Haze Watch: Long-term solution sought

Haze Watch: Long-term solution sought 

18 August 2005

publishedby www.nst.com.my

PUTRAJAYA — The haze appears to be lifting, thanks to rainfall over the peninsula, but Malaysian and Indonesian environment officials are still battling for a long-term solution.

They realise the key lies in educating farmers at Indonesia’s grassroots and, following a meeting in Jakarta yesterday, have jointly agreed to strengthen the “educative process” of farmers and smallholders.

The officials met yesterday to follow up on last week’s meeting at the ministerial level. Natural Resources and Environment Ministry deputy secretary-general Datuk Suboh Yassin led the Malaysian delegation.

Natural Resources and Environment Minister Datuk Seri Adenan Satem said educating farmers not to use the slash-and-burn method for clearing land was a necessary part of any long-term plan to avoid a repeat of the haze.

Adenan said this after a post-Cabinet meeting with ministry officials today.

Zero-burning is a slash-and-compost method whereby old plants and trees are felled and left on the ground to decay and fertilise the land.

Other measures Malaysia and Indonesia have agreed on to tackle the present haze crisisare:

  • Joint cloud-seeding operations, by the air force and meteorological authorities of both countries. Cloud seeding is to begin as soon as possible over Riau, north Sumatra and west Kalimantan, and later Jambi in Sumatra and Kalteng in Kalimantan;
  • Bilateral technical cooperation to monitor and conduct surveillance on hotspots; and,
  • Co-ordination of Malaysian firemen who have been deployed to Indonesia by local authorities there.


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