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SPH Junior Conservationist Award

lnaugural Local Conservation Award for Youths Sees a total of 2,738 Entries Vying for Top Spots

Singapore, 24 January 2002 - Close to 3,000 entries were received at the country’s first-ever award aimed at spreading greater conservation awareness amongst the younger generation. Its organisers - Singapore Press Holdings (SPH), Asian Conservation Awareness Programme (ACAP) and Wildlife Reserves Singapore - have plans to make the SPH Junior Conservationist Award an annual national event.

"This is just the first year of the award and the response is very encouraging. We are exploring ways to make the event more interesting in coming years," Mr Liew Kim Siong, Senior Manager, Corporate Communications of SPH, said.

"We want to reward kids for getting involved in conservation and spread the message to adults," Mr Liew added.

A total of 2,783 entries from 723 participants were received after the award was launched on 31 March 2001 last year. The contest was divided into two categories, one for primary school children and another for secondary school teens. The closing date for the entries was 10 December 2001.

Participants had to complete a certain number of tasks - from composing a song made up of animal sounds to designing an exhibit which houses five different animals - in order to win the grand prize of $500 and a year’s Friends of the Zoo membership.

"It is indeed heartening to have received so many entries, and I am very encouraged that the leaders of tomorrow have an interest in the environment and conservation - something that is indeed very encouraging for the planet," Mr Bernard Harrison, CEO of Wildlife Reserves Singapore, said.

Mr Bernard Harrison, who runs the Zoo, BirdPark and Night Safari, is one of the five judges for the award.

The three winners for each category have been chosen and the awards will be presented in the SPH Junior Conservationist Award ceremony, held at the Zoo on Saturday, 26 January 2002 at the Zoo’s Learning Centre.

However, due to the high standard of entries received, judges decided that a fourth merit award, comprising $100 cash, would be included in each category as well.

The Zoo and BirdPark were popular research venues for participants. Its 3,000 animals, together with its infrastructure such as the educational signs, landscaped enclosures, displays, brochures and discovery stations were a source of inspiration and information for participants.

ACAP, who campaigns actively against the buying of products derived from endangered animals, provided information to its participants on the five main endangered animal species, namely, the tiger, bear, elephant, turtle and rhinoceros.

Its web site, comprising comprehensive information on endangered animal species, was also a relevant source of information for the projects.

The SPH Junior Conservationist Award Ceremony will be held on Saturday, 26 January 2002, at the Singapore Zoo’s Learning Centre Auditorium at 9.45am. Guests will include four schools which have submitted the most number of entries, participants whose entries are on display and of course, the four winners for each category.

The guest of honour will be Mr Grant Pereira, Greenleaf Award Winner 2000 (awarded by Ministry of Environment).

About Singapore Press Holdings

Main board listed Singapore Press Holdings Limited is the leading news and information provider, offering quality content for print, Internet, TV and radio. It is licensed to publish 11 newspapers in the four official languages and seven lifestyle periodicals. Everyday, SPH newspapers reach 2.82 million individuals or 90 percent of persons above 12 years old in Singapore while online publication of its six main dailies enjoy some 120 million pageviews a month. SPH has ventured into the broadcast medium and in less than five months, Channel U, its Chinese TV channel, became the second most-watched free-to-air channel in Singapore.


About Singapore Zoological Gardens

Singapore Zoological Gardens is one of the major wildlife organisations in the world that aggressive promotes conservation. The Zoo has been approached by many other local and international wildlife parks, seeking advice on how to treat sick animals or even start their own breeding programmes.

Singapore Zoological Gardens, which holds the record of having bred the largest social colony (28 altogether) of orang utans in the world, spearheads many conservation and breeding efforts as well. In 1999 alone saw the first successful ’artificial insemination’ for animals. Known as Intra Cytoplasmic Sperm Injection (ICSI), it marks the Singapore Zoo on the conservation map as one of the most active and successful organisations to preach and practice conservation.

It runs a Wildlife Conservation Fund, which provides financial support to conservation projects all over the world. One of the most successful programmes is its Captive Breeding Programme. Currently, Singapore Zoological Gardens has bred more than 20 tigers (both at the Zoo and the Night Safari), four white rhinoceroses and four extremely rare proboscis monkeys (which are displayed in only two Zoos in the world).


About the Jurong BirdPark

Opened in 1971, the Jurong BirdPark is one of the largest attractions of its kind in the region, offering a 20.2-hectare hillside haven for 8,000 birds representing 600 species.

Committed to the conservation and exhibition of birds in naturalistic settings, the BirdPark creates simulated natural habitats - from the grasslands of Africa to the rainforests of South America - for different bird species.

With a breeding and research centre devoted to the breeding, research and caring for young hatchlings, many endangered bird species have been bred there.

The Park is also one of the most successful in the region in the breeding of the endangered King Penguins, with a record of 7 born and bred in the Park.


About the Asian Conservation Awareness Program (ACAP)

ACAP is an international, multi media public education campaign designed and coordinated by WildAid, in partnership with local wildlife groups and organisations. ACAP is a co-operative initiative, working with local communities, schools, governments, the media and celebrities to discourage buying and consumption of endangered species. It encourages active involvement in wildlife conservation from governments, individuals and corporations throughout the world, to build an international constituency for wildlife.

ACAP tackles consumption of flagship species like the tiger, rhino and elephant to highlight the threat caused by the consumption of animal parts in traditional medicines, for luxury goods or tourist souvenirs. To date, the ACAP programme is active in Hong Kong, Singapore, Taiwan, Thailand Malaysia and Mainland China. The campaigns central message is summarised by the slogan, ’When the buying stops, the killing can too’.


Issued by SINGAPORE ZOOLOGICAL GARDENS, 24 January 2002

(Media Only) For information, please contact:

Robin Goh
Assistant Manager (Corporate Communications)
Tel: 3608 637,
Fax: 366 3309,
HP: 9831 6706,
Email: robin@zoo.com.sg