Monday, 29 March 2010


EARTH DAY is coming up (22nd April) and I have been invited by NPARKS to give a talk on Friday, 16th April, 4 pm at Function Hall, Botany Centre, Singapore Botanic Gardens.

My talk is entitled “VOLUNTEERING FOR MOTHER EARTH” if you want to attend, please email me and let me know how many people coming. As the talk should finish by 5.30 pm I intend to go for a walk at Botanic Gardens and you’re more than welcome to join me.


On the 23rd April, I shall again be leaving for Chiangmai with 18 students from S.M.U., this will be our 5th trip. To increase the awareness of the plight of the Asian elephant we have printed 60,000 ZoCard (postcards) that will be distributed free.

Here are the images for this postcards. It was designed by the students themselves and looks pretty catchy! So get yours at ZoCard outlets.

Thursday, 25 March 2010


Laykeng, an old guard of the Green Volunteers has helped redesign our Green Volunteers application card. Thank you Laykeng for your effort, time and commitment to the Green Volunteers.

We would also like to thank “PAUL, THE PRINTER” who again sponsored the printing of these postcards and never asked for any publicity whatsoever (a mark of a true believer in our green cause).

A BIG THANK YOU TO BOTH OF YOU – Your generosity is much appreciated!


The Official launch

This morning I attended an invite from NPARKS to “The man who planted trees” programme. It was held at the Botanical Gardens to pre-launch the upcoming “Singapore Garden Festival” (Suntec, 15th July to 22nd July 2010).

The man who planted trees

It’s a fable about a French farmer in the south of France who reforested a badly degraded piece of land. It took him 40 years, but today the valley is green and alive with fauna and flora.

School children taking their turn at planting

The effigy is about 5 metres tall

So you see, one person can make a difference! A large effigy of this green hero was erected from chicken coop type thick mesh and filled with damp sponge, and those attending (guests, green groups and schools) “planted” colourful cuttings on the “green man”. This same green man will be the centre piece at the SGF come July.

Children planting their cuttings

So come July make a date of meet “The man that planted trees” at Suntec city.

Here are some photos I took of this even. Green Volunteers will have a booth at SGF and volunteers are needed, email if you can help.

Sunday, 14 March 2010



Hi Everyone! 13th March 2010

We are now using a server to send out updates. In future you will be getting updates from this server (quota limited) or from the server of Ramesh Travel Services who have donated this service to The Green volunteers. We shall be also posting events and updates on our blog ( so please check regularly to keep updated on our events and activities.

A trip is being planned to Sandakan (end March - early April) to check out the Orang Utans and other interesting primates, flora and fauna along the kinabatangan river and if we’re really lucky to spot herd of pigmy elephants. (see “The Sandakan Adventure”)

We are also planning to do some weekend home stays in Johor and a whale shark snorkeling expedition to Donsol, Philippines so let me know if you are interested.
Go to our blog to see our Sandakan posting and learn more about this exciting trip.

Mobile : 65 96840950


1) ADEX Dive Show – April 9th (Friday) to 11th (Sunday) Suntec
2) Singapore Garden Festival – 15th July (Thurs) to 22nd (Thurs) Suntec

Email if you can help


We have teamed up with NPARKS Fort Canning and have put together an exciting tree appreciation walk at Fort Canning Park where old and interesting trees are highlighted. These guided nature walks are free and will be held every 2nd Saturday of the month beginning 13th March.

We meet 3.45pm at Fort Canning Centre, prior registration is required, please email if you want to attend. We would need you name, mobile and number of people attending. Please book early – Thanks!

