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SCELSE helps propel marine science into its next phase as the Marine Science Research & Development Programme (MSRDP) closes with aplomb
20 September 2021

A view of Lazarus and Kusu Islands against Singapore's skilne. PHOTO: Nathaniel Soon

Marine science in Singapore is poised for greater impact - not just with climate change but with local solutions for global problems.
 
This is because Singapore can now leverage the outcomes of the Marine Science Research & Development Programme (MSRDP) to establish a new regional marine science research programme – the $25 million Marine Climate Change Science programme.
 
This was beautifully summed up in the epilogue of the book "Advancing Marine Science in Singapore" which was published in The Straits Times.
 

Advancing Marine Science in Singapore


Penned by SCELSE’s Staffan Kjelleberg, NUS' Peter Ng and St John’s Island Marine Lab Serena Teo, here's an excerpt:
"Singapore is surrounded by blue.
 
The seas are treasure troves of biodiversity, wells of untapped resources, and also help to connect this island nation to South-east Asia and beyond.But fish - just like trash, invasive non-native species, microbes, nutrients and pollutants - do not recognise geopolitical borders. They mix and flow across these interconnected marine realms.
 
Marine issues cannot therefore be managed by one country. Even if the problems are external to Asean, the issues are magnified within South-east Asia, in politically sensitive areas such as the South China Sea.
 
Problems of pollution, marine traffic, invasive species, natural resources from timber to fisheries, conservation, sustainable trade in bioresources, international treaties on ballast water discharged by ships, genetic resources of the high seas and so on are transboundary in nature, and solutions require close collaboration and sharing of scientific data across countries.
 
As Singapore continues to increase engagement in shared regional resources, there is a need to accept shared responsibilities."