As Singapore is set to host talks from June 7 to 8 with Asean members Brunei, Indonesia, Malaysia and Thailand, environmental experts are planning a second roadmap focussing on strategies towards attaining a haze-free South-east Asia.
This comes at a critical time, given the expected drier weather conditions and the potential onset of the warmer El Nino weather phenomenon in the coming months.
Associate Professor Helena Varkkey from the Department of International and Strategic Studies at Universiti Malaya, believes that creating a common air quality index is a significant step forward. This will allow for a uniform measure of air quality across the region, eliminating discrepancies and confusion resulting from various countries using different indices.
Currently, different nations in the region use unique air quality index systems. Singapore uses the Pollutant Standards Index (PSI), Malaysia uses the Air Pollution Index (API), and Thailand uses the Air Quality Index (AQI). These variations make it challenging to compare air quality data effectively across the region.
The proposed second roadmap for transboundary haze cooperation aims to address this issue and further emphasises the need for coordinated efforts and measurable indicators of progress.
At AirScape.ai, we understand the critical need for real-time, street-level air quality data for truly actionable insights. We stand in solidarity with these efforts to standardise the method of tracking air quality across South-East Asia. It’s essential for the implementation of effective measures and policies to mitigate air pollution and promote a healthier living environment for all inhabitants of the region.
Our latest initiative in collaboration with ITDC (Indonesia Tourism Development Corporation) recently launched an air quality monitoring system in Nusa Dua, a popular tourist destination in Bali. This Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) project aims to provide high-quality air monitoring and improve air quality in one of Indonesia’s most visited tourist destinations.
The system is equipped to provide real-time data on air quality to both tourists and local residents, empowering them to make informed decisions about their activities and daily routines. We are committed to supporting sustainable tourism in Bali, and the launch of this monitoring system is a significant step towards this goal. By providing detailed air quality data, we hope to help the tourism industry in Bali make more sustainable and responsible decisions that prioritise the health and wellbeing of visitors and the environment.
As this article in The Straits Times highlights, “The road map will guide Asean member states in making demonstrable improvements to achieve our vision of a haze-free South East Asia.” We strive to be part of the solution in achieving this vision.
Remember, actionable data is the key to making meaningful changes.
Stay informed, stay healthy.
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