Bending the Curve

Many of us wonder what happened to our planet over the years
Why are the seasons and weather all messed up?
Why are there more and more threatened and endangered animals?
Why is it getting unbearably hot?

Since 1970, WWF has been releasing the Living Planet Index
In a nutshell, it reflects how the planet is faring

Looking at this graph of the Living Planet Index, and
even though I’m not a professional analyst or mathematician,
I think it looks like the a big “uh-oh”
This means our planet isn’t doing well

There is no doubt that the planet is in dire need of immediate reversal
At WWF, we are working hard to “bend this curve”
Through different practices and key drivers, we devote all we have to turn this around
We are choiceful in what we work on and how we work
Because there is no time to spare

At 33% of the health in 1970, our planet cannot wait for an eventual revival
We need instant gratification
Ironically, it’s something like the kind of instant gratification that plagued the world,
And trashed our planet

No luxury, no convenience and no instant gratification is worth destroying our planet for
Start today. Bend the curve with us now
Together, it’s still possible

bend the curve


The hard path

To all my fellow advocates for the environment

It is not going to be the most popular job, you see
Being a conservationist or environmentalist, you’re bound to face critics
Yup, I should mind my own business and leave the world alone,
albeit in shambles at its current state
Yup, I should just stop being so bossy and let everyone live the way they want,
even though we’re consuming more than what could be made
Yup, I should “get a normal job” and stop being an outcast

I know
I’ll never receive a single word of appreciation from the wildlife and environment that I vow to help
I’ll never get rich
I’ll probably be bumming around when everyone is retiring in mansions

What matters is I know I’m doing the right thing
I know it so well that I cannot ignore it
It is in me and I cannot get it out
This mission – it must be fate!


Today I heard about what happened to Mr. Stephen Tinsdale,
the late former executive director of Greenpeace,
who took his life after battling with depression

It is a long, hard road he has taken to fight for the environment
On this road he has walked so, so far
I am sometimes weary that this road may be too hard for me
But I rest assured, because

I know it is a road teeming with folks like you
You know who you are
Like-minded, warm-blooded, sometimes hot-headed,
Advocates for the environment

It’s great to have met you on this path



Sea – food = ?

Imagine a sea without food

The Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) held their big event in Singapore today. They are turning 20 this year!

The WWF and the MSC go way back. We still work very closely as well.

As a sustainable seafood vegetarian (pesco-lacto-ovo vegan) I’ve always been a fan of this certification system to promote and identify sustainable seafood.

Why is sustainable seafood even a thing anyway?

Picture the following case of the tragedy of the commons:

A group of 10 fishermen fish from a single lake daily. With individual fishing lines, they catch 10 fish per day on average per person. One day, one guy bought a big fishing net and started catching 100 fish per day. Others saw this and of course were outraged. So they went to buy nets as well.

Now the rate of depletion of fish in the lake has changed from 100 fish per day to 1000, but the reproduction rate is not catching up.

What do you think happens if the fishermen did not step down their game?

This is in fact becoming our reality. We may soon be left with seas without seafood.

Commons are resources available to all, but managed and provided by no one in particular. When the resources are exhausted, nobody wins. Not even that first guy who got the net before it was cool.DSC_0110

Next time you purchase seafood, look out for MSC (caught) and ASC (grown) certified seafood. The MSC and ASC are there to make sure we have food in the sea in the future. We have these institutions to literally manage the commons.

The MSC and ASC ensure that the way the fisheries and aquacultures are run are sustainable, and that fish stock and oceans are kept from irreversible harm.

Extra side perk: with all the falsification emerging in the market, you can rest assured that MSC and ASC certified seafood are what they claim to be with traceable provenance.


Filling those gaps in our hearts with holes in our wallets

November 11 is coming up.
Those of you in retail, especially in Asia, certainly know what this means.

Alibaba raked in 17.8 billion USD on Nov 11, 2016 alone.
See for yourself in the infographic below on what behemoth of a day of consumerism Nov 11 will be.

