Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Review on Once Upon a Tree: The bigger picture

Juanhui, who is supposed to do reviews, is busy tonight and I'm being arrowed by her to do a simple review for this episode of Once Upon a Tree, Tides and Coastlines- Episode 4: The bigger picture.

What the show is all about in general from Arts Central Website:

"Once Upon a Tree - Tides and Coastlines builds upon the themes explored in the first season, and applies them to the waters that surround us. Join us as we explore the physical, ecological and cultural dimensions of the tides - and perhaps discover something about ourselves in the process."

The episode starts off with with Professor Peter Ng sharing with the audience about what conservation is about. He compared conservation in a country that is well of with a third world country where attention definitely cannot be given to. There is no right or wrong in conservation. Also, nature is surprisingly resilient, especially for marine life because the sea is interconnected. However, nature takes time to grow so we should not try to destroy them. The first segment end off with a quote from John James Audubon, "A true conservationist is a man who knows that the world is not given by his fathers, but borrowed from his children."

The second segment of the show is where cohost Sue-lyn brings someone out again to share Singapore's nature spot. This time we were treated to Mandai mangroves and mudflats. Of course, there is no better person to share about this place other than Sivasothi, the mangrove guru! Siva brings Sue-lyn to the mangroves first where they explore with crabs, mudcreepers and mangroves trees. These mangrove fauna and flora can provide humans with food and also wood for burning and building materials.

Photo of Mandai mudflat taken by Sivasothi, retrieved from Habitatnews flickr gallery

Soon, we were also brought nearer the shore, which is the mudflat of Mandai. Siva shares with Sue-Lyn and us that many of the birds on the shore are migratory birds and some come all the way from Russia. He also gave an analogy of the mudflat as a buffet table where hungry and tired birds can feast on. To prove this, Siva and Sue-Lyn started to dig into the mud that are stepping on and true enough many polychaete worms were found. The second segments ends off sharing with us the message of the importance of seeing the bigger picture (that this place also serve for birds from other parts of the world) in order to love nature and conserve it.

The last segment hosted by Dr Shawn Lum introduces to us on how many of our inventions are actually modelled after nature's ways, for example computer antivirus program from the immune system of living things. There was a part regarding the production of the mollusc shell producing the internal layer of mother of pearl that I'm not too sure on. But I remembered the narration saying something about the interaction of seawater and protein, and that it is done without damaging the environment and thus we as human should follow suit. Whatever pressures we put on of waters will lead on a downstream effect as waters as interconnected and it might led to consequences even at another country. Therefore responsibility is very important for us to ensure nature's survival.

In all, I thought this statement is meaningful, it says "how can we learn from nature and its way, if nature is no longer there for us to learn from."

More links
Ria's preview to Episode 4 of Once Upon a Tree on Wildfilms.
Mandai mangroves, Western Johor Straits, Singapore on the Mangroves of Singapore guidebook website.
Mandai Besar today and Mandai mangroves and mudflats featured on Arts Central on Otterman speaks where Siva personally shares a bit on his filming experience and also about the show.
Marine Biology class visit Mandai mangroves on The Biodiversity Crew @ NUS blog.
Habitatnews Flickr gallery of LSM4261 Marine Biology class visit Mandai mangroves, 13 Feb 2008


Ria Tan said...

WOW, thanks for the fabulous review! And so swiftly uploaded too. And great links as well. Really appreciate it Kok Sheng!

Unknown said...

Thanks Ria. I hope the review is useful also for those who didnt manage to watch it, just like me when I carelessly forgot to watch the previous two episodes. Haha.

budak said...

next week it's seagrass!

juanicths said...

Whey~~ Watcha mean I'm "supposed to do reviews"?

Haha....Thanks for putting this up though~~ *hug* Should be back to doing my usual summary-reviews for the last 2 episodes (actually am obliged to)

Unknown said...

haha... let's look forward to next episode! anybody got see me on msn or gmail on tues 9pm plus must remind me to watch cos i tend to forget. :P

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