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Jakarta Post

Fighting fires and haze in Indonesia

  • Chen Chen Lee and Pek Shibao

Singapore   /   Mon, September 5 2016   /  08:41 am

The recent return of the haze to the region underlines the fact that agribusinesses should take more responsibility in fighting peatland and forest fires in Indonesia. While some industry leaders have stepped up to implement promising methods to tackle fires, many other agribusinesses are not doing enough to address the root causes of the problem.

Following the 2015 haze crisis — the worst in the region’s history — the Indonesian government has significantly ramped up its efforts against fire. It has suspended the further issuing of oil palm plantation licenses and pursued legal cases against companies linked to forest fires, handing down a record S$110 million (US$80.86 million) fine to one such company in August. It has also established a Peatland Restoration Agency (BRG) to restore the country’s vast areas of degraded peatlands, which are much more flammable than miner...