Causes Of Haze In Singapore
According to a new report from the National University of Singapore (NUS), the haze is caused by illegal agricultural fires.
It is part of a larger fire-related air pollution problem that regularly occurs in Southeast Asia, particularly in the Philippines, Indonesia, Malaysia and Thailand.
The burning of the land can be illegally sold at high prices and eventually used for activities such as the production of oil palms and pulp. Some believe that grubbing-up is done in the name of environmental protection or as a means of economic development, the report says.
Singapore has offered Indonesia help in fighting the forest fires.
Singapore has adopted a law to criminalise those who caused the transboundary haze and pollution, which reached alarming levels on 18 September 2018 and in September 2019.
Singapore can impose a fine of up to $1.5 million (around 1.9 million euros) on those found responsible for the rise in the air pollution index. Singapore’s air quality has developed unhealthily in recent years, with Kuala Lumpur and neighbouring Indonesia among the world’s most polluted cities.
As the haze worsened across the country, authorities canceled schools, while dozens of flights in Southeast Asia were delayed or canceled because of poor visibility at airports. A similar haze in recent days has blanketed parts of Southeast Asia, prompting thousands of people to report acute respiratory illnesses.
Indonesian President has ordered a crackdown on individuals and companies responsible for the hotspots, bringing back memories of 2015, when a similar haze in the capital Jakarta affected more than 1.5 million people and caused Indonesia $15.7 billion in economic losses.
In June 2013, Singapore’s pollutant standard index reached an all-time high of 371, and the New Straits Times reported that it had reached 138 on September 10, which is in the unhealthy range.
The Singapore Government must act to combat transboundary haze pollution . The Indonesian government demonstrated its commitment to tackling the cross-border haze and its impact on Singapore in September 2014.
Air pollution reached alarming levels on 17 September 2019 and the cross-border haze reached Singapore. Air quality in Southeast Asia reached dangerous levels, and smoke from Indonesia’s forest fires kept the haze quiet in many parts.
Foggy conditions are still being observed in Singapore as well as other parts of the region such as Malaysia, Indonesia and Thailand.