Stakeholders in Jakarta map out long-term solutions to haze crisis

Practicing using equipment to put out flames during a fire drill, Indonesia. Achmad Ibrahim (CIFOR)

Practicing using equipment to put out flames during a fire drill, Indonesia. Achmad Ibrahim (CIFOR)

JAKARTA, Indonesia — Peatland fires in eastern Sumatra, Indonesia, in recent weeks are again creating thick haze in the region, closing schools, canceling flights, and leading to the arrests of farmers accused of lighting the fires.

For now, the weather is keeping the smoke away from neighboring Singapore and Malaysia, where in June 2013 wind-blown haze from Sumatran fires caused record-high levels of air pollution. Last year’s crisis produced international headlines and quick responses from governments: High-level regional talks in September led to a proposed transboundary haze monitoring system, and earlier this month, Singapore drafted a bill that would allow it to fine companies for fires that take place on Sumatran plantations. The return of fires this month, however, has illustrated the need for long-term, holistic solutions to the haze issue.

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