Southeast Asian nations propose haze fund, but fail to address root cause
November 12, 2006
Southeast Asian nations agreed to create to a fund to help fight forest fires in Indonesian according to a report from Retuers. The pledge however stops short of addressing the root cause of the choking haze: deforestation.
Reuters says that the first meeting of the the Sub-Regional Ministerial Steering Committee (MSC) on Transboundary Haze Pollution focused on fire-fighting rather than fire prevention efforts. Singapore and Indonesia contributed $100,000 to initially finance the fund.
The 1997-1998 forest fires caused more than $9 billion in damage to southeast Asian economies.
Forest fires result from government failure in Indonesia Indonesia is burning again. Smoke from fires set for land-clearing in South Kalimantan (Borneo) and Sumatra are causing pollution levels to climb in Singapore, Kuala Lumpur, and Bangkok, resulting in mounting haze-related health problems, traffic accidents, and associated economic costs. The country’s neighbors are again clamoring for action but ultimately the fires will burn until they are extinguished by seasonal rains in coming months.
This article information from Reuters.