About the Report:
The SIIA has been engaging in research and dialogue on the issue of the fires in Indonesia and the resulting haze that impacts much of South East Asia since 1997. This report is derived from the work of the SIIA and experts associated with it as well as from a public lecture on Indonesian fires and haze organised by the SIIA in August 2002.
The SIIA has led in discussions with NGOs in Singapore, and organised the first regional dialogue in 1997 with experts from the region and beyond. It has provided its analyses and policy recommendations to the ASEAN Senior Officials for the Environment, the ASEAN Senior Officials, selected Foreign ministers and the ASEAN Secretary-General. Academic writings and papers by experts associated with the SIIA that derive from and add to this work have been published in journals in the USA, the United Kingdom, Australia and Indonesia. Papers have been presented at conferences in these contries and in Asia, to a range of different audiences including the business leaders of the World Economic Forum and the scientific community and experts on global change, gathered at the Open Science Conference in Amsterdam in 2000.
The public lecture organised by the SIIA brought three Indonesia-based experts to share their research findings and to provide insights into the underlying problems of Indonesia's recurring fire and haze problems. Project Firefight Southeast Asia (PFFSEA), organised under the auspices of leading top NGOs - WWF, Worldwide Fund for Nature and IUCN, the World Conservation Union - also released its research findings for the first time in Singapore. This is based on two years of work in Indonesia. Many of the findings relate to the national and local policies and practices in Indonesia. This is appropriate, for while ASEAN member states and the international community can assist, Indonesia bears the sovereign responsibility for addressing the issue of the fires.
The public lecture was well-attended by foreign ambassadors, environmentalists, members of the business community, teachers, students and interested members of the public. This Special Report is part of the SIIA's commitment to serve its members and reach out to the wider public to inform them of important regional and international issues.