Communities and Engagement

Shoring up coastal clean-up efforts one video at a time

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Screenshot of video, Introduction to Singapore’s Biodiversity

22 December 2021

Back in July 2019, four Pharmaceutical Science students, one Pharmacy student, and one Industrial Design student – Alanna Wong Qi Yin, Year 4, Cao Minh Huy, Year 4, Joanne Seow Cui Juan, Year 4, Kong Qi Herng, Year 4, Lim Joel, Year 4, Soh Han Qiang, Year 4 – came together in hopes of working on a project regarding Singapore’s biodiversity, a common interest which they developed after completing General Education Modules such as GEQ1917 Understanding and Critiquing Sustainability.


Zoom Interview with Mr Siva also known as Otterman. Clockwise from top left: Mr Lim Cheng Puay, Ms Alanna Wong Qi Yin, Mr Kong Qi Herng, Ms Joanne Seow Cui Juan, Mr Siva and Mr Lim Joel

Supported by the OSA's Seeds of Good Programme (SOGP) at NUS, they reached out to International Coastal Cleanup Singapore (ICCS). They intended to organise their own coastal clean-up with their friends to impart their knowledge of Singapore’s biodiversity and spread the awareness of the importance of coastal environments.

Unfortunately, with the advent of COVID-19, the imposition of safe management measures along with other restrictions meant that people were no longer able to gather in large groups, and organising large-scale physical events became extremely challenging. This was especially true for ICCS, as they could not conduct mass briefings for organisers nor brief all their participants of the clean-up in a single session. There was an urgent need to decentralise the event management processes, and this is where NUS students stepped in to lend their relevant skillsets to execute this project.

The team created three videos that ICCS could use to educate their stakeholders – participants, organisers and also members of the public. These how-to videos not only showcase the marine biodiversity of Singapore but also guide organiser how to conduct a coastal clean-up.

Video: Introduction to Singapore’s Biodiversity

After planning the content and its delivery, the team developed a storyboard while picking up technical skills such as how to film and edit videos at the same time. They visited different locations such as Gardens by the Bay, East Coast Park and Pasir Ris Park to capture key footages. They also had the privilege to interview important figure in the Singapore conservation landscape – Mr Sivasothi N (also known as “Otterman”).

Reflecting on his experience upon completion of the videos, Qi Herng commented: “I feel that I am much more connected to the environment and have gained a much deeper awareness of Singapore’s marine biodiversity. I grew more cognisant of the lifecycle of the different things that I buy as I delved into the impact of marine trash. The project has definitely pushed me to be highly conscious about my living habits and how I can contribute to reducing my consumption.”

This project provides an insight into the possible hybrid community projects that can be conducted in the new normal and shows that making a difference to our marine biodiversity can come in many different forms. Every small action matters and the community can all play a part to make the world a better place for future generations.

Video: ICCS Organiser Briefing Video

Video: ICCS Participant Briefing Video

If you would also like to learn more about community engagement activities in NUS, read more here.
Acknowledgement: The team would like to thank Mr Lim Cheng Puay, main ICCS liaison, for his immense support, encouragement and feedback throughout the project.



Lim Joel, Year 4