Thursday, November 5, 2015
Victoria's Green Matters - 5th Nov 2015
We have been hearing about the terrible conditions in Indonesia, due to the fires that are burning to clear forests for the cultivation of plantations of palm trees. These fires have emitted more than 600 million tonnes of carbon dioxide between July and 21 September 2015, according to NASA, and could emit more carbon dioxide than Germany does in a year by the time they are extinguished. Indonesia is the fifth largest emitter of greenhouse gasses in the world but has pledged to the UN to curb emissions by 2030.
The annual burning of forests to ready the land for seed planting has always been a controversial issue because the smoke affects tens of thousands of people in Indonesia and Malaysia, causing respiratory problems and prompting the cancellation of sporting events and the closure of schools.
The fires are also affecting one third of the world’s remaining wild population of orang-utans in Borneo. Several thousand of the fires have penetrated deep into forests and national parks where wild apes and other endangered species, such as the clouded leopard and the hornbill, live.
Peat land forests are naturally resistant to fire but decades of poor management which has drained the peat has made the forests very susceptible to fire.
Victoria Nicholls. Transition Deal.