transboundary pollution

Haze Fines Win Indonesia’s Support With Caveats: Southeast Asia

Date of Release: 
Jul 30 2014

The incoming president of Indonesia, a holdout in Southeast Asia’s pact to fight haze, is backing Singapore’s plan to wield heftier fines against overseas polluters as long as sovereignty is respected.

A year after the city-state endured its worst-ever air quality, Singapore presented a bill to Parliament this month that subjects foreign companies to as much as S$2 million ($1.6 million) in fines for illegal emissions, up from S$300,000 before. Indonesia and Singapore have a long-standing dispute over the haze that blows in from land-clearing fires in Sumatra.

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Asean Not Strong Enough to Fight Haze In Southeast Asia?

Date of Release: 
Jul 2 2014

Every year for the last 23 years, a part of Southeast Asia has been under a thick haze. Yet, in all these years Asean has not been able to get rid of this man-made health and environmental problem. It is not because Asean does not want to. The number of action plans, meetings and pledges show that the haze in Southeast Asia is high priority but the problem is it all gets stuck at the planning or verbalisation stage.

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Sharing solutions city-to-city

Date of Release: 
May 29 2014

Urbanisation is occurring at an accelerating pace. The United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) said five billion people will live in cities by 2030. This means about six out of 10 of the world’s population will live in cities. But urbanisation also comes with challenges such as overcrowding, rising social and income inequalities as well as pollution, and overstretched public infrastructure.

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Indonesia's "haze" pollution defences not enough, says green group

Date of Release: 
Jun 18 2014

Indonesia's promises to tackle the upcoming annual "haze" season with a $30 million fund and limited military equipment have been called into question by experts anticipating worse pollution levels than last year due to the El Nino weather pattern.

Indonesia has failed in previous attempts to stop the regional haze, with last year giving the worst pollution readings since 1997. Outgoing Indonesian President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono was forced in mid-2013 to apologise to neighbours Singapore and Malaysia, which were blanketed in thick smog caused by forest fires in Indonesia.

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Indonesia: Participatory approach needed to overcome haze

Date of Release: 
May 7 2014

Indonesia needs to take a participatory approach where the central government, local administrations, non-governmental organizations, research institutions and the local people work together to resolve the annual haze problem, which often disturbed neighboring countries.

"In addition to a participatory approach, there should also be a political approach and scientific research on how to handle it," Asmin Amin, a member of Commission VII of the House of Representatives (DPR) on environment Affairs, said recently.

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Anti-haze bill 'to be tabled later this year': S'pore minister

Date of Release: 
May 6 2014

A bill that penalises those responsible for causing transboundary haze will be tabled in Parliament by the second half of this year, Singapore's Environment and Water Resources Minister Vivian Balakrishnan said.

A draft of the proposed Transboundary Haze Pollution Bill was published in February for public consultation, and Dr Balakrishnan told The Straits Times in an interview yesterday that he wanted another round of consultations with those who had made suggestions.

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Singapore’s haze this year ‘could be worse’ than last year’s record haze

Date of Release: 
Mar 21 2014

First, haze hit Singapore earlier this month as the region suffered a prolonged dry spell. This is unusually early compared to the traditional June to September dry season in Indonesia, when most burning to clear land takes place.

Second, the recent haze in Riau province in Sumatra, Indonesia, is worse than last year. Riau, directly across the Straits of Malacca from Singapore, has suffered from severe haze since February.

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Indonesia's forest fires feed 'brown cloud' of pollution choking Asia's cities

Date of Release: 
Mar 22 2014

High above the vast Indonesian island of Sumatra, satellites identify hundreds of plumes of smoke drifting over the oil palm plantations and rainforests. They look harmless as the monsoon winds sweep them north and east towards Singapore, Malaysia and deep into Cambodia, Laos and Thailand. But at ground level, south-east Asian cities have been choking for weeks, wreathed in an acrid, stinking blanket of half-burned vegetation mixed with industrial pollution, car exhaust fumes and ash.

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Industrial waste from India polluting water

Date of Release: 
Nov 26 2013

Former Punjab Water Management director-general Mushtaq Gill has said India is disposing of industrial waste in Hadiara drain that eventually mixes with potable water along with BRB Canal and causes health hazards, including hepatitis.

He said Pakistan had never raised this issue with India, while the public is facing the consequences.

Gill was speaking at a seminar on ‘Water Resources, Energy and Food Security – Threat to World Peace’ organised by the Economics Department of the Government College, Township, on Tuesday.

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Asean to have haze monitoring system

Date of Release: 
Oct 10 2013

Leaders from the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean) approved a joint haze monitoring system to identify fires such as those in Indonesia which led to hazardous pollution levels in Singapore and Malaysia this year.

The system will involve the sharing of digitized land-use maps and concession maps of fire-prone areas that cause haze, according to a Singapore government statement on Wednesday. The data will be shared among the governments of Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia, Brunei and Thailand.

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