A closer look often reveals
that Airani has handled all the tedious, less glamorous but highly critical
planning and preparing for projects. These include
large scale events such as the Biodiversity
Symposium 2003 and many International
Coastal Cleanup sessions.
and always cheerful and efficient, I have had the pleasure of working
with Airani on several projects.
Usually keeping to the background, few people come to know of her
tremendous contributions to a successful and enjoyable project.
Airani (in orange cap) guiding at Chek Jawa
before deferment of reclamation
I'm really glad that she is coming to the forefront in her current projects
such as Pedal Ubin.
We all look forward to being able to enjoy seamless and smooth projects
with Airani's steady hand at the helm :-)
Here is more about Airani in her own words...
How did you first get involved in working for nature in Singapore?
I would say Pre-U Environment seminar, where my group had to work on a project
on mangroves. David Bellamy was the guest of honour but he also joined us
in the mangroves on one occasion. It was quite an experience back then for
a 17-year old. Si Gium was my instructor. He made everything very easy and
exciting. So, when I came to the University and had the chance to, I spent
almost all my holidays working at the Eco lab, (among other things) wading
through chest-high waters trying to find fish, getting stuck in the mud
for crabs and chankul-ing mud lobster mounds in search of the elusive mud
lobsters! Itís hard work but lots of fun! That is also where I met even
more inspiring people and one in particular Ė Siva, who encouraged me to
get involved with more fun and enriching activities!
What do you get out of working for nature?
Fresh air, mud treatment, exercise. No need to spend thousands of dollars
on spas or gyms! :)
What is your approach/personal motto in your work?
Life is short, so make the best of it.
What are some of your current projects?
The main ones Iím involved in is Pedal Ubin and International Coastal Cleanup
Singapore (ICCS). With Pedal Ubin, trained volunteer guides take participants
on a ride around Ubin, sharing stories (history, heritage and nature) of
Ubin with them. We hope through this activity, more Singaporeans will get
to know Ubin and treasure it even more. ICCS is part of a global effort
to study trends of marine trash on coastlines. More details on the activities
Airani works with the
Secretariat to the Genetic Modification
Advisory Committee (GMAC) She loves to think about cycling, swimming
and playing tennis. Once in a while, she will actually get to do them!
on how YOU can make
a difference too...
by otterman Posted on 31/08/04 09:45
Airani was one of NUS biology grads recruited for the Habitat Group.
These are an exceptional team and still power the Raffles Museum Toddycats
One of the programmes Airani participated in then was Ubin Challenge
(1999). It became the Biking in Ubin series and after Chek Jawa, becamee
the Raffles Museum's Pedal Ubin! programme. Airani is head honcho
with a bunch of enthusiastic cycling and nature guides who work to
introduce cycling and Ubin's heritage to the public.
Accolades are streaming in after each session and she is looking to
train new guides by year-end - watch out for the announcement in Habitatnews
and Wild Singapore!
At Chek Jawa, she was one of the motley crew that first helped with
the salvage surveys, then guided thousands, and later handled report
submissions, zipping around Singapore on the morning of 2 Jan 2002
to drop off the final feedback reports befoer an eventful meeeting
- she even zoomed into the VIP driveway at Ministry of National Development,
meant for receiving foreign dignitaries, before getting chased off
With her energetic and sprightly personality, she is more than a match
for cheeky and high-spritied students. So she was mentor for the Chek
Jawa student guides who were the stars at the launch of Chua Ee Kiam's
book and allocated this role everytime we have student guides.
Her excellent Excel skills saw her become the first Data Manager for
the International Coastal Cleanup Singapore (ICCS). Data submission
and collation is now done within a week (and up on the internet),
and not months!
In the first year, as an example, data at the Kranji-Buloh mangrove
site was completed and released within hours! Kate Thome, the former
ICCS coordinator was absolutely delighted!
The Data Manager's job continues with collation, verification, web-publication,
submission to the international coordinator at the Ocean Conservancy
in the US, verification of the international publication etc. This
work is taken seriously as it honours the efforts of some 2,000 volunteers
who do their bit for the marine environment and Singapore every year.
With data management looked after, other parts of ICCS was looked
into and hundreds of students have now heard about marine environment
and conservation in Singapore from a school talks team and many more
Her most recent guiding exploits was the Pasir Panjang Heritage trail
- guide, mentor and trainer to help prepare SAJC Green Club students
to be guides for Heritage Fest 2004. It was very successful and a
testament to the way mentors like Airani will work for nature in future
- pass it on! You can catch her at the next session of heritage walks
on Sunday 5th September 2004 - just go to http://rmbr.nus.edu.sg/fos75