A study published in Scientific Reports, conducted by scientists at King’s College London in cooperation with the Center for International Forestry Research (CIFOR), says the forest fires on the Indonesian islands of Sumatra and Kalimantan that occurred between June and October 2015 released some 11.3 million tons of carbon each day (a figure that exceeds the 8.9 million tons of daily carbon emissions in the European Union). Last year's man-made forest fires and haze in Indonesia are among the worst natural disasters ever recorded.
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17 October 2021 (closed)
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Indonesian Vice President Jusuf Kalla stated that he does not agree with Singapore's attempts to take legal action against those Indonesian individuals and companies that are responsible for the forest fires on the islands of Sumatra and Kalimantan that resulted in the severe haze that spread to Singapore (and other parts of Southeast Asia) in 2015. The toxic smog caused economic costs in Indonesia's neighboring countries. Kalla said Indonesia will not support Singapore in this case as the offense occurred in Indonesia, not in Singapore. As such, it would be an attack on Indonesia's sovereignty.
Again schools were ordered to shut (for at least two days) in Malaysia in order to protect children from inhaling smog as the air quality remains at very unhealthy levels (nearly hazardous in some regions). The air pollutant index still shows readings of between 201 to 300 in six districts around Malaysia's capital city of Kuala Lumpur. The haze, which - reportedly - may become the worst haze ever, is caused by companies' and people's illegal slash-and-burn practices to clear land for planting on parts of the Indonesian islands of Sumatra and Kalimantan. The situation is exacerbated by the (El Nino-related) prolonged dry season.
The pulp and paper industry in Indonesia is expected to expand five percent in 2015 on rising paper consumption in Asia and particularly in China, the world’s second-largest economy. Rising consumption will lead to an intensifying of global competition in the pulp and paper industry. Global pulp demand is forecast to rise 2.6 percent per year to 38.9 million tons by 2025 from 24.5 million tons in 2010. Over the same period, pulp demand in China is estimated to grow 6.4 percent per year to 14.3 million tons by 2025.
In the first quarter of 2013, Indonesia's manufacturing sector has received increasingly more investments compared to the same period last year. Investors directed IDR 53.26 trillion (USD $5.5 billion) towards Indonesia's manufacturing sector out a total of IDR 93 trillion (USD $9.6 billion) investment in Q1-2013. Compared to Q1-2012, investment in the manufacturing sector grew 84 percent. It is a positive development as it reduces Indonesia's dependence on natural resources, produces added-value products, and provides employment opportunities.
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Stakeholders in Indonesia's pulp and paper industry are concerned about the future of this industry after Indonesia's Environment and Forestry Ministry suspended the operational activities of Indonesia's second-largest timber company, Riau Andalan Pulp and Paper (RAPP), through a decree. RAPP is a unit of global pulp and paper industry giant Asia Pacific Resources International (APRIL). Meanwhile, APRIL is a unit of Singapore-based Royal Golden Eagle.
With the forest fires still raging on parts of the Indonesian islands of Sumatra and Kalimantan, damaging the tropical environment, while the toxic haze still spreads to other parts of Southeast Asia, having caused an estimated 500,000 cases of respiratory tract infection as well as 19 casualties, the ongoing disaster has been labelled a crime against humanity. A new and interesting research report, released by Dr. Herry Purnomo (scientist at the Bogor-based Center for International Forestry Research), points to a link between local elections and spikes in Indonesian forest fires.