The Southeast Asian transboundary haze is an almost yearly occurrence that’s been affecting multiple countries for decades. It’s caused by slash-and-burn agricultural practices, with fires engulfing vast areas of peatlands that are remarkably difficult to fully put out.
Slash-and-burn has long been a method used by small- to medium-scale land owners; after cutting down part of the vegetation on a piece of land, the rest is set on fire, with the resulting ash providing a nutrient-rich layer of topsoil for the next crop.
But with the practice also being adopted by large-scale palm oil plantations, this practice has become an environmental and health hazard, producing the transboundary pollution that many in Southeast Asia now experience.
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