Haze Response Toolkit
Masks provide us with the first line of defence against haze. However, there is a lot more you can do to protect yourself and your loved ones from the impact of haze - preparation starts early! The Haze Response Toolkit is designed to help Singaporeans, not only to prepare for incoming events of haze, but also to address common myths and misconceptions.
Navigate to the ‘Haze & Our Health’ tab to find out about what you can do to protect yourself and your loved ones or head over to the ‘Haze & Our Environment’ tab to learn about how haze is connected with the integrity of our natural environment.
A few key points
Why Restore Peatlands?
Transboundary haze in Singapore originates from peat fires in the neighbouring countries. The cause? Unsustainable, large-scale conversion of carbon-rich peatlands to palm oil and paper plantations. To meet the growing demand for palm oil and paper in the region, farmers and companies expand their plantation areas by draining the naturally waterlogged peat forests and clearing them. The act of draining these peat forests exposes several metres in depth of decaying organic material to the atmosphere, making it very susceptible to burning. This also releases vast amounts of greenhouse gases into the atmosphere, therefore contributing to climate change!
What differentiates peat fires from regular forest fires is the phenomenon of underground smouldering. This occurs where fires continue to burn in the buried peat material underground and this can happen even after fires appear to have been extinguished aboveground. These underground fires are especially difficult to extinguish as they are difficult to detect and inaccessible to firefighters. The fires can continue burning for days and months and escalate into larger fires.
Rewetting and restoring peatlands is the first step to reducing the fire risk in degraded peatlands. Learn more about how we do this by checking us out on Instagram (@protectourpeatlands).