After the customary gifting on Valentine’s, Mother’s and Father’s Days,
Just when you were probably wondering “what will they think of next”,
“Singles’ Day” is another forged day to epitomize materialism by riding on the loneliness and bitterness of being single.
You see, it’s got at least four 1’s in the date, rubbing the one-ness in.

Singles’ Day is now celebrated as the ultimate e-commerce sale day.
In one single day, unfathomable amount of sales are made in all Chinese online shopping sites.
Neighbouring regions are eyeing this opportunity to adopt this online tradition for the extra ka-ching.

The more lonely you are, the more you should treat yourself with expensive purchases of merchandise to ease the pain, they say.
Does this sound right to you?
Unnecessarily hoarding cheap trendy goods with poor quality, a “planned obsolescence”, just so that you feel better from the miseries of life.

If we end up destroying the planet because of overpopulation and the entire human race’s survival, it couldn’t be helped.
How would you feel if we end up trashing Earth because of purchases of extra power banks, diet pills and this season’s high heels, just because we are lonely?


Image source:
Image source:


今天新加坡環境工程學會安排了一堂課,澳洲工程學教授講的『生命週期工程』(Life-cycle engineering)















The “worst offenders”

Our recent project with the hospitality industry in Singapore was praised… and ridiculed.

The Marina Bay Sands is the largest hotel in Singapore and boasts 45 million visitors annually – that is 10 times the population of Singapore.
WWF Singapore is now partnering up with the biggest fish in the sea to curb the overfishing of fish in the sea.
At stage 1, our mandate is to help them transform their seafood procurement by creating sustainable aquaculture (fish farms) that gives them a stable supply.

Mainstream media has been reporting – and commending – the MBS’ effort in going green.

Now this news article has captured it in a slightly different light. Behold.


“Worst offenders”. The article goes on further in attempt to uncover more skeletons.

This reminds me so much of how whenever someone or some business claims to be sustainable, they get challenged and grilled incessantly about every. single. issue. pertinent. to. the. planet.

Just like how if you proclaim to be a Christian, you will get things like:
“But you used to smoke”
“But you didn’t recycle your plastic cup”
“But you never volunteer your time”

I will not defend Christians or the Marina Bay Sands.

I just want to remind you, that being a Christian means that we have admitted we are sinners, and that we are striving to do better and walk God’s path.

Similarly, by partnering up with environmental NGOs, businesses are trying to be more sustainable.

And yes, we want the “worst offenders” – the most, in fact – come forth and let us help you.


Struggling to find our ways in Hong Kong


As a person from Hong Kong, I have not had to face what many of my fellow people had to in the supposedly-autonomous city, a place where consumerism is perpetually at its epitome.

Hong Kong, home to over 7 million, has a habitable land of no more than the size of 4 Manhattan islands. Competition is, needless to say, at a perverse level. Survival would mean not only to stay afloat but to be ahead of others.

Peer pressure begin as early as playgroup applications, when rigorous group and individual interviews for toddlers begin dictating what social class you are destined to fall into. Throughout life, one is taught to be competitive while never being out of place – this means everyone adheres to a norm of how people should behave.

Many a time we have heard that we should not venture out into “useless” studies such as astrophysics and anthropology, simply because those would “get you nowhere”. Of course, institutions respond according to the demand trends by installing more business and economics majors. And to disciplines that are increasing irrelevant to the heavily urbanized financial center, funding is slashed. It is not profitable for both the students and the academic institutions to look into non-material pursuits in a place that is woven together by power, wealth and the demonstrations of the two. This is apparently no place for moral fiber to exist, let alone to defeat the joint reign of materialism and consumerism.

Dangerously pensive since young age, I was fortunate that the political vulnerability was too much for my family to bear thus we moved to Canada, a place where my budding pursuit for non-material purposes could be fostered into eventual fruition. Some may argue that even in the most unlikely places, extraordinary endeavours may be conceived. Had I spent the entirety of my formative years in Hong Kong, a similar resolution of leading a purposeful life may still result and that I may still find non-material needs to be a priority deep inside, but I doubt I could still be resilient enough to battle an entire society that tells me otherwise.