Great Haze II: PSI measures for Malaysia and Singapore

Malaysia and Singapore offer lagging indicators for their air pollutant index reporting.
Malaysia air pollutant index

This can be found at this website: http://www.doe.gov.my/apims/

It reports Muar, Johor, 7am measure of an astonishing reading of 746 while southern Johor has readings ranging about 120-140. KL has readings just above 100 and Klang at 188.Note that these are 24-hour averaged figures.

The high reading for Muar is consistent with the information that the super dense haze zone has moved northward from Singapore, where it was positioned a few days ago:

Singapore PSI readings

These can be found here: http://www.nea.gov.sg/psi/. However, the shift to 3-hourly average and then 24-hourly average reporting smooths out the results and turns this into a historical record. This makes the Singapore report less useful for members of the public who might want to avoid going out when the current actual PSI is particularly high.

Consistent with the shift northwards of the super dense smog haze zone, readings in Singapore have moderate and are now below 100.

Best practice note: Available 24-hour, 7 day a week; PM10 and PM2.5; real-time current PSI readings; forecast to provide alert of pollution episodes; and several historical ranges of indicators using 24-hour averaged statistical summaries.

Great Haze II - burning concessions identified by Greenpeace

This study by Greenpeace presents hots spots for 11-21 June mapped onto palm oil concession. Just palm oil concessions? According to WRI study, these account for 20% of hot spots. There are other types of concessions afire and about half of fires are outside of concession areas. Anyhow, in the coming weeks, the Haze Blame Game will unfold.

Great haze II - the blame game starts

It’ll be interesting to see which companies get investigated and possibly blamed for contributing to SE Asia's second great haze. The recently announced Indonesia list of names being investigated coincides with WRI's report which uses NASA data on fires overlaid on plantation concession maps (yellow highlighted names).

Foreign-owned and foreign-based Indonesian companies seem to be the focus of the first set of names announced. More companies will be named in days to come, presumably to include the locally based Indonesian names.

The Indonesian government had identified 8 Malaysian and 2 Singaporean based companies behind the forest burning in Sumatera.  They are under investigation.

  1. PT Langgam Inti Hiberida [KLAU RIVER ENT SDN BHD]
  2. PT Bumi Rakksa Sejati, 
  3. PT Tunggal Mitra Plantation [SIME DARBY]
  4. PT Udaya Loh Dinawi,
  5. PT Adei Plantation [KLK]
  6. PT Jatim Jaya Perkasa [*NOT OWNED BY WILMAR - updated 23 June 2013]
  7. PT Multi Gambut Industri,
  8. PT Mustika Agro Lestari

  1. Asia Pulp & Paper 
  2. APRIL         

WRI's analysis with NASA fire data is worth looking at. Weblink: http://insights.wri.org/news/2013/06/peering-through-haze-what-data-can-tell-us-about-fires-indonesia.

WRI's analysis of NASA fire alert data during the recent period, finds that 48% of the fires were outside of concession areas, 27% in timber plantations, 20% in oil palm areas, 4% in protected areas and 1% in logging areas. The high proportion (nearly half) outside of concession areas differs from NGO assessments of an earlier SE Asian haze episode which only attributed 20% of "blame" on smallholder farmers. Does this imply that plantation practices have improved?

WRI provides a top 15-17 list with ranking of concession companies by the number of fire alerts in their areas. The oil palm list and the timber plantation lists are as follows:

Great haze II - the karmic winds of change? [report]

•        The Southeast Asian haze is an annual, seasonal phenomenon that is now in its 17th year. The first event in 1997 can be dubbed “Great Haze I”, during which Singapore’s PSI measure peaked at 226. The 2013 enviro-pollution season can be regarded as “Great Haze II” with PSI reaching just over 400.
•        In the previous haze episodes, NGO analysis placed responsibility (direct and indirect) at 65-80% on various types of corporate plantations and with 20% of responsibility on small farmers. The first 2-year Indonesia-Norway moratorium on deforestation and peat land development might have had an unintended consequence. Well-connected owners are thought to have received a slew of concessions to beat the moratorium deadline. They have been clearing the land. Now, Indonesian authorities say they think that 32 company concessions are on fire. Eight thought to be involved in starting fires have been identified and their names will be released in the coming days.
•        While the gloomy view is that little real action will be taken, we think that the mood is different from the approach taken back in the late 1990s – early 2000s. Will Singapore continue to leave it to the Indonesian authorities to solely deal with any Singapore-invested plantations found with open fires in their concessions? Or will these karmic winds that inflict the haze upon Singapore, bring a change in policy?

Please access our analysis here: http://tinyurl.com/mnzuc6h