03 October 2015
After decades of regional, national, academic and civil society attention, the haze problem is as intractable as ever.
Recent efforts to combat haze have been far from cursory. The source country Indonesia has enacted logging moratoria, combined its environmental and forestry ministries, and ratified – albeit with great delay – the Asean Agreement on Transboundary Haze Pollution in September last year. It has improved its land concession maps, expanded programmes on community-based forest management and fire prevention, levied a fine of over US$25 million (S$37 million) on an offending palm oil producer, and recently arrested executives of companies allegedly behind the current fires.
Singapore has commissioned studies on haze reduction, pursued tangible cooperation with nearby Indonesian provinces, and passed legislation holding offending companies culpable. Large private sector players have recognised the reputational risks they face from the haze, and dedicated greater resources towards eliminating haze-causing activities from their supply chains. Research institutes have improved monitoring and assessment, while civil society organisations have helped build capacities on the ground.
… Jackson Ewing is Director of Asian Sustainability, Asia Society Policy Institute in New York and an Adjunct Fellow at the S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies (RSIS), Nanyang Technological University.
NTS Centre / Online / Print
Last updated on 13/11/2015