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SDSWR2017 Media Coverage: South Sumatra governor vows to keep haze away

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07 Apr SDSWR2017 Media Coverage: South Sumatra governor vows to keep haze away

The Singapore Institute of International Affairs (SIIA) held our 4th Singapore Dialogue on Sustainable World Resources on 6 April 2017 at the St. Regis Singapore, on the theme of “Inclusive Collaboration: Working Together for Sustainable Value Chains”. This year’s dialogue emphasised the need for collaboration, including among different stakeholders on the ground and across borders, with perspectives from Mr. Masagos Zulkifli, Minister for the Environment and Water Resources, Singapore, Dato Sri Dr. Haji Wan Junaidi Bin Tuanku Jaafar, Minister of Natural Resources and Environment, Malaysia, and H.E. Alex Noerdin, Governor, Government of South Sumatra Province, Indonesia.

Excerpts from media coverage of the dialogue are below.


South Sumatra governor vows to keep haze away [The Straits Times, 7 Apr 2017]

by Audrey Tan

Dry weather may be on the cards later this year, but an Indonesian official has promised that there will be no haze blowing in from South Sumatra .

Governor Alex Noerdin said yesterday that the province – responsible for most of the fires that caused the haze two years ago – has taken steps to address the issue.

Canals have been blocked to dampen drained peatlands that can otherwise catch fire. Farmers have also been educated on ways to clear land without turning to slash- and-burn methods, he said.

“This year, we are strengthening our efforts… No fire means no haze from South Sumatra province this year, and next year, and the year after,” Mr Alex told the media on the sidelines of a conference on haze organised by the Singapore Institute for International Affairs.

Full Article: South Sumatra governor vows to keep haze away [The Straits Times, 7 Apr 2017]


No haze from South Sumatra this year, Indonesian governor promises [TODAY, 6 Apr 2017]

By Siau Ming En

SINGAPORE: Even as climatologists expect drier weather to hit the region later in July, Indonesia’s South Sumatran governor Alex Noerdin promised that there would be no haze originating from his province for this year and the next couple of years.

“I guarantee there is no fire … no haze from South Sumatra province this year, and the next year, and the next year,” Mr Noerdin pledged at the fourth Singapore Dialogue on Sustainable World Resources here on Thursday (Apr 6).

Indonesia’s head of the Peatland Restoration Agency, Nazir Foead, made a similar promise during last year’s edition of the dialogue, saying there was “zero chance” that the region would experience the same bout of haze in 2016 as it did the previous year.

Malaysian Minister of Natural Resources and Environment Wan Junaidi Tuanku Jaafar, who also delivered a keynote address, told the media later that while his country has not dropped the idea of adopting a law similar to Singapore’s Transboundary Haze Pollution Act, there are issues to be worked out.

Full Article: No haze from South Sumatra this year, Indonesian governor promises [TODAY, 6 Apr 2017]


Indonesia praised for curbing haze, but more challenges ahead [The Jakarta Post, 6 Apr 2017]

By Adisti Sukma Sawitri

Singaporean Environment and Water Resources Minister Masagos Zulkifli bin Masagos Mohamad has congratulated Indonesia on its success in reducing land and forest fires last year.

“In 2016, there were just over 100 hot spots as compared to many thousands in 2015,” he said during the fourth Singapore Dialogue on Sustainable World Resources on Thursday.

Singapore Institute of International Affairs chairman Simon Tay warned, however, that another challenge would test Indonesia this year, with the weather phenomenon El Niño expected to trigger a longer dry season starting in July.

“There is a need for all parties across the agroforestry sector – companies, buyers and sellers — to work together to address the problem,” he said.

Full Article: Indonesia praised for curbing haze, but more challenges ahead [The Jakarta Post, 6 Apr 2017]


No haze from South Sumatra this year, Indonesian governor promises [Channel NewsAsia, 6 Apr 2017]

Singapore Institute of International Affairs chairman Simon Tay, who spoke at the conference, also said Indonesia has “done better”. “It realises the costs for itself are incredibly high. Estimates have come up that Indonesia suffered US$17 billion (S$23.8 billion) in damage due to the fires and haze in 2015.”

However, Associate Professor Tay cautioned that “blue skies are not guaranteed”. Industry experts, think tanks and meteorologists have attributed haze-free skies last year to wetter weather.

But Mr Noerdin was confident. “We already proved this last year with our efforts in the field. So there was no fire last year. For this year, we’re strengthening our efforts.”

For example, more than 160 villages in South Sumatra have now been trained – from the head of the villages down to its people – to handle fires and even prevent them at the onset. They are also given fire-extinguishing equipment, he said.

Full Article: No haze from South Sumatra this year, Indonesian governor promises [Channel NewsAsia, 6 Apr 2017]


 

Other Coverage:

Singapore will be haze-free this year: Sumatra Governor’ [Connected to India, 7 April 2017]