Hope for Sisters' Islands Marine Park being named a Mission Blue Hope Spot!

Singapore aims for its first marine Hope Spot with Sisters' Islands Marine Park. Photo: Straits Times Lim Yaohui.
The Sisters' Islands Marine Park might become the Republic's first "Hope Spot" under the international initiative, Mission Blue, which draws public attention to marine areas which may need more protection!


What is Mission Blue "Hope Spots"?
Hope Spots are special places that are critical to the health of the ocean — Earth’s blue heart. Hope Spots are about recognising, empowering and supporting individuals and communities around the world in their efforts to protect the ocean. Dr. Sylvia Earle introduced the concept in her 2009 TED talk and since then the idea has inspired millions across the planet. While about 12 percent of the land around the world is now under some form of protection (as national parks etc.), less than six percent of the ocean is protected in any way. Hope Spots allow us to plan for the future and look beyond current marine protected areas (MPAs), which are like national parks on land where exploitative uses like fishing and deep sea mining are restricted. Hope Spots are often areas that need new protection, but they can also be existing MPAs where more action is needed.
Dr. Sylvia Earle, affectionately known as Her Deepness, was in town for the Singapore premiere of the Elysium Epic Trilogy, a free photo exhibition that documents the impacts of climate change at the poles and the Indo-Pacific's Coral Triangle. Photo: Straits Times, Desmond Foo.

With Dr. Sylvia Earle in town last week to give talks and share on Mission Blue, the proposal to nominate Sisters' Islands Marine Park was also revealed by the National Parks Board.

Excerpts from The Straits Times:

Dr Karenne Tun, director for the coastal and marine division of the National Parks Board's (NParks') National Biodiversity Centre, told The Straits Times on Thursday (Aug 15) that NParks, together with the local marine community, are working on a proposal to nominate the marine park as a Hope Spot.


She said more details would be provided later.


If successful, the 40ha Sisters' Islands Marine Park, which was designated a marine protected area by the Government in 2014, might join the ranks of more than 100 other Hope Spots around the world.

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The nomination for Singapore's first Hope Spot is part of a wave of change in the marine science and conservation scene in the Republic.

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If designated a Hope Spot, the Sisters' Islands could get more international attention, as Mission Blue aims to help raise public, academic and policy awareness on various Hope Spots around the world via traditional and social media.


Said Dr Tun: "Singapore's marine conservation efforts benefit greatly from the hard work and collaboration between the authorities, educational institutions and academics, and the larger community who are passionate about marine conservation."


What an exciting time for Singapore!

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