Wan Junaidi: No Haze this Year

Wan Junaidi: No Haze this Year

When it comes to the annual haze this year, so far so good. Back in March, Natural Resources and Environment Minister Wan Junaidi Tuanku Jaafar stressed that the yearly scourge of billowing smoke that can make life hell for days and weeks at a time across much of Malaysia would not happen in…

Tackling Indonesia’s forest Fires at the Grassroots

Tackling Indonesia’s forest Fires at the Grassroots

They’ve had enough and set out to stop it. “They”: an alliance of farmers, citizens, environmentalists and agriculture companies. “It”: the periodic haze caused by the widespread burning of trees, shrubs and other vegetation in Indonesia. The Fire-Free Alliance, which was set up a year ago in the wake of a massive…

Air Pollution can cause Preterm Births

Air Pollution can cause Preterm Births

Air pollution debilitates and kills. It may cause Alzheimer’s disease. It may increase the risk of obesity. And it may make us perform worse at work. Now here is another adverse health effect that air pollution may cause: premature births. According to a new scientific study conducted by The Stockholm Environment Institute…

Can Peat be converted ‘Sustainably’? No Way! insist Scientists

Can Peat be converted ‘Sustainably’? No Way! insist Scientists

Can peatlands be converted into palm oil plantations in an environmentally friendly way? Some scientists say “yes,” some scientists say “no way.” The debate has erupted after several scientists from the state government-sponsored think tank Tropical Peat Research Laboratory in Sarawak presented their views at a conference – organized by…

Muslim clerics in Indonesia issue a Fatwa against Forest Fires

Muslim clerics in Indonesia issue a Fatwa against Forest Fires

For years and years nothing has stopped numerous people in Indonesia from setting peatlands and forests alight, thereby triggering massive fires and vast clouds of toxic haze that has regularly covered much of neighboring Malaysia and Singapore. Entreaties from environmentalists have not stopped them. Nor the threat of fines. Nor…

Fire Tears through a Sarawak Forest. Time to Worry

Fire Tears through a Sarawak Forest. Time to Worry

Here we go again: yet another forest fire. A flash fire that started on February 21 in Sarawak devastated at least 200 hectares of forest in the northern part of the state within the space of a single day. The flames, which continue to rage, have already destroyed precious natural resources,…