Changing climate risk to opportunity

Firefighters and local university volunteers putting out fires in Pekanbaru, Riau, Indonesia, in September 2019. PHOTO: ST FILE
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The world last year suffered many outsized fires, which are recurring this year in the Amazon and parts of the United States. This year, South-east Asia has largely been spared the fires and haze that often trouble Indonesia and the region. Yet, there are risks if we are complacent and conversely, opportunities to be gained if action is taken.

Consider the reason why the haze has not returned to our skies - the weather has been unusually wet, even now, usually the driest time of year. Wetter conditions result in a sharp fall in forest fires. Burnt area in Indonesia totalled 1.65 million ha last year. But so far this year, from January to September, only 207,000ha were burned.

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