Media Coverage: 3rd S’pore Dialogue On Sustainable World Resources

On 15 April 2016, the Singapore Institute of International Affairs held our 3rd Singapore Dialogue on Sustainable World Resources on the theme of “Global Consensus, Regional Actions: Recommitting to Sustainable Growth”, bringing together over 350 policymakers, industry delegates, NGO representatives, academics and members of the media for a day-long discussion on the latest opportunities and challenges in Asia’s resource sector.

Below are excerpts from the media coverage of the dialogue.

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Haze fight needs consumers to vote with their wallets

Clean air has a price as sustainable agriculture and its products cost more

By Jessica Chiam

Many people here would experience a sense of deja vu each year during Indonesia’s burning season when farmers resort to illegal forest fires to clear land for lucrative crops, and a thick haze blankets parts of South-east Asia, including Singapore and Malaysia.

Despite the efforts of multiple governments and businesses over the past decade to tackle the issue, it remains unresolved and last year’s haze was the worst on record as an unprecedented number of fires raged for months, exacerbated by the dry conditions brought on by El Nino.

Recently, however, the head of Indonesia’s newly set up Peatland Restoration Agency, Mr Nazir Foead, has provided a breath of fresh air on this tired issue.

The former WWF Indonesia conservation veteran – appointed by President Joko Widodo to this ministerial-level post in January – boldly declared last week that there is “zero chance” of a repeat of last year’s haze.

In a no-nonsense, let’s-get- down-to-business half-hour interview with reporters on the sidelines of an event organised by the Singapore Institute of International Affairs (SIIA), Mr Nazir emphasised that this year “is different” because of the game- changing level of determination on the part of governments, companies and civic society following the “shock” of last year’s haze crisis.

Haze fight needs consumers to vote with their wallets [Jessica Cheam, The Straits Times, 22/4/2016]

Other Coverage:

Zero chance of haze like last year in region, says Indonesian official [Neo Chai Chin, TODAY, 15/4/2016]

“Zero chance” of haze like last year in Singapore and region, says Indonesian official [Carolyn Khew, The Straits Times, 15/4/2016]

‘Zero chance’ of haze episode like last year, Indonesian official says [The Malay Mail Online, 15/4/2016]

‘Zero chance of last year’s haze happening again this year’: Indonesian agency [Liyana Othman, Channel NewsAsia, 15/4/2016] (Also aired on CNA’s ‘Singapore Tonight’)

Haze in S’pore and Indonesia to be less severe [The Nation, 15/4/2016]

No repeat of severe haze: Jakarta official [Carolyn Khew, The Straits Times, 16/4/2016]

Haze to be less severe than in 2015 [Azim Azman, The New Paper, 16/4/2016]

No repeat of severe haze: Jakarta official [AsiaOne, 16/4/2016]

早报关键词:今年重现严重霾害零概率? [Wendy Yang, Lianhe Zaobao, 16/4/2016]

Taking the hot seat in war on haze [David Fogarty, The Straits Times, 18/4/2016]


Fire prevention part of new SEC certification for paper companies

By Toh Ee Ming

SINGAPORE — By the end of this year, consumers buying pulp and paper products could have another indicator to help them choose the more environmentally-responsible companies.

The Singapore Environment Council (SEC) is in the midst of drawing up a new category under the Singapore Green Labelling Scheme, which will look at companies’ management of plantations, with an emphasis on peatland management and fire prevention.

This was revealed by Minister for the Environment and Water Resources Masagos Zulkifli, during his speech at the Singapore Dialogue on Sustainable World Resources yesterday.

Speaking to reporters on the sidelines of the dialogue, SEC chairman Isabella Loh said that they are looking to work with stakeholders such as plantation owners, mills and operators, and peatland agencies regionally, and non-governmental organisations such as Indonesian activist group Eyes on the Forest.

Fire prevention part of new SEC certification for paper companies [Toh Ee Ming, TODAY, 16/4/2016]


Indonesian minister ticks off S’pore on haze

Stop making so many comments on Indonesia’s efforts to tackle problem, she says in an interview

JAKARTA — In the latest critical remarks by an Indonesian minister on the transboundary haze, the country’s Minister of the Environment and Forestry Siti Nurbaya Bakar has told Singapore to focus on its own role in addressing the issue instead of “making so many comments”.

