2006 Southeast Asian haze

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Satellite image of 2019 Southeast Asian haze in Borneo - 20190915

The 2006 Southeast Asian haze was a significant air pollution crisis that affected several countries in Southeast Asia, including Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore, Thailand, and Brunei. The haze was primarily caused by widespread forest fires in Indonesia, particularly on the islands of Sumatra and Borneo.

Causes[edit | edit source]

The primary cause of the 2006 Southeast Asian haze was the illegal practice of slash-and-burn agriculture, which involves clearing land for agricultural use by burning vegetation. This method is commonly used in Indonesia to clear land for palm oil plantations and other agricultural activities. The fires, exacerbated by dry weather conditions, produced large amounts of smoke and particulate matter, which were carried by winds across the region.

Affected Areas[edit | edit source]

The haze affected several countries in Southeast Asia, leading to severe air quality deterioration and visibility reduction. The most affected areas included:

Health Impacts[edit | edit source]

The haze had severe health impacts on the populations of the affected countries. The primary health issues included:

Economic Impact[edit | edit source]

The economic impact of the haze was significant, affecting various sectors including:

  • Tourism: The tourism industry suffered due to reduced visibility and health concerns.
  • Agriculture: Crop yields were affected by the reduced sunlight and ash deposition.
  • Transportation: Air and road transportation were disrupted due to poor visibility.

Government Response[edit | edit source]

Governments in the affected countries took several measures to address the haze crisis, including:

  • Indonesia: Efforts to extinguish the fires and enforce laws against illegal burning.
  • Malaysia and Singapore: Issued health advisories and distributed face masks to the public.
  • Regional cooperation: Countries in the region worked together to address the transboundary haze issue through organizations such as the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN).

See Also[edit | edit source]

References[edit | edit source]



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Contributors: Prab R. Tumpati, MD