Revamped Haze Tracker website launched

You can now find out all you need to know about the haze at one website.

Instead of visiting the National Environment Agency's haze microsite for Pollutant Standards Index (PSI) readings, and checking news websites for haze-related reports, you can now get all these at www.hazetracker.org.

The revamped website was launched yesterday by local think-tank Singapore Institute of International Affairs (SIIA).

Haze Tracker was first introduced in May last year, but underwent a $25,000 revamp in August this year to "plug information gaps" and increase public awareness of the complex haze problem, said SIIA.

For instance, the previous edition of the website mainly compiled media reports on haze from various news sites.

The revamped version, however, includes PSI readings, information on the location of probable fires and wind direction data on an interactive map.

The map also allows users to compare actual planted and peatland areas, with legal concession boundaries provided by the Indonesian government.

Writer Yaw Min Jie, 25, said she found the website user- friendly and comprehensive. "I found the wind direction and active hot spots data quite helpful, because I can tell if the haze is blowing towards Singapore."

SIIA's director for policy programmes, Ms Lee Chen Chen, said tools like Haze Tracker make it easier to trace pollution sources, ensuring that those responsible can be identified with greater accuracy.

She added: "Gathering accurate data is extremely important in the fight against haze, and tools such as ours allow for great accountability."

The Haze Tracker website also provides links to campaigns by non-government organisations. Volunteer group People's Movement to Stop Haze (PM.Haze), for instance, has a campaign urging people to sign a petition to call for restaurants to use haze-free palm oil.

Its president Tan Yi Han said: "We like the way the Haze Tracker integrates a PSI map, hot spot map and information on actions ordinary people in Singapore can take, as it encourages the general public to go beyond the PSI into understanding what is causing the haze and how to stop it."

Audrey Tan

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on October 04, 2016, with the headline 'Revamped Haze Tracker website launched'. Print Edition | Subscribe