PUTRAJAYA: It looks like Indonesia is keeping its word to contain incidents of transboundary haze with just a small number of hotspots found in the country.
Natural Resources and Environment Minister Datuk Seri Dr Wan Junaidi Tuanku Jaafar said there had been positive response and commitment from Indonesia in addressing the haze situation.
He said compared with previous years, only a few hotspots were found in Sumatra and West Kalimantan so far this year.
“Indonesia is keeping its word to ensure forest fires and slash-and-burn activities on agricultural land are not rampant. We are pleased to see real efforts being made to minimise transboundary haze, which has affected its neighbours for years,” Dr Wan Junaidi told reporters after the ministry’s monthly gathering.
He added that significant rainfall was also helping the Indonesian authorities to minimise the haze.
The Air Pollutant Index for 27 locations in the country was good, with six recording moderate readings and most other areas recording very good readings.
Indonesia had given its assurance to Malaysia to tackle the issue during discussions held between Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak and President Joko Widodo.
During the recent Asean environment ministers’ meeting, Indonesia said 3,000 military and police personnel had been put on watch to monitor forest fires and open burning.
On another matter, Dr Wan Junaidi said there had yet to be any discussion to extend baby panda Nuan Nuan’s stay here after next year.
“We are aware of the costs incurred by Zoo Negara to keep the baby panda, but the decision to either return (to China) or extend its stay needs to be done by the Cabinet,” he said.
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