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Southeast Asia's forest fires: blazing the policy trail

Southeast Asia's forest fires: blazing the policy trail
Southeast Asia's forest fires: blazing the policy trail
Southeast Asia’s transboundary haze pollution, a consequence of indiscriminate land clearance practices with fire, inflicts enormous health and economic harm, borne annually by ASEANmember states. This is on top of globally significant carbon emissions, ecological disturbances and catastrophic biodiversity loss, all which have far-reaching impact, extending well beyond Southeast Asia. Yet the underlying science to combat the forest fires is well-studied and policy-level solutions have existed on paper for years. While the fires originate mostly from Indonesian territory, the involvement of multiple hierarchies of political actors from within Indonesia and stakeholders from Malaysia and Singapore adds complexity to the quest for lasting solutions. Inevitably, a more robust approach is required from the region’s governments, especially in instilling accountability among large companies, and this is feasible without increasing political tensions within ASEAN. Indonesia’s recent ratification of the Haze Agreement is a significant development, but has to be complemented with actions at the local (e.g. grassroot initiatives in forest protection, firefighting, policing of illegal clearance practices), national (e.g. centralising ministry-level control on forestry resources) and regional levels (e.g. implementing compliance mechanisms and legal standards in treaties tackling haze and forest fires). Ultimately, these actions to combat forest fires may also help secure the long-term conservation of combustible, yet biodiversity-rich peat swamps. From being a source of discord, combating haze pollution could become Southeast Asia’s defining environmental project
0030-6053
207-212
Yong, Ding Li
cc8167e8-48be-412b-93d4-db2a16b599fe
Peh, Kelvin S.-H.
0bd60207-dad8-43fb-a84a-a15e09b024cc
Yong, Ding Li
cc8167e8-48be-412b-93d4-db2a16b599fe
Peh, Kelvin S.-H.
0bd60207-dad8-43fb-a84a-a15e09b024cc

Yong, Ding Li and Peh, Kelvin S.-H. (2016) Southeast Asia's forest fires: blazing the policy trail. Oryx, 50 (2), 207-212. (doi:10.1017/S003060531400088X).

Record type: Article

Abstract

Southeast Asia’s transboundary haze pollution, a consequence of indiscriminate land clearance practices with fire, inflicts enormous health and economic harm, borne annually by ASEANmember states. This is on top of globally significant carbon emissions, ecological disturbances and catastrophic biodiversity loss, all which have far-reaching impact, extending well beyond Southeast Asia. Yet the underlying science to combat the forest fires is well-studied and policy-level solutions have existed on paper for years. While the fires originate mostly from Indonesian territory, the involvement of multiple hierarchies of political actors from within Indonesia and stakeholders from Malaysia and Singapore adds complexity to the quest for lasting solutions. Inevitably, a more robust approach is required from the region’s governments, especially in instilling accountability among large companies, and this is feasible without increasing political tensions within ASEAN. Indonesia’s recent ratification of the Haze Agreement is a significant development, but has to be complemented with actions at the local (e.g. grassroot initiatives in forest protection, firefighting, policing of illegal clearance practices), national (e.g. centralising ministry-level control on forestry resources) and regional levels (e.g. implementing compliance mechanisms and legal standards in treaties tackling haze and forest fires). Ultimately, these actions to combat forest fires may also help secure the long-term conservation of combustible, yet biodiversity-rich peat swamps. From being a source of discord, combating haze pollution could become Southeast Asia’s defining environmental project

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More information

Accepted/In Press date: 7 October 2014
e-pub ahead of print date: 22 December 2014
Published date: April 2016
Organisations: Environmental

Identifiers

Local EPrints ID: 378427
URI: http://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/378427
ISSN: 0030-6053
PURE UUID: bbf19b58-63e2-45b0-b04d-20ae4bb417ae
ORCID for Kelvin S.-H. Peh: ORCID iD orcid.org/0000-0002-2921-1341

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Date deposited: 02 Jul 2015 12:36
Last modified: 23 Jul 2022 02:05

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Author: Ding Li Yong

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