THAILAND – BAD PRACTICE: Researchers say the burning of forest land to grow lucrative corn crops is to blame for the northern haze problem. PHOTO: Pattanapong Hirunard
By the end of the year, the northern provinces of Thailand will be put on high alert for summer haze. The conditions from February to April are dry, increasing the risk of wildfires. But it’s also the period when farmers light fires to clear their land for crop cultivation — flames which could spread into forest areas, sending up haze and acting as a huge source of carbon emission.