Singapore– The Republic on Wednesday (Jun 3) announced it is renewing its offer of assistance to Indonesia to combat possible land and forest fires that can result in transboundary haze.
The assistance package offered is the same as last year’s and comprises:
One C-130 aircraft for cloud seeding operations; Up to two C-130 aircraft to ferry a fire-fighting assistance team from the Singapore Civil Defence Force (SCDF); A team from SCDF to provide assessment and planning assistance to Indonesian counterparts in their fire-fighting efforts; High resolution satellite pictures and hotspot coordinates; and One Chinook helicopter with one SCDF water bucket for aerial firefighting.
The Ministry of the Environment and Water Resources said the Government has since 2005 consistently offered assistance packages to the Indonesian government in the run-up to the traditional dry season from June to October, to complement Indonesias efforts in combating possible land and forest fires.
The regions susceptibility to land and forest fires during the traditional dry season increases the probability of transboundary haze. This is a problem which has confronted the southern ASEAN region for decades. Singapore was affected by transboundary haze pollution in September and October last year, the ministry added.
Furthermore, the El Nino phenomenon this year may cause drier weather, which could exacerbate the impact of transboundary haze, it said.