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Indonesia 2019 forest fire destruction far worse than official estimate - study

By Fathin Ungku SINGAPORE (Reuters) - Indonesia's devastating forest fires in 2019 burned nearly twice as much land as was officially reported, according to a recent study,...
Indonesia 2019 forest fire destruction far worse than official estimate - study © Reuters. FILE PHOTO: A motorcyclist drives on a road through land destroyed by forest fires near Banjarmasin in South Kalimantan province, Indonesia, September 29, 2019. REUTERS/Willy Kurniawan

By Fathin Ungku

SINGAPORE (Reuters) - Indonesia's devastating forest fires in 2019 burned nearly twice as much land as was officially reported, according to a recent study, raising concerns among environmental campaigners over the government's transparency regarding deforestation.

The Southeast Asian country, which has the largest rainforests outside of the Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN) and Congo, has razed large swathes of land to accommodate its palm, pulp and paper industries.

The fires in 2019 blanketed Indonesia and the region with haze, causing 900,000 people to report respiratory illnesses and costing $5.2 billion in losses, the World Bank said https://www.reuters.com/article/us-indonesia-environment-idUSKBN1YF0FJ.

The study published in the Earth System Science Data journal in November found 3.1 million hectares (7.7 million acres) were burned in 2019 - an area bigger than Belgium - compared to 1.6 million hectares reported by the forestry ministry.

"We observed a larger damaged area than official estimates because ground-breaking technology enabled us to detect more small burns and more very large ones," one of the study's authors, David Gaveau, told Reuters.

"We used better satellite data, machine learning and Google (NASDAQ:GOOGL)'s super-computers."

Nonetheless, in line with official data, the study found that the rate of deforestation in Indonesia had fallen over the last four years, though its calculations differed, Gaveau said.

When Gaveau first reported his findings in December 2019, Indonesian authorities said his research was not credible as it was not peer reviewed at the time.

Gaveau said he had sent the latest peer reviewed findings to the Ministry of Environment and Forestry.

An official in charge of forest fires at the ministry did not immediately respond to requests from Reuters seeking comment.

The ministry has previously said it is committed to reducing deforestation although it cannot completely stop it as clearing land is needed for development.

Instead, it aims to achieve a "carbon net sink" https://www.reuters.com/business/cop/indonesia-says-wants-reduce-deforestation-not-completely-end-it-2021-11-05 in its forestry sector by 2030, meaning that the sector will absorb more greenhouse gas emissions than it emits.

Wahyu Perdana, a campaigner at environmental rights group WALHI, urged the government to ensure it was transparent about deforestation data.

"Weak transparency will have an impact on... law enforcement," Perdana said. "Weak law enforcement in the case of forest fires will make it difficult to suppress deforestation."

Greenpeace Indonesia forest campaigner Asep Komarudin also said transparency was important to avoid potential issues with international fund transfers for forest nations under global climate agreements.

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29-01-2022 05:15:32 (UTC+7)

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 EUR/USD1.1150↑ Sell
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 USD/CAD1.2764Sell
 EUR/JPY128.46Sell
 EUR/CHF1.0381↑ Sell
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 Silver22.485↑ Buy
 Copper4.3297↑ Sell
 Crude Oil WTI87.31Buy
 Brent Oil89.00Buy
 Natural Gas4.667↑ Sell
 US Coffee C235.85↑ Sell
 Euro Stoxx 504,136.91↑ Buy
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 DAX15,318.95Buy
 FTSE 1007,466.07Neutral
 Hang Seng23,550.08↑ Buy
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 IBEX 358,609.80↑ Buy
 BASF68.510↑ Buy
 Bayer52.83↑ Buy
 Allianz227.80↑ Buy
 Adidas236.15↑ Buy
 Lufthansa6.791↑ Buy
 Siemens AG138.34↑ Buy
 Deutsche Bank AG11.912↑ Buy
Mua/Bán 1 chỉ SJC
# So hôm qua # Chênh TG
SJC Eximbank6,170/ 6,230
(0/ 0) # 1,327
SJC HCM6,180/ 6,250
(0/ 0) # 1,333
SJC Hanoi6,180/ 6,252
(0/ 0) # 1,335
SJC Danang6,180/ 6,252
(0/ 0) # 1,335
SJC Nhatrang6,180/ 6,252
(0/ 0) # 1,335
SJC Cantho6,180/ 6,252
(0/ 0) # 1,335
Cập nhật 29-01-2022 05:15:35
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Sản phẩmVùng 1Vùng 2
RON 95-IV2486025350
RON 95-II,III
E5 RON 92-II2359024060
DO 0.05S1890019270
DO 0,001S-V1925019630
Dầu hỏa1779018140
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$ Tỷ giá Vietcombank
Ngoại tệMua vàoBán ra
USD22.470,0022.780,00
EUR24.449,3926.003,22
GBP29.369,5930.841,11
JPY189,35201,87
KRW16,1119,77
Cập nhật lúc 17:10:59 29/01/2022
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