04 February 2015
Singapore’s Transboundary Haze Pollution Act came into effect on 25 September 2014. The impending dry season in the coming months will be the first test of its effectiveness in curbing transboundary haze pollution.
2014 was a year of unprecedented weather conditions in the region. Whether there will be a repeat of the prolonged dry season in the coming months is on everyone’s mind. On 26 January 2015, the 24-hour Singapore Pollution Standards Index (PSI) hit 76, crossing the half-way mark of the moderate air quality zone of 50-100. Beyond that the air quality becomes unhealthy. Satellite pictures showed very few scattered hotspots in neighbouring countries. The deterioration in air quality is therefore purely from local sources.
In 2014, Indonesia finally ratified the ASEAN Agreement on Transboundary Haze Pollution after a delay of more than a decade while Singapore enacted its Transboundary Haze Pollution Act. How significantly will these two legal instruments impact on the region’s haze pollution problem?
…Raman Letchumanan is a Senior Fellow with the S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies (RSIS), Nanyang Technological University. The views expressed here are strictly his own. Dr Raman was the person-in-charge of fire and haze issues at the ASEAN Secretariat for 14 years, and prior to that in the Malaysian Government. This is part of a series on the ASEAN haze issue.
NTS Centre / Online
Last updated on 01/12/2015