Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Illegal fires set in Indonesia cause smog problem: Fires clear land for palm oil companies

Date:
August 27, 2013
Source:
NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center
Summary:
Widespread wildfires are lighting up Indonesia, but these fires were not started accidentally. These fires were set deliberately to clear land for palm oil companies.

Widespread wildfires are lighting up Indonesia, but these fires were not started accidentally. These fires were set deliberately to clear land for palm oil companies. This type of "slash-and-burn" agricultural has been used for centuries to clear land for new planting, however, the setting of such fires is now illegal in Indonesia.
Credit: Image courtesy of NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center

Widespread wildfires are lighting up Indonesia, but these fires were not started accidentally. These fires were set deliberately to clear land for palm oil companies. This type of "slash-and-burn" agricultural has been used for centuries to clear land for new planting, however, the setting of such fires is now illegal in Indonesia.

Related Articles


That doesn't seem to be stopping plantation owners from continuing this practice. The Huffington Post reports that Laurel Sutherlin of the Rainforest Action Network, a San Francisco-based environmental organization sent the website an email stating, "Widespread, illegal burning to clear rainforests and peatlands for palm oil and pulp and paper plantation expansion is unfortunately a well-established yearly ritual in Sumatra."

The worst by-product of this practice is the deliterious smog produced by the fires. Smog so lethal that a record high of 401 pollution index was recorded in the city-state at noon on Friday (Aug. 16), according to UK's The Independent. A measurement over 400 is said to be life-threatening to sick and elderly people, the paper notes. Of course, deforestation is also a negative by-product of this practice as well.

A staple for cooking throughout Southeast Asia and elsewhere, palm oil is the single largest traded vegetable oil commodity in the world, and global demand is rising rapidly, the U.S. Department of Agriculture says. The oil is increasingly used in the manufacture of cosmetics, soaps, pharmaceuticals and industrial products. It is also used to make biodiesel fuel.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center. "Illegal fires set in Indonesia cause smog problem: Fires clear land for palm oil companies." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 27 August 2013. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/08/130827122909.htm>.
NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center. (2013, August 27). Illegal fires set in Indonesia cause smog problem: Fires clear land for palm oil companies. ScienceDaily. Retrieved November 20, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/08/130827122909.htm
NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center. "Illegal fires set in Indonesia cause smog problem: Fires clear land for palm oil companies." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/08/130827122909.htm (accessed November 20, 2014).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Earth & Climate News

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Nations Pledge $9.3 Bn for Green Climate Fund

Nations Pledge $9.3 Bn for Green Climate Fund

AFP (Nov. 20, 2014) Nations meeting in Berlin pledge $9.3 billion (7.4 bn euros) for a climate fund to help poor countries cut emissions and prepare for global warming, just shy of a $10bn target. Duration: 00:46 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
What's The Point Of Climate Conferences?

What's The Point Of Climate Conferences?

Newsy (Nov. 20, 2014) There's optimism about the U.N.'s climate conference in Paris next year, and if climate conferences past are anything to go off, that's notable. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Giant Panda at Toronto Zoo Loves Somersaulting in the Snow

Giant Panda at Toronto Zoo Loves Somersaulting in the Snow

Buzz60 (Nov. 19, 2014) A giant panda at the Toronto Zoo named Da Mao is celebrating the northeast snowfall by playing and tumbling in the snow in his outdoor enclosure. Jen Markham has the story. Video provided by Buzz60
Powered by NewsLook.com
Scientists Find Out What's Been Killing Millions Of Starfish

Scientists Find Out What's Been Killing Millions Of Starfish

Newsy (Nov. 18, 2014) Scientists have found the cause of the biggest marine epidemic in history: the virus behind starfish wasting disease. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Plants & Animals

Earth & Climate

Fossils & Ruins

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins