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Jakarta Post

Smog raises questions about Indonesia’s commitment to transboundary haze treaty

  • Dian Septiari
    Dian Septiari

    The Jakarta Post

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Jakarta   /   Thu, September 19, 2019   /  07:28 pm
The Jakarta Post Image
A view of the Singapore F1 Grand Prix night race Marina Bay street circuit shrouded in haze on Sept. 18, 2019. (Reuters/Feline Lim)

The plummeting air quality in Southeast Asia caused by forest fires in parts of Indonesia has raised questions on the effectiveness of an ASEAN agreement to prevent haze pollution and puts the spotlight on Jakarta’s failure to comply with the treaty. The 2002 ASEAN Agreement on Transboundary Haze Pollution (AATHP) was issued to prevent and monitor transboundary haze pollution as a result of land and forest fires, placing the responsibility on concerted national mitigation efforts and intensive regional and international cooperation. However, the illegal clearing of agricultural land by fire in Sumatra and Kalimantan has caused worsening air quality not only in Indonesia but also in Malaysia, Singapore and most recently the Philippines. Authorities in Indonesia and Malaysia have closed thousands of schools and Singapore has taken steps to ensure the upcoming F1 weekend will...