29 Sep Haze tracking and mapping tools helpful in fight against transboundary pollution
SIIA’s “Haze Tracker” and WRI’s “Global Forest Watch Fires” are important tools that help bridge knowledge gaps and ensure greater clarity in fight against haze
Singapore, 29 September 2016 – The transboundary haze problem that has haunted the skies of Indonesia, Singapore, Malaysia and Thailand, has appeared to have improved this year. Early preventative measures by Indonesian authorities and efforts from the agribusinesses, complemented by the wet weather conditions, have helped prevent a repeat of 2015’s especially bad haze situation. However, the transboundary haze problem has persisted for many years, and eradicating the haze will require consistent and continuous efforts.
In its effort to fight the haze, the Singapore Institute of International Affairs (SIIA) will be launching its revamped Haze Tracker website (www.hazetracker.org) on Monday, 3 October 2016 at the exclusive SIIA-WRI Journalist Haze Tracking Workshop, hosted by SIIA and the World Resources Institute (WRI) Indonesia. The workshop will take place from 9.30am-12pm, at the International Involvement Hub’s Diversity Board Room.
The SIIA’s Haze Tracker website was first launched on 13 May 2015 in conjunction with the 2nd Singapore Dialogue on Sustainable World Resources. The newly-improved Haze Tracker will host an integrated map application that allows members of the public to view Singapore air quality data, alongside an up-to-date view of the regional situation, including the location of probable fires and wind direction data, showing where the haze may be coming from. The map allows users to see where fires are, for example whether fires are on plantations or logging concession areas belonging to companies. Information on peatland areas will also be reflected in the map. Users can also compare data on legal concession boundaries to the actual extent of plantations on the ground.
“Tools like Haze Tracker allow us to trace haze pollution to its source, thus making sure we can not only identify those responsible but also take action effectively,” says Ms Chen Chen Lee, SIIA’s Director for Policy Programmes. She added: “Gathering accurate data is extremely important in the fight against haze, and tools such as these allow for greater accountability.”
The website is the first Singapore-based one-stop destination for information on the transboundary haze pollution created to plug information gaps and enabling the public to know more information about the haze easily, while also to empower action from the public, governments and civil society. The website also hosts articles, reports and videos by the SIIA, as well as aggregating news from around the web on fires, land management in South-east Asia, sustainability in the agrobusiness sector, government action and other information relevant to the recurring haze situation.
“The fight to eliminate haze will require consistent and continuous effor
We would like invite journalists from your outlet to attend this workshop. To RSVP kindly email me at email@example.com by Friday, 30 September 2016. You may also reach me at +65 6734 9600. Limited seats are available, and lunch will be provided.
SIIA-WRI Journalists’ Haze Tracking Workshop
Day/Date: Monday, 3 October 2016
Time: 9.30am – 12pm (Registration starts at 9.30am; Workshop commences at 10am)
Venue: Diversity Board Room, International Involvement Hub, 60A Orchard Road #04-03 Tower 1 The Atrium @Orchard, Singapore 238890