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24 Nov 2006 description

Ref: OCHA/GVA - 2006/0240

Indonesia - Fires and Haze
Sumatera & Kalimantan

30 Oct 2006 description

Singapore_(dpa) _ A shift in wind direction brought the haze from Indonesia's land-clearing fires back to Singapore on Tuesday after an earlier clean air reprieve.

The Pollution Standards Index (PSI) moved out of the healthy range to 57 and remained within the moderate category.

Singaporeans have been out in force since last Wednesday, when heavy showers cleared the air of the weeks of haze that triggered warnings from environmental officials to stay indoors and in air conditioned rooms.

Heavy monsoon showers expected late next month are likely to douse the flames that have …

19 Oct 2006 description

By Hsu Chuang Khoo

SINGAPORE, Oct 19 (Reuters) - Southeast Asian civic groups on Thursday urged governments to name and shame those responsible for the haze that has blanketed the region, and warned that losses could top $9 billion.

The haze is caused by forest fires that have raged for weeks in Indonesia, spreading smoke across much of Southeast Asia.

Indonesia's neighbours have grown increasingly frustrated over the fires, most of which are deliberately lit by farmers as well as by timber and palm oil plantation owners.

18 Oct 2006 description

By Crack Palinggi

MUSI BANYUASIN, Indonesia, Oct 18 (Reuters) - Thick smoke from forest fires in Indonesia has shut airports and slashed visibility to below 100 metres (330 ft) -- and there is no respite in sight, officials said on Wednesday.

The fires have been raging for weeks, spreading smoke across much of Southeast Asia and triggering fears of a repeat of the environmental disaster in 1997-98 when dry conditions linked to the El Nino weather pattern caused a choking haze that cost the region billions of dollars in economic losses.

Jakarta has appealed for funds and …

15 Oct 2006 description

By Ahmad Pathoni

LANGGAM, Indonesia, Oct 15 (Reuters) - Armed with buckets and a newly installed electric pump powered by a portable generator, Iwan Marwan and five others struggle to put out embers on a smouldering two-hectare field in Indonesia's Sumatra island.

The men say they don't know who started the fire but they believe it was not intentionally lit.

"I'm helping them put out the fire to prevent it from spreading to my family's plantation," says Marwan as he pours a bucket of water on a smoky ember.

"We know it is illegal to use fires to …

13 Oct 2006 description

1 The Sub-Regional Ministerial Meeting on Transboundary Haze Pollution was held in Pekanbaru on 13 October 2006. The Meeting was attended by the Ministers and other high ranking officials responsible for the environment from Brunei Darussalam, Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore and Thailand. Nine governors of Indonesian provinces, ten regents of Riau Province as well as representatives of ASEAN Secretariet were also present in the Meeting as observer.

12 Oct 2006 description

By Muklis Ali

JAKARTA, Oct 12 (Reuters) - Indonesia will ratify a Southeast Asian agreement that calls for regional cooperation to deal with forest fires blanketing the region with choking smog, a presidential spokesman said on Thursday.

The pledge came a day before environment ministers from five Southeast Asian nations are due to meet in Pekanbaru on Indonesia's Sumatra island to discuss ways to tackle the problem.

Jakarta has been criticised by its neighbours for failing to tackle the annual dry season blazes, which in past weeks have caused serious air pollution across the …

10 Oct 2006 description

Oct 10 (Reuters) - Southeast Asian environment ministers plan to meet soon to thrash out strategies to help Indonesia extinguish forest fires causing a choking smog across the region.

Following are some facts about the haze.

WHO'S TO BLAME?

- Land clearing and burning the debris in the April-October dry season has been part of the Indonesian and Malaysian farming life for centuries.

- In recent decades, the population has risen sharply on Sumatra and Borneo islands, creating ever more demand for land to grow cash-crops in resource-rich but impoverished Indonesia.

- …

04 Oct 2006 description

Jakarta_(dpa) _ Rapidly deteriorating air quality on Indonesia's Borneo Island from smoky haze caused by illegal land-clearing fires has forced officials to temporarily close schools and urge residents to limit their time outdoors, officials said Wednesday.

Local officials in Palangkaraya, the capital of Central Kalimantan province, said schools there were shut Tuesday because of the worsening, choking smoke and haze.

"We don't yet know how long it will take, but if the smoky haze is not reduced by early next week, the school closure might be extended," Mulyadi, the …

28 Sep 2006 description

Singapore_(dpa) _ Haze and acrid air from land-clearing fires in Indonesia's South Sumatra worsened Friday in Singapore, with conditions likely to persist for the next few days, meteorologists said.

The Pollutants Standards Index (PSI) hit 66, the highest this year, in the moderate range, after staying in the good range of 50 or below for most of 2006.

07 Sep 2006 description

Singapore_(dpa) _ A smoky haze blanketed Singapore Friday as airborne pollutants reached 2006 highs, meteorologists said.

The slightly acrid air from land-clearing fires on Kalimantain in Indonesia was forecast to continue until the weekend.

It was not clear whether the haze would keep up next week, when Singapore hosts the annual meetings of the International Monetary Fund and and World Bank, with 16,000 delegates expected.

The Pollution Standards Index (PSI), which monitors air pollutants, has reached 60, considered to be in the moderate range.