APRIL PARTICIPATES IN SINGAPORE HAZE ROUNDTABLE AND EXHIBITION
Organised by the Singapore Institute of International Affairs (SIIA), a leading think-tank focused on research, analysis and discussion of regional and international issues, last week’s roundtable discussion and exhibition provided an opportunity for stakeholders to discuss solutions to the ongoing issue of haze, while at the same time provide the Singapore public with information and context on the collaborative efforts of industry, NGOs and governments to develop lasting solutions.
The programme commenced with a closed-door roundtable discussion moderated by SIIA Chairman Professor Simon Tay and Executive Director, Nicolas Fang. Attended by a mix of industry, NGO and government representatives, the day’s discussion began by reviewing the current haze situation and its causes before traversing recent law changes and proposed haze tracking technology. It concluded by looking beyond the haze to other related environmental and resource management challenges. The forthright discussion was conducted under Chatham House rules to facilitate an open and candid exchange of views and, as such, the deliberations remain private.
The roundtable was followed by the launch of the SIIA’s ‘Haze. Know it. Stop it.’ campaign at VivoCity, one of Singapore’s busiest metropolitan shopping malls. Launched by Senior Minister of State, Minister of Health and Minister of Manpower and Deputy Government Whip Dr. Amy Khor, the exhibition included a series of exhibits explaining the cause of haze as well as initiatives in place to combat its effects.
In her remarks the Minister noted: “Among private sector companies, it is indeed heartening to see that some agroforestry companies have come out strongly to support the haze law, and reaffirmed their commitments to adhere to a zero-burning policy.”
APRIL was one of the industry partners represented at the exhibition alongside Wilmar International and prominent NGOs, with its exhibit focusing on its fire prevention and suppression activities in Riau Province Indonesia.
APRIL’s Sustainbility Director, Dr. Petrus Gunarso, fire prevention specialist Craig Tribolet, and fire-fighter Ian Wevell spent the weekend engaging with visitors at the exhibit and answering the public’s questions on APRIL’s efforts to combat the illegal fires that create the haze conditions that afflict Singapore, Malaysia and Indonesia.
Commenting on the roundtable and exhibition, Dr. Gunarso applauded SIIA’s initiative as well as the involvement of a wide cross-section of stakeholders. “Despite the many perspective represented, the roundtable discussion showed there is a good deal of common ground as to the path forward and desire to increase collaborative efforts to combat the causes of haze. This was very positive.”
Fire-fighter Ian Wevell, who captured attention at the VivoCity exhibit in his fire-fighter’s uniform, was equally enthused about the exhibition. “It was a great experience to hear first-hand just how the haze affects the lives of people in Singapore, but also to reassure them we’re doing all we can not just to put out fires, but to prevent them starting in the first place.”