Below is a list with tagged columns and company profiles.

Today's Headlines Smog

  • Forest Fires in Indonesia Bring Traditional Haze Season

    Forest Fires in Indonesia Bring Traditional Haze Season

    The "haze season" is back in Indonesia and other parts of Southeast Asia. Forest fires in Riau (Sumatra) are the main cause of smoke that has been carried to Singapore and Malaysia over the weekend. But also fires in West and Central Kalimantan have caused local haze. Hundreds of firefighters and military personnel were deployed to combat forest fires in Riau where 162 hotspots were counted over the past couple of days. Indonesian farmers' (illegal) slash-and-burn practices (aimed at clearing land) are the cause, while dry and hot weather exacerbate the situation.

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  • Environment in Indonesia: Carbon Emissions Hit New High

    Environment in Indonesia: Carbon Emissions Hit New High

    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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  • Forest Fires & Haze: Singapore Eager to Prosecute Indonesians

    Forest Fires & Haze: Singapore Eager to Prosecute Indonesians

    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.

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  • Joko Widodo: Indonesia Intends to Join Trans-Pacific Partnership

    Joko Widodo: Indonesia Intends to Join Trans-Pacific Partnership

    During his state visit to the USA, Indonesian President Joko Widodo told US President Barack Obama that Indonesia intends to join the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) trade deal. Currently, 12 countries have joined the TPP, including the USA and Japan, thus creating the world's largest free trade area (an area that covers about 40 percent of world trade). By many analysts the TPP is regarded a counterbalance to the big economic influence of China.

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  • Rubber Production Indonesia Expected to Fall in 2016 on Haze & El Nino

    Rubber Production Indonesia Expected to Fall in 2016 on Haze & El Nino

    Indonesia, the world's second-largest natural rubber producer, is expected to see slowing rubber output in 2016 on the back of the El Nino weather phenomenon as well as haze caused by forest fires on Sumatra and Kalimantan. Although the production decline may support rubber prices in the middle-long term, Indonesian rubber farmers are currently still plagued by rubber prices that have fallen to six-year lows due to reduced rubber demand from China, the world's largest rubber importer.

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  • Haze Update: Malaysia Closes Schools, Urges Indonesia to Act

    Haze Update: Malaysia Closes Schools, Urges Indonesia to Act

    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.

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  • Haze Southeast Asia: Singapore Names Indonesian Companies, Malaysia Closes Schools

    Haze Southeast Asia: Singapore Names Indonesian Companies, Malaysia Closes Schools

    While Malaysian authorities ordered more schools to close on Monday, schools in Singapore reopened on the first day of the week as the air quality improved. However, although having improved, the air quality in Singapore remains unhealthy. The pollutant standards index in Singapore was 161 (meaning unhealthy) around 11 am local Singapore time on Monday (improving from a ‘hazardous’ reading of 341 last Friday). Meanwhile, Singapore mentioned five companies as having contributed to the forest fires that are causing the severe haze in Southeast Asia.

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  • Indonesia’s Forest Fires & Haze Plague Singapore and Malaysia

    Indonesia’s Forest Fires & Haze Plague Singapore and Malaysia

    The haze, caused by dozens of forest fires on Sumatra and Kalimantan, and which have spread to Singapore and Malaysia, is expected to plague the three countries in the next couple of days. Indonesian authorities, which are currently investigating forest fires in Central Kalimantan, South Sumatra, Riau, West Kalimantan and Jambi, mentioned that there are 107 people who have been named suspects, involved in 68 acts of slash-and-burn practices (according to Indonesian media).

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  • Indonesia’s ‘Traditional’ Forest Fires & Haze Disrupt Commercial Flights

    Indonesia’s ‘Traditional’ Forest Fires & Haze Disrupt Commercial Flights

    Indonesia and Malaysia are again plagued by a traditional haze caused by forest fires in Palangkaraya (Central Kalimantan). The thick haze resulted in the cancellation of various commercial flights at the local airports in Jambi (Sumatra) and Surabaya (Java). Furthermore, it was reported that in parts of Malaysia an unhealthy air quality was recorded.

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  • Huge Forest Fires on Sumatra Endanger Singapore's Health and Economy

    Forest fires on the Indonesian island Sumatra have brought severe smog over Singapore's skyline for the past five days, reaching record breaking levels of air pollution in Southeast Asia's wealthy city state. The forest fires are believed to be caused by illegal slash and burn practice on Indonesia's forest-rich island of Sumatra (for palm oil expansion) and represent a recurring problem in the dry season. Besides the environmental disaster, the forest fires cause health issues as well as economic losses for Singapore.

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Latest Columns Smog

  • Environment & Natural Disasters in Indonesia: Forest Fires Season Started

    Environment & Natural Disasters in Indonesia: Forest Fires Season Started

    A year ago - between June and October 2015 - severe man-made forest fires on the Indonesian islands of Sumatra and Kalimantan released some 11.3 million tons of carbon per day, caused Indonesia to experience damages estimated at 1.9 percent of GDP (World Bank estimate), and spread toxic haze to other parts of Southeast Asia. Not only its regional neighbors but most of the world directed its anger at Indonesian authorities that failed to combat the fires, and more importantly, failed to uphold laws that forbid the slash-and-burn practice.

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  • Forest Fires & Haze: Link between Indonesia's Local Elections and Fires

    Forest Fires & Haze: Link between Indonesia's Local Elections and Fires

    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.

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