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Indonesia May Have To Revise Land Burning Laws

Peace and Freedom


‘Children are being prepared for evacuation in warships already some have choked to death. Species are going up in smoke at an untold rate.’ Photograph: Ulet Ifansasti/Getty Images


By Bernadette Christina and Michael Taylor

Indonesia is reviewing laws that allow farmers to burn up to two hectares, forestry officials said, the latest in so-far unsuccessful efforts to halt fires that have sent choking smoke across much of Southeast Asia.

Indonesia is also considering declaring a national emergency over the fires, which this week caused President Joko Widodo to cut short an official trip to the United States and pushed the country’s greenhouse gas emissions above the daily average from all economic activity in the U.S.

A 2009 law allows smallholder farmers to use slash-and-burn practices to clear land for agricultural purposes, and has been cited by green groups and plantation firms as a key cause of the annual fires…

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