Sunday, June 14, 2009

Malaysia offers to help Indonesia as haze season looms

Terra Daily via Agence France-Presse: Malaysia has offered to help Indonesia curb forest fires blamed for the choking haze that shrouds the region each year, media reports said Sunday, as air quality fell in the country. In the dry season, Indonesian farmers burn forests to clear land for agriculture, causing a smoky haze that spreads across the region, affecting tourism and increasing health problems.

"We have special aeroplanes which can be used to carry out water bombing," the Sunday Star quoted Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak as saying. "It is up to the Indonesian government to accept it," the premier told the newspaper, as he urged Malaysians to avoid open burning.

…The Indonesian government has outlawed land-clearing by fire but weak enforcement means the ban is largely ignored….

Satellite view of October 2006 fires in Sumatra. NASA

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