El Niño has hit Indonesia hard, bringing about extreme drought, loss of crops and fires. The last time El-Niño struck with comparable force, it cost Indonesia nearly 5bn US-dollars.
This time, economists expect this figure to be much greater.
Forest fires last year resulted in record tree loss around the globe – climate change and El Niño were major factors. This is bad news for the world's carbon sinks, since fires release CO2 into the atmosphere.
Indonesia has regularly grabbed headlines with its forest fires that have caused health and environmental problems across Southeast Asia. Although the fires can be predicted, they haven't so far been prevented. Why?
Indonesia's leading Islamic clerical body has issued a fatwa against the willful starting of forest fires in a bid to prevent the choking haze that smothered it and neighboring countries last year.
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