June 2013, rampant fires across parts of Sumatra, Indonesia, shrouded its skies and those of neighboring Singapore and Malaysia in a thick, choking haze. The fires had devastating impact on people and the environment and made international headlines.
Smoke from smouldering fires obscures an excavator digging a peatland drainage canal in the PT Rokan Adiraya Plantation oil palm plantation near Sontang village in Rokan Hulu. 06/23/2013
Scientists have identified the cause of haze as the product of a combination of weak law enforcement, short-sighted economic interests, and lack of political and policy coordination at different levels and across international boundaries.
What has that got to do with us ordinary folk other than the haze, you may ask? Can we even do anything to help solve the problem?
First, we need to understand what they are burning and why. Indonesia is the world’s third largest emitter of greenhouse gases, mainly due to the conversion of its forests and carbon-rich peatlands. These shifts in land use have ecological and social consequences, as Indonesia’s forests are home to thousands of plant and animal species. In addition, 50-60 million Indonesians depend directly on the forests for their livelihood.
Your Connection with Palm Oil? (Click on image to enlarge infographics)
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