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Risk of transboundary haze low between peak fire danger months of 2024: SIIA

09 Jul Risk of transboundary haze low between peak fire danger months of 2024: SIIA

Risk of transboundary haze low between peak fire danger months of 2024
but continued cooperation in ASEAN needed to ensure clear skies in years ahead: SIIA


Singapore, 8 July 2024
– The Singapore Institute of International Affairs (SIIA) has released its annual Haze Outlook report for 2024, forecasting a low risk of transboundary haze affecting Indonesia, Malaysia, and Singapore. This is the second time since the inception of the Haze Outlook in 2019 that the risk level has been rated as “Green,” on a scale of Green (Low Risk), Amber (Medium Risk), and Red (High Risk).

Associate Professor Simon Tay, Chairman of the SIIA and director of the report, stated, “Our positive outlook for 2024 reflects the significant strides made in fire management and sustainability efforts across the region and stakeholders. But in the long term, ASEAN must maintain ongoing cooperation to ensure that our skies remain clear in the years to come.”

The Haze Outlook provides a risk assessment based on weather, markets, and policies. The report highlights that while Southeast Asia faced severe drought conditions last year, leading to minor haze incidents, the forecast for 2024 is optimistic due to expected milder weather conditions and effective fire prevention measures.

Key findings from the report:

  1. Weather: The report anticipates a relatively mild dry season for the latter half of 2024, with average or above-average rainfall forecasted for the critical fire risk months of August to October, meaning that the 2024 haze risk from weather factors is low.
  2. Markets: While commodity prices remain high compared to pre-pandemic levels, the risk of haze from plantation expansion is currently relatively low. There are some indicators that suggest planting and replanting activity may be trending upwards, but not to a large degree.
  3. Policies: The report highlights the importance of policy continuity as Indonesia transitions to a new administration under President-elect Prabowo Subianto in October 2024. While Mr. Prabowo has pledged to continue successful environmental initiatives, his ambitious economic growth targets will require careful balancing with sustainability goals.

 

Mr. Aaron Choo, Senior Assistant Director (Special Projects and Sustainability) at the SIIA, commented, “The incoming Prabowo administration’s commitment to continue effective environmental policies is crucial. We will be closely watching how these policies evolve to support sustainable growth and haze prevention.”

The Haze Outlook 2024 also examines emerging technologies being adopted by resource sector companies and government agencies to prevent fires, strengthen supply chain traceability, and increase production efficiency. These developments present promising opportunities for investment and partnerships across the region.

Ms. Khor Yu-Leng, Associate Director at the SIIA, commented, “Technological advancements and sustainability practices are transforming how we manage and prevent fires. These innovations hold the potential for long-term environmental health and sustained market access.”

This is the sixth annual edition of the Haze Outlook and is based on the SIIA’s engagement with sustainability stakeholders in the region, including government bodies, businesses, non-governmental organisations (NGOs), and academics. The report underscores the importance of continued cooperation and innovation in fire management and sustainability practices to maintain clear skies and clean air in Southeast Asia.

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Download the Haze Outlook 2024 Report

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For further enquiries, please contact the SIIA:
media@siiaonline.org. 

About the Singapore Institute of International Affairs 

Insights ● Networks ● Access 

Established in 1962, the Singapore Institute of International Affairs (SIIA) is a non-profit and independent think tank committed to producing policy analysis, fostering in-depth dialogues and bridging gaps between policymakers, private sector decision-makers and experts to shape public policy and social responses. Centred around ASEAN focused themes, the institute aims to deliver policy analysis in international affairs and on issues driving environmental sustainability. The SIIA has been consistently ranked as one of the leading think tanks in Southeast Asia and the Pacific, in the Global Go To Think Tank Index by the University of Pennsylvania. Since 2017, the SIIA was ranked the No. 1 independent think tank in Asia. It was also recognised as one of the top 50 think tanks globally, excluding the United States of America. For two consecutive years since 2019, it was recognised as the No. 1 think tank in South Asia, Southeast Asia, and the Pacific (excluding India). In 2020, it was also recognised as one of the think tanks with the best policy and institutional response to the COVID-19 pandemic. 

About the SIIA’s Sustainability Programme

The SIIA’s Sustainability Programme was established in 1997 when we organised Singapore’s first haze dialogue with the Singapore Environment Council. Since then, the Sustainability Programme has evolved to address a range of climate issues that ASEAN faces. Following the severe transboundary haze in 2013, the SIIA established the Singapore Dialogue on Sustainable World Resources (SWR) in 2014. The dialogue is now into its 11th year. The Programme continues to focus on the forestry sector, as well as the use of finance as a lever to advance supply chain sustainability and drive Southeast Asia’s green recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic and long-term transition towards carbon neutrality