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Hi Tech smoke detection to solve the Asian haze problem

Indonesia is planning a hi-tech monitoring network to protect peatland at the centre of last year’s raging fires that cloaked Southeast Asia in toxic haze, a senior official said on Tuesday (Jun 28).

Monitoring devices will be installed in the peat to ensure restoration is being properly carried out, said Peatland Restoration Agency head Nazir Foead.

In January, Jakarta set up an agency to oversee the restoration of 2.6 million hectares (6.4 million acres) – roughly the size of Rwanda – of peat in the next five years to try to prevent future fires.

The blazes and resulting haze, caused by illegal slash-and-burn land clearance, are an annual occurrence. But the fires in 2015 were the worst for years as an El Nino weather phenomenon created tinder-dry conditions

The fires sent smog billowing across the region in September and October, disrupting the daily lives of tens of millions and fuelling anger at Indonesia for its failure to tackle the crisis.

For more information, go to http://www.channelnewsasia.com/news/asiapacific/indonesia-plans-peat/2915112

Top Image by NASA taken by Adam Voiland (NASA Earth Observatory) and Jeff Schmaltz (LANCE MODIS Rapid Response) – http://earthobservatory.nasa.gov/IOTD/view.php?id=86681, Public Domain, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=43744984

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Neil Bibby was Chief Executive Officer of the Country Fire Authority between 2002 and 2009 and Managing Director People and Innovation