As part of the ASEAN Specialised Meteorological Centre’s (ASMC’s) on-going regional capacity building effort, a 2.5-day workshop was held in Singapore between 31 January and 2 February 2018 for the Mekong Sub-region on “The Use and Interpretation of Data on Land and Forest Fires and Transboundary Haze”. 14 officers from the region’s environment agencies and national meteorological services took part in the workshop.
The Workshop focused on the meteorological aspects of fire and smoke haze monitoring, on the use and interpretation of satellite remote sensing to monitor weather, fires and smoke haze in the region, and on the theory and practical aspects of numerical weather prediction and dispersion modelling tools to forecast the transport and dispersion of smoke haze. Participants were also introduced to the range of products and services that ASMC provides to support the monitoring, assessment and advisories of land and forest fires and smoke haze pollution.
To enable participants to apply what was learnt in the Workshop in their work, they were led through hands-on exercises in the interpretation of satellite imageries and outputs of dispersion models by trainers from ASMC. Site visits to an air quality monitoring station and the Central Forecast Office in Singapore were also conducted to provide participants with a flavour of the operations in Singapore and the coordination between the national meteorological service and pollution control department.
In her Opening Address to the workshop, Ms Wong Chin Ling, Director (ASMC) emphasised that addressing transboundary haze pollution required not only inter-agency coordination within each country but also ASEAN working together as a region. This helped set the tone for the workshop. Both participants and trainers shared their expertise and work experiences generously in order to learn from one another.