April 10th
May 18th
June 12th
July 10th
Aug 14th
Sept 11th
Oct 9th
Nov 13th
Dec 11th

S.P.R.O.U.T.S (Singaporean Proudly Replanting Our Unique Trees and Shrubs)

Our S.P.R.O.U.T.S programme has finally been launched with again another generous sponsor from RICOH. Green volunteers have partnered with MacPherson primary school in this project. It will incorporate the pilot project P.A.L (Programme for Active Leaning) which is endorsed by the Ministry of Education. So far 12 cluster schools have signed on to this pioneer project where all their students have to spend a fixed period of time doing modules on the environment, sustainable development, awareness and other related green programmes, many of them “hands-on”.

Our S.P.R.O.U.T.S programme is being extended to include basic gardening and garden planning courses, talks by well known gardening experts and even seed exchange programme – stay tuned for more exciting news!


For our Orang asli and Thailand hill tribe project (next visit to Thailand on 21st April to 14th May 2010), we are looking at the following :

1) NTUC supermarket gift vouchers
2) Medicated soap and shampoo
3) Eye drops
4) Canned food (please check expiry date)
5) Milk powder (3 to 12 yrs old)
6) Children / grown up clothes (no skirts or dresses)
7) Warm winter clothing
8) Vitamin tablets, vitamins “c”, multivitamins (again, please check expiry date)
9) Reading glasses
10) Jackets (Nov to Feb very cold!)
11) Cotton / leather gloves, socks
12) Face cream e.g. aloe vera etc to sooth children’s skin
13) Children’s games

Nanyang Optical has donated reading glasses and jackets – Thank you Nanyang!
Email me if you can help – Cheer.

All of us have seen these slobs! A mixture of young men and women who occupy MRT seats reserved for senior citizens, the handicapped or pregnant women. these self centered thoughtless plonk themselves on these reserved seats.
Many of them pretend to fall "asleep" the moment they take these seats but can instantly wake up just when their stop comes up. There are number of these morons in uniform and army boys are ptetty prominent culprits.

It makes one wonder how can they be expected to defend Singapore when they don't even have the simple courtesy of giving up their seats to elders!!

I am in correspondence with MINDEF about this small number of misfits who give our uniform a bad name. It really iriks me to see strapping young men either pretending to be asleep or sitting unconcerned on a reserved seat playing their computer games while old frail people have to stand the whole journey.

The MRT operators are aware of these problems but are doing very little (besides some ineffective Phua Chu Kang posters/stickers asking people to give up their seats). We need to embarrass them not only to give up the reserved seats but realise that these seats are NOT MEANT FOR THEM IN THE FIRST PLACE.....

The MRT have too many staff on the platforms, why not have some in the train to ensure that these seats are given to those who really need them. I live at Pasir Ris and being the first station I a the choice of seats, I usually sit on the "reserved" seats (so these slobs don't get them) and give it up when I see someone who needs it. This is one way of "reserving" these seats for them, you should try this effective method.

I have started a blog a ( to highlight this irresponsible behavior and post their pictures on the blog. If they are in uniform I will also send these photos to their respective organisation for comment.

So come join me in highlighting these uncouth slobs. Take pictures of them (your mobile or camera make sure your flash is turned off) and I will post them on my blog. You can email these pictures to me at I often wonder what foreign visitors or tourists must think when they see a young person sitting on a reserved seat while an old person stands!

What happen to all our campaigns asking Singaporeans to be caring and gracious people? When you email your photo/s to me please mention the date, time, nearest station and where train was heading.

Looking forward to your photos of these unthoughtful fools.


29th March (Monday) to 4th April (Sunday)

To take advantage of the good friday holiday(2nd April) I am arranging a 6N/7 day trip to Sandakan to check out the primates(Orang Utan, probosis, leaf monkey), hornbills, mangrove snakes etc.

We need a minimum of eight people going.
Costs about $1150 per person, including the following:

1) Return air ticket S'pore/Sandakan/S'pore via K.L. on Air Asia

2) All transport/accommodation, tours, most meals. At Sandakan, only breakfast supplied

3) Twin sharing basis Sandakan airconditioned 3 star hotel but at Bilit and Sepilok lodge fan room

4) 3 boat tours on Kinabatangkan River. Hope we meet up with the elusive herd of pygmy elephants

5) Entry fee into Sepilok Orangutan Rehabilitation Centre

6) Visit to Gomstong Cave and

7) One night walk (weather permitting)


1) Insurance: but can arrange for you
2) Visa(if required) can also be arranged by us.

