The agriculture and forestry ministers of Southeast Asia have come to a consensus to work together in reducing and ultimately eliminating the practice of crop burning in the area. This decision was made due to the decline in air quality and the worry of transboundary haze.
During a meeting in Malaysia, the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) acknowledged the harmful effects of crop burning on the environment and public health. They also pledged to work together to decrease and eventually eliminate this practice.
The meeting acknowledged the necessity for long-term solutions to crop burning, such as implementing new and eco-friendly methods in agriculture.
The commitment is made in response to the unhealthy air quality observed in various areas of Malaysia in the past few days, following several weeks of increased pollution in Indonesia.
In a statement to Reuters, the environment minister of Malaysia urged Indonesia and ASEAN to address the declining air quality, holding them responsible for it.fi
Results from the practice of burning crops in Indonesia.
Every year during the dry season, smoke resulting from fires set to clear land for palm oil and pulp and paper plantations in Indonesia covers a significant portion of the surrounding area. This poses potential threats to public health and causes concern for tourism companies and airlines.
Several companies that possess these plantations are either foreign-owned or listed on foreign markets. Jakarta has refuted any reports of detecting smoke crossing over into Malaysia.
The ASEAN conference reached a consensus to create and execute educational initiatives and training programs regarding sustainable farming techniques, offering technical assistance for alternative approaches to clearing land.
The statement emphasized the need for teamwork, ongoing dedication, and cooperation among farmers, local communities, and relevant stakeholders in ASEAN countries.
The officials have also made a decision to assess and revise current rules and recommendations in order to gradually eliminate the utilization of antimicrobials in the production of food, according to a statement from Reuters.