Indonesia is home to the world's third-largest area of tropical forests.
And the country has received jarring criticisms by neighboring Southeast Asian nations and green activists for failing to stop the annual haze – the inevitable outcome of fires burning there during the dry season.
The guilty parties are mainly the pulp and paper and palm oil companies that are engaged in slash-and-burn clearing in the large forest concessions they own or lease.
Image credit: http://www.allsingaporestuff.com/article/haze-continue-2016-after-indon-failure-douse-forest-fires
In fact, between about June and October 2015, there were more than 100,000 fires.
Already, last year PT Kalista Alam was fined 366 billion rupiah in relation to fires in Aceh province in Sumatra.
On August 11, 2016, a Jakarta court found PT National Sago Prima, a unit of plantation company Sampoerna Agro negligent in relation to fires on 3,000 hectares of their concessions in Riau, also in Sumatra, in 2014, and handed down fines totaling 1.07 trillion rupiah ($81.62 million).
According to Indonesia’s environment ministry, five other lawsuits are currently being pursued by the government against companies linked to forest fires.
It is about time these irresponsible companies are made to pay dearly.
On Monday, I returned to the KL Advanced Toastmasters Club to deliver an Advanced speech from the Interpersonal Communication manual, a 10-14 minute assignment #3 Diffusing Verbal Criticism.