She was responding to Singapore’s Minister for the Environment and Water Resources Masagos Zulkifli’s statement at the 3rd Singapore Dialogue on Sustainable World Resources on Friday (April 15) that agro-forestry companies should take full responsibility for fire prevention and mitigation in their concessions, and that there must not be a repeat of last year’s forest fires which caused the haze.

In an interview with environment news portal foresthints.news on Saturday, Dr Siti Nurbaya said the Indonesian government has taken “substantial steps” to prevent land and forest fires, and the ensuing haze that envelopes the region every year.

She said such steps are based on decisions made by the Indonesian government, and not because of pressure from other countries, including Singapore,

Indonesian minister ticks off S’pore on haze [TODAY, 18/4/2015]

Other Coverage:

Indonesia’s Environment and Forestry Minister says S’pore should ‘focus on its own role’ on haze, forest fires[The Straits Times, 17/4/2016]

Indonesian minister rebuts Singapore over comments on haze [Chandni Vatvani, Channel NewsAsia, 17/4/2016]

Indonesian Minister Rebuts Singapore Over Comments On Haze [Malaysian Digest, 17/4/2016]

Singapore ‘should focus on own role in haze issue’: Indonesian minister [The Straits Times, 18/4/2016]


Asian consumer firms need to buck up on sustainability: New report

By Vaidehi Shah

Non-profit group World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) has published a report shining an uncomfortable spotlight on Asian consumer firms, which finds them severely lagging behind international standards on sustainability.

The international group said the lack of sustainability among Asian manufacturers of food, household, and personal care products is in part due to a lack of scrutiny from financiers.

In a new report, titled ‘Asian Fast Moving Consumer Goods (FMCG) – A Sustainability Guide for Financiers and Companies’, WWF noted that Asian companies and their investors are not doing enough when it comes to managing their environmental risks.

The report, launched at the third Singapore Dialogue on Sustainable World Resources conference organised by the Singapore Institute of International Affairs, analysed sustainability and annual reports from 26 Asian FMCG firms to see how they managed the environmental impact of the three most important elements of their operations, namely water use, packaging, and ‘soft commodities’ such as palm oil, sugar, and meat.

Asian consumer firms need to buck up on sustainability: New report [Vaidehi Shah, Eco-business, 15/4/2016]

WWF launches new Sustainability Guide to encourage sustainable FMCG products in Asia [WWF International, 15/4/2016]

Download Report: Asian Fast Moving Consumer Goods – A Sustainability Guide for Financiers and Companies(PDF)


Moratorium Izin Sawit dan Tambang Dapat Dukungan di Singapura

Singapura, CNN Indonesia — Singapore Institute of International Affairs mendukung rencana Pemerintah Indonesia memoratorium izin ekspansi perkebunan kelapa sawit dan tambang.

Simon CS Tay, Ketua Singapore Institute of International Affairs mengatakan produksi minyak sawit Indonesia tetap bisa meningkat tanpa harus melakukan perluasan lahan. Karenanya, ia menilai cukup masuk akal jika Pemerintah Indonesia menghentikan pemberian izin ekspansi perkebunan sawit dan pertambangan.

“Ini sebenarnya terserah Indonesia, tapi saya rasa moratorium ide yang bagus karena terjadi ekspansi yang berlanjut dari perkebunan sawit selama ini, baik di lahan gambut maupun mineral,” kata Simon CS Tay kepada Antara di Singapura, Minggu (17/4).

Kendati demikian, Simon mengingatkan Indonesia untuk tetap menjaga posisinya sebagai pemasok minyak sawit dunia. Pasalnya, kelapa sawit merupakan komoditas penting dan jenis tanaman yang sukses dikembangkan.

Moratorium Izin Sawit dan Tambang Dapat Dukungan di Singapura [Antara, CNN Indonesia, 17/4/2016]

Other Coverage:

Perbankan Diminta “Hijaukan” Rantai Pasokan Sawit [Antara, Okezone Bisnis, 16/4/2016]

Moratorium Izin Lahan Sawit Didukung Singapura [Nur Aini, Republika, 17/4/2016]

Asia Tenggara Kompak, Perbankan Diminta “Hijaukan” Sawit [Kaltim Post, 17/4/2016]

Perbankan Diminta Berperan Hijaukan Mata Rantai Pasok Sawit [Bisnis.com, 17/4/2016]

Singapura Sambut Baik Rencana Moratorium Izin Kebun Kelapa Sawit [Suara.com, 17/4/2016]