Singapore set for third straight haze-free year
Indonesian minister says there won’t be a repeat of 2015 crisis in 2018, thanks to steps taken
Singapore looks set to see a third straight year with no haze, due in part to Indonesia’s sustained efforts at curbing fires and preventing their spread.
Indonesia’s Minister of National Development Planning Bambang Brodjonegoro said yesterday that the 2015 haze crisis would not repeat itself this year.
“In the last few years, including this year, we did not have the haze that happened in 2015,” he said, adding that forestry and peatland management plans have already been implemented. Dr Bambang was speaking at the fifth Singapore Dialogue on Sustainable World Resources held at the Grand Hyatt Singapore hotel. The event was organised by think-tank Singapore Institute of International Affairs.
His statement echoes similar promises made by other Indonesian officials last year and in 2016.
The haze in Singapore is largely caused by winds blowing smoke from forest fires in Indonesia. Many of Indonesia’s pulpwood and oil palm plantations are located on carbon-rich peatlands. When these areas are drained of water for planting, the risk of fire increases.
In 2015, Indonesia’s dry season coincided with the El Nino weather phenomenon, which is linked to warmer and drier weather in this part of the world.
The bad weather exacerbated the forest fires typical of the country’s agro-forestry landscape, and caused the region to suffer the worst haze crisis on record.