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Indonesia’s forest fires have become an environmental disaster

Indonesia’s forest fires have become an environmental disaster

Despite international assistance, the fires continue to burn with choking smoke plumes spreading all over Asia.  University of Queensland scientists have described an acrid haze choking parts of South-east Asia as one of the worst ever man-made environmental disasters, saying that it is affecting about 40 million people and warns the pollution levels of toxic carbon monoxide and ground-level ozone are “presently off the scale”.

The effects of the thousands of fires blanking parts of Indonesia, Singapore and Malaysia for almost two months, include human suffering, environmental damage and an economic disaster to the region.

According to the World Resources Institute the fires, mainly in south Sumatra and south and central Kalimantan, have caused carbon emissions that have surpassed those of the entire United States – the world’s second largest emitter of greenhouse gases – on 26 out of 44 days since September.

It is still legal for farmers to use burning as a farming practice in the region. More has to be done to overcome this disaster.

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Asia Pacific Fire, Editor