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Devastating Man-Made Forest Fires in Southeast Asia Accelerating in Recent Years

NSchepis MA, United States 0 Ratings 13 Discussions 10 Group posts

Posted by: NSchepis // Student at Bridgewater State

The Foreign Affairs Minister of Singapore, Vivian Balakrishnan, is justifiably speaking out against companies that start forest fires in Southeast Asia, calling them a “man-made tragedy”. The forest fires are caused by corporations and small farm owners that want to clear vegetation for palm oil, pulp and paper plantations.

The fires cause a yellow-brown haze in parts of Southeast Asia and clouds of smoke throughout parts of Singapore, Thailand, Phillippines, and Malaysia. This, according to the Foreign Affairs Minister, is “vandalism against society, against the environment, and ultimately, against ourselves.” The smoke from recent fires has caused the closing of schools, airports, and has been damaging to local businesses in Singapore, Malaysia, and parts of Thailand and Philippines. Haze related illnesses have resulted in 19 deaths and half a million lung infections.

The forest fires are immensely damaging to the environment. Much of the natural habitat of Indonesian orangutans has been destroyed due to these forest fires. At the fires epicenter the Pollution Standard Index is almost seven times the hazardous rating. Legal and commercial pressure must be placed on the companies that are responsible for these unlawful acts.



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