Sunday, October 24, 2010

The Burning of Forest in Sumatra


Smokes originating from the burning of forest in the Island of Sumatra in the last few days has been causing heavy air pollution in Singapore and Malaysia.

Due to this fact, the governments of Singapore and Malaysia have complained and urged the Indonesian government to take immediate action to stop the fire, for which purpose they both offered their assistance.
These offers were welcomed by Indonesian Foreign Minister Marti Natalegawa who said that the smoke problem is a transnational problem that cannot be solved by Indonesia alone, but required cooperation among countries in the region.

According to Indonesian Minister of Environment Gusti Hatta, most of the fires were set by farmers practicing slash and burn agriculture in Riau Province, Sumatra. He also said that  The minister's deputy told reporters that his office is sending a team to Riau to find our more details as to the cause of fire.

Considering that the smoke has caused heavy air pollution in other countries, they must have originated from heavy burning of forests by so many people that can either be farmers or workers or plantation companies. 
The question is : why did the Forestry Ministry blamed only traditional farmers and not the plantations ?

For details, please read the following articles :
Govt says haze from RI, blames traditional farmers (The Jakarta Post)
Sumatra Smoke Clouds Sky Over Malaysia, Singapore (The Jakarta Globe)
Return of the Haze "We can't fight alone" (Strait Times)

Photo :  Courtesy of Reuter.

23 comments:

the dream catcher said...

interesting question...:) Wondering who could give the satisfying answer

DS. Utomo said...

As usually they always look for the black goat ("Kambing hitam") !

colson said...

Like the seasons over here, burning forests in Indonesia are periodical. And so are the complaints by Malaysia and Singapore.

It seems not to be a simple problem to be solved by simple solutions. That is if anybody really has been trying to solve it in previous years.

I wonder what next year's autumn will happen.

sawali tuhusetya said...

kebakaran hutan ternyata tak hanya berdampak di dalam negeri. singapura pun harus terkena imbasnya juga. perlu ada perhatian serius dari pemerintah.

cicitHJHASSANu said...

salam tuan...

this is coz of human insanity....perhaps n perhaps

Artta said...

This is because of human being.

Luke said...

Easier and simpler to blame the farmer than the large global company as the reduction of bribe will be costly to the government. The fires are always concerning. Not as concerning as the fact that they happen. Sorry Harry, slightly cynical tonight about everything. Seems so many bad things always happening and nothing being done to fix...

H. Nizam said...

@The Dream Catcher,
Yeah, let wait and see.

@Pak Utomo,
Failure to identify whose right/ wrong makes us always repeat similar mistakes.

@Colson,
Ignorance on the real cause of the fire may perhaps be the reason why it's keep on repeating.

@Sawali Tuhusetya,
Memang perlu perhatian lebih serius dari pemerintah.

@cicitHJHASANu,
Human insanity ? perhaps that's the right word to describe it.

@Artta,
Human being of course

@Luke,
Yeah, farmers, workers have always been victimized by those who have power.
Re your comment: it is really good.
I always thought that blogs exists to fill in what are not mentioned on the traditional media. As long as we are right in what we write and how we write it, I think it's okay.
I always welcome your comments, thank you.

tikno said...

Good question!
Because the traditional farmers can not talk and can not lobby. The best choice to blamed.

H. Nizam said...

Tikno,
Yes you are very right.

June_Butterfly said...

I wonder when humans will ever learn to appreciate nature!

So tragic that things like this never ends.I truly hope there's a solution to end this.

Thanks for the visit,too.Always a joy to see you on my blog.

H. Nizam said...

June_Butterfly,
Let's hope that a good solution would be found very soon, so that our nature's beauty can be maintained.

ReBorn said...

ghahaah, I strongly agree with Tikno: "raditional farmers can not talk and can not lobby". :)

H. Nizam said...

Reborn,
I also shared Tikno's comment.

adetruna said...

just because of the strength power so he spoke careless...

H. Nizam said...

Adetruna,
I suppose so.

Luke said...

Interesting to note that we (humans) have only become globally aware of our actions to the environment in the past 20 or 30 years. Before that the environment was never really understood or appreciated. We have been doing this for 000's of years so I can't imagine we will stop anytime soon.

H. Nizam said...

Luke,
Maybe it's because in the last 30 years "destruction" of nature has been so huge due to the existence of sophisticated equipment to make human life more comfortable at the cost of nature.

boyin said...

coincidentally my wife just back from Singapore and they've got the effect for entire city..the worse things happened when I was worked in singapore on 1997 from Kalimantan forest.

Renra Cikatos said...

nice info bro..thanks yach...goodluck...

H. Nizam said...

@Boyin,
It would be "interesting" to read more about your experience when the haze struck Singapore in 1997 and also your wife's recent experience.

@Renra Cikatos,
Thank you for the kind words.

Yari NK said...

Harry, again, another problem which is difficult to solve. This is because environmental, economic and social issues are intertwined. The problem emanates from the fact that the farmers lack the knowledge about the importance for respecting the nature.

It is somewhat similar to our quotidian case where we go around the city by our cars or on our (motor)cycles and we refuse to take public transport. The impact is rather similar, it is unfriendly to our environment. Don't we realise it?? If we, who often claim to be more educated, don't realise it, do we expect the farmers to realise what they are doing?? Now, who's to blame Harry??

H. Nizam said...

Yari,
Very good comment, as always.

The farmers may have started few of the fire but not much.
I felt that farmers would rather cut the trees and use the log/wood for cooking (in exchange for kerosene), or sell them.

It is big plantations companies that would burn them in order to clear the land for expansion of their business.