Burned to the Ground

Two months of raging fires in Indonesia—a consequence of slash and burn land-clearing to grow palm for palm oil production—have triggered environmental and health crises in the country.

Slash and burn-generated smog has forced the closure of some public services, and an estimated 500,000 cases of respiratory illnesses have been reported.

Providing community farmers with legal access to state forestland could help to reduce destructive agricultural burning, write Kate Schecter and Edd Wright, with the development agency World Neighbors.

They maintain that educating growers in sustainable farming techniques is also key to preventing mass deforestation.

Foreign Affairs

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