian Detours at no. 34 Pulau Ubin has given these awesome Ubin calenders to the volunteers of Restore Ubin Mangroves (R.U.M.) Initiative. Thank you!
Ubin Calendar by Asian Detours
MORE photos of our trip thanks to Mohammad Juhari!


MORE World Wetlands Day celebrations at Sungei Buloh Wetland Reserve on 11 Feb (Sat) with NParks volunteers.

Check up the R.U.M. facebook page for updates on the R.U.M. free monthly mangrove walks.

R.U.M. volunteers also help out with mangrove cleanups, mangrove surveys, mangrove outreach and lots more!

Here's more details on volunteer opportunities with RUM, requirements and how to register.

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