The recurring outbreaks of smog-belching forest fires in Indonesia have caused air quality to plummet in the region. Experts say the fires will only be extinguished once the rainy season starts in October.
Land and forest fires are becoming very common in Indonesia. International environment watchdog Greenpeace says the government needs to strictly enforce laws against responsible parties.
At least two protesters have died as Indonesian students have mobilized the largest demonstrations in two decades against a new set of proposed conservative laws they say will discriminate against women and minorities.
Fires can be catastrophic in rainforests such as the Amazon, but they don't necessarily spell disaster everywhere — sometimes they help replenish ecosystems. There is even life that needs heat and fire to survive.
A World Bank forest rescue program has been given a multi-million "kickstart" by Germany. Norway has done a deal with Gabon that it sustains its tropical forests to absorb carbon dioxide and help avert climate warming.
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