What is Haze?
Dust, smoke and/or other dry particles which pollute the air and result in respiratory problems
Transboundary haze, industry emissions, wildfires, etc anthropogenic activities (Focus on Singapore)
Health effects: Short term exposure to haze can result in respiratory problems and aggravate existing heart and lung diseases
Effects on the economy (as more people stay indoors): In 2019, open-air restaurants and hawker centers saw a 20% drop in patrons during the haze season
Effects on the environment: deteriorated air quality
Conventional palm oil production often involves using fire to clear land,
deforestation and poor labour standards that result in haze, loss of wildlife and worker exploitation. However, the palm oil industry also supports jobs on plantations, especially of small-scale holders -- in essence, supports the livelihood of many. Besides, palm oil is also 5-10 times more efficient than traditional crops. If we phase out palm oil, more land may need to be cleared in order to meet up to rising global oil demands → more land, more biodiversity affected instead.