After 12 years, Indonesia finally ratifies transboundary haze agreement

19 September 2014

Indonesia ended 12 years of stalling this week, becoming the last ASEAN nation to ratify an agreement on transboundary haze. As smoke from more than 1,200 fires in Sumatra and Kalimantan pushed air pollution in neighboring Singapore to 'unhealthy' levels, the Indonesian House of Representatives ratified the 2002 ASEAN Agreement on Transboundary Haze Pollution (AATHP).

The move comes shortly after Singapore approved a bill allowing them to fine foreign companies responsible for producing haze, even if the activities occur outside of the country. The bill is aimed squarely at companies operating in Indonesia who's land clearing last year pushed Singapore's pollution index to a record setting 401. (Anything over 300 is considered 'hazardous'). Singapore again reached 100 this week—an 'unhealthy' level at which officials warn individuals should, "reduce prolonged or strenuous outdoor physical exertion."

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