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Media Coverage: Haze Tracker Revamp

04 Oct Media Coverage: Haze Tracker Revamp

The SIIA launched our revamped Haze Tracker website on Monday – www.hazetracker.org – with a new map application featuring up-to-date information of the location of probable fires and current wind direction. The map also shows the location of peatlands and planted areas which users can compare with legal concession boundaries, giving a better sense of the situation on the ground. The site also consolidates news stories and articles from around the web related to fires and haze, supporting the aim of providing useful information to members of the public interested in learning more about the haze problem and potential solutions.

The revamped Haze Tracker was launched at a workshop for journalists organised by SIIA and WRI Indonesia, with WRI also briefing members of the media on haze issues and use of WRI’s Global Forest Watch Fires platform. SIIA Policy Research Analyst Pek Shibao was interviewed by Channel NewsAsia and quoted in The Straits Times, while SIIA Director of Policy Programmes Lee Chen Chen was interviewed by Channel 8 News.


Revamped Haze Tracker website launched

You can now find out all you need to know about the haze at one website.

Instead of visiting the National Environment Agency’s haze microsite for Pollutant Standards Index (PSI) readings, and checking news websites for haze-related reports, you can now get all these at www.hazetracker.org.

The revamped website was launched yesterday by local think-tank Singapore Institute of International Affairs (SIIA).

Full Article: 
Revamped Haze Tracker website launched [The Straits Times, 4 Oct 2016]


Can peatland turn into oil palm fields and not cause haze?

A dispute has erupted – politely – between scientists in the region over whether peatland can be converted into oil palm plantations in a manner that will not produce the seasonal haze.

Mr Pek Shi Bao, policy research analyst for sustainability at the Singapore Institute of International Affairs, said there was a difference between independent scientists and those from government-linked institutes. “For the latter, their objective may be to improve sustainability practices of cultivating on peat, whereas the stance of many in the scientific community is that we shouldn’t be planting on peat at all, and looking at restoration instead.”

Any firm that wants to be seen as credible has to engage both independent and “more pro-cultivation scientists”, he added.

Full Article:
 Can peatland turn into oil palm fields and not cause haze? [The Straits Times, 4 Oct 2016]


CNA Singapore Tonight – Mon 3 Oct 2016

Kimberly Spykerman: A grey cloud that cloaks Singapore’s skies, accompanied by an acrid smell. These are the altogether too familiar signs of the haze. But can Singaporeans do more in the battle? One organisation thinks so. And it has revamped its Haze Tracker website around the belief that knowledge is key to the fight. Beyond providing the daily Pollutant Standards Index readings, visitors can also view a regional map that has up to date data. That includes active fire hotspots, wind direction, and land use information that shows where the oil palm as well as pulp and paper plantations are located and who owns them.

Pek Shibao: 
A lot of the information located out there on the Internet comes from various sources, and some of it may be outdated, so we feel it is important to get the latest information on the land so that we can see who exactly may be responsible for starting the fires, what kind of land the fires are originating on, and hence find a better solution, to see how we can work together with these people to find solutions for the fire.

Kimberly Spykerman:
 The Singapore Institute of International Affairs hopes the information can drive a deeper social consciousness about the factors behind the haze and galvanise Singaporeans into pushing for change.

Pek Shibao: 
Basically, be more informed about which brands are doing their best to become more responsible and which are not, and show more pressure, more activism in reaching out to these companies and demonstrating that Singaporeans will no longer stand for companies that don’t practice their businesses sustainably.

Full Video: CNA Singapore Tonight – Mon 3 Oct 2016 [Channel NewsAsia, 3 Oct 2016] (33:16 min mark)

Alternate Video: Oct 2016 – News 5 – Mon 3 Oct 2016 [Channel 5, 3 Oct 2016] (5:55 mark)


Other Media Coverage

Full Video: CH 8 News Tonight – Mon 3 Oct 2016 [Channel 8, 3 Oct 2016] (Chinese, 17:28 mark)

Full Article: 新版烟霾追踪网站 可查火点以抵制烧芭者 [Lianhe Zaobao, 4 Oct 2016] (Chinese)

Full Article: காற்றுத் தூய்மைக்கேட்டுக் குறியீட்டைக் கண்காணிக்க புதுப்பிக்கப்பட்ட இணையத்தளம் [Seithi, 3 Oct 2016] (Tamil)