2016 Southeast Asian haze

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Satellite image of 2013 Southeast Asian haze - 20130619

2016 Southeast Asian haze

The 2016 Southeast Asian haze was a significant air pollution event that affected several countries in Southeast Asia, including Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore, Thailand, and the Philippines. The haze was primarily caused by widespread forest fires in Indonesia, particularly on the islands of Sumatra and Kalimantan.

Causes[edit | edit source]

The primary cause of the haze was the illegal practice of slash-and-burn agriculture, which is used to clear land for palm oil and pulpwood plantations. The fires, often set during the dry season, can quickly spread out of control, leading to extensive wildfires that produce large amounts of smoke and particulate matter.

Affected Areas[edit | edit source]

The haze had a significant impact on air quality across the region. In Indonesia, the provinces of Riau, Jambi, and South Sumatra were among the worst affected. In Malaysia, the states of Sarawak and Sabah experienced severe haze conditions. Singapore also reported high levels of air pollution, with the Pollutant Standards Index (PSI) reaching hazardous levels.

Health Impacts[edit | edit source]

The haze posed serious health risks to the populations in the affected areas. Exposure to the polluted air can lead to respiratory problems, cardiovascular diseases, and other health issues. Vulnerable groups, such as children, the elderly, and those with pre-existing health conditions, were particularly at risk.

Economic and Environmental Impact[edit | edit source]

The economic impact of the haze was substantial, affecting various sectors including tourism, transportation, and agriculture. The environmental impact was also significant, with large areas of forest and peatland being destroyed, leading to loss of biodiversity and increased carbon emissions.

Government and Regional Response[edit | edit source]

Governments in the affected countries implemented various measures to combat the haze. In Indonesia, efforts were made to enforce laws against illegal burning and to promote alternative land-clearing methods. Regional cooperation was also strengthened through the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) to address the transboundary nature of the haze.

See Also[edit | edit source]

References[edit | edit source]



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