Sunday, October 17

Workshop on haze, biomass burning ends

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Lulie (right), Abu Bakar (centre) and Amann seen during the press conference held at Tropi Sarawak headquarters yesterday.

KOTA SAMARAHAN: Sarawak Tropical Peat Research Institute (Tropi) hosted a workshop on haze and biomass burning in Asia at its headquarters here.

Tropi Sarawak director Dr Lulie Melling said the two-day workshop, which ended yesterday, was jointly organised with International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA) and Academy of Sciences Malaysia (ASM).

Based in Austria, Iiasa conducts policy-oriented research into global problems while ASM is the nation’s think tank for science and innovation.

“This workshop was part of a joint project between Iiasa and ASM to develop a science-based, solution-oriented, international and interdisciplinary research agenda on haze and biomass burning in Asia.

“It will devise a plan for collaborative inter-disciplinary follow-up research activities on systems solutions to reduce the adverse impacts of biomass burning while contributing to development targets,” said Lulie when interviewed by reporters.

She also said that ultimately, the workshop will contribute to the creation of an interdisciplinary research community in Asia addressing solutions to biomass burning problems through a global, holistic approach.

The workshop featured nine speakers from different disciplines, who shared their most recent research, insights and policy developments on haze and biomass burning in Asia.

Over 50 scientists, industry leaders, policy makers and implementers from six countries in Asia and Europe brainstormed at Tropi over the problem of haze and biomass burning in Asia.

Joint discussions were held between the research community and stakeholders from industry and policy makers.

Amongst the key speakers at the workshop were Iiasa programme director of Air Quality and Greenhouse Gases Dr Markus Amann, who led a review session on the draft outreach brochure entitled ‘Haze and Biomass Burning in Asia’, a solution-oriented, international and interdisciplinary research agenda.

Lulie herself presented a working paper entitled ‘Stewarding for Sustainability’, emphasising the importance of Tropi’s stewardship to make wise use of one of Sarawak’s natural resources – tropical peatland.

Datuk Dr Abu Bakar Jaafar, a professor from the University of Technology of Malaysia and a fellow of ASM, presented a paper entitled ‘Ground Level Concentrations of Ozone during Non-Haze Periods’.

Later at a press conference, Abu Bakar said a plan would be devised for collaborative interdisciplinary follow-up research activities on systems solutions to reduce the adverse impact of biomass burning while contributing to the development targets.

“Ultimately, this workshop will contribute to the creation of an interdisciplinary research community in Asia addressing solutions to biomass burning problems through a holistic, global perspective,” he said.

Singapore’s Stewardship Asia chief executive officer Ong Boon Hwee, National University of Malaysia (UKM) professor Prof Dr Mohd Talib Latif, Indonesia’s Bandung Institute of Technology professor Prof Dr Puji Lestari, Thailand’s King Mongkut University of Technology Assoc Prof Dr Savitri Garivait, Japan Institute for Global Environmental Strategies (IGES)’s Kaoru Akahoshi and University Malaya’s Annisah Smith were also key speakers at the workshop.