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.