Otterman speaks... (2003-2007)
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Otterman speaks...

Cycling, macintosh, natural history and life in Singapore - Archives

List of Categories : travel * museum * cycling * Singapore Naturalist * science * kakis * mangroves * movies * mac and the internet * meow * NUS * life in Singapore * lit * world *

Sun 21 Sep 2003

So how did we get Ex Anambas to work?

Category : NUS

Ex Anambas was pulled off on very short notice. Things were just beginning to settle down at Chek Jawa in February 2002 when I was told we would be setting sail in March! Oh nothing much, just lead a marine expedition group of more than 30 from around the South China Sea, to an Indonesian group of islands for which I had no detailed map. A proposal I wrote up with Tan Koh Siang and Serena Teo in 1999 was suddenly afoot three years later. My orange jersey was going places!

An NUS crew made up of my lab kakis formed the backbone of the expedition. Used to handling last minute scrambles and mad rushes together, we were actually well trained for rapid deployment and flourished!

I was prepared for really tough conditions and sleeping on deck amongst the fish. The Indonesians, however, sent us the pride of their research fleet, the Baruna Jaya VIII. It is a great ship with an amazing captain, officers and crew. No safety issues or comfort for me to worry about!

The biodiversity research scientists from all over the South China Sea were very cooperative and understanding despite getting practically pulled out of bed. Some had just one week notice! Actually having lots in common, we got along really well.

Though not on board, Peter Ng, the director of the NUS Raffles Museum of Biodiversity Research, was Chief Scientist. He was one of the forces behind the expedition whom Prof Hashim Djalal of Indonesia had recruited years earlier. He is getting the scientists authoring papers to pull their weight by publishing the scientific papers in time - March 2004.

There were a whole bunch of reasons in addition to this, some detailing back to efforts the previous year, and the Workshop now wants me to detail all of it for The Philippines, organisers of the next marine expedition, Ex Palawan. It probably will be a long document, sigh...

Apparently Ex Anambas is a bright star, the first successful "confidence building measure" in what was then 12 years of the workshop process. It succeeded beyond expectation, and appears to have revived the motivation of many participants of the "Workshop on Managing Potential Conflicts in the South China Sea".

So, biodiversity contributes to regional cooperation. Not bad, eh?

Posted at 2:11PM UTC by N. Sivasothi | permalink | , .