Please confirm early and Email/SMS/call me should you require more information.



In Nov 2009, The Green Volunteers in conjunction with NPARKS and a sponsorship from RICOH launched a butterfly garden at Fort Canning Park. RICOH took advantage of this occasion to also hold their Family Day at the garden.

The planting was done by RICOH staff and their families, NPARKS’s staff and of course our Green Volunteers. This was followed by a scrumptious lunch that everyone enjoyed after the hard work of planting. There are plans to add one more butterfly garden soon. We intend to include this garden when we do our “Trees of the Fort walk”, check this update for more details.


With support from Sebana Cove, The Green Volunteers have embarked on a hornbill conservation project at Sebana Cove at the southern tip of Johor. There are 10 species of hornbills in Peninsula Malaysia and we have already identified 2 species so far, the oriental pied hornbill and a pair of black hornbills. We have also erected breeding boxes at likely breeding spots.

For more information on this exciting and interesting project, visit our blog ( Soon we will be organizing weekend trips to Sebana for nature walks (day and night) and bird watching.
We will also visit an organic medicinal plant/herb garden, a fruit farm and an ostrich farm. You can buy ostrich meat (some say they taste better than quality beef) and really fresh prawns and fish before we return to Singapore after lunch Sungei Renggit.

More details real soon!


On Friday 12th March, I gave a talk at their fund raising dinner. We also watched a movie made by an ex-student Patrick Rouxel called "Green".

It is factual and emotional story of an Indonesian Orang Utan displaced by the logging and palm oil industry. The best part of this movie is that the end Patrick names (and shames I hope!) all the major companies that contribute directly to the destruction of the Indonesian rainforest. I am trying to get a copy from Patrick and will show it - anyone can suggest a venue that can take about 50 people and is rent - free?


Monday, 8 March 2010


Sandakan in East Malaysia is one of my favourite places to visit. The people are laid back, friendly and everyone is helpful.

I visit Sandakan often as its also home to my 2 favourite places, the Sepilok Orangutan Rehabilitation Centre and the mighty Kinabatangan river. Kinabatangan is really rich in biodiversity and really very easy to get to. Its teaming with birdlife and hornbills are a common sight. A slow cruise along the river is a must and you’ll be greeted with a wonderful sight of several species of monkeys (macaques, leaf and proboscis).

From the tree tops, they watch you as intently as you watch them, so I sometimes wonder who is watching whom?

The local wet market is a great place to visit for local food and traditional local produce like Keropok, salted fish etc. The food centre is extremely clean and well maintained. As an added bonus, the last time I visited, it was the fasting month and every evening many roadside food stalls would appear. The delicious and colourful food was both mouth-watering and reasonably priced –the BBQed seafood and spicy chicken is a “must try”.

The star attraction of the Kinabatangan cruise are the elusive pygmy elephants. I only saw them at my 5th visit but my travelling vet friend Vishant saw them on his first tr ip – some people have all the luck!!

I am organising another trip in late April/ early May with Ramesh Travel services. The actual timing and prices are being worked out, email me if you’re interested in joining us.

Text and photos by Grant
Mobile: +65 96840950

Oriental pied hornbill

A typical chalet at Bilit

Traditional fish trap

Great egret in full flight

The fruits of the Nauclea officanalis (Entcing but poisonous)

Fruiting season

The best way to explore the mighty Kinabatangang is by boat
Comorant on the lookout for fish
Comorant sunning

Geat egret (Casmerodius albus) patiently waiting for food to swim by

Fish for dinner

Probosis monkey in flight

Banded leaf monkey

A probosis monkey sitting pretty

Hanging out with friends