Sunday, July 26, 2009

When transboundary haze hazing our way...

Haze in Malaysia is now an annual phenomenon. Malaysia no doubt is a new industrialized nation but factories and vehicles alone are not sufficient to generate the smokey haze. Satellite images from NASA confirm the occurrence of burning forest in many locations in Sumatra Indonesia. So it is a transboundary issue.

NASA’s earth observatory reports on the seasonal fires currently burning the forests of the Indonesian island of Sumatra. In the image above you can see hot spots detected using the infra-red heat emissions of the flames

Many entities blame individual farmers and commercial timber and plantation companies for causing the haze, rendering the search for the culprits or so-called fire starters. But the common question who starts the fire never solve this yearly problem. My question is what happened to the Agreement on Transboundary Haze Pollution signed by ASEAN countries in 2002? We Malaysians suffer more than any other ASEAN members. How many years more should we wait before this problem solve?

The smokey forest of Riau, Indonesia (Source: Greenpeace)

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