Southeast Asian nations adopt smog monitoring program

By on October 21, 2013

In the midst of a severe air pollution crisis, Southeast Asian nations have adopted a new smog monitoring system aimed at increasing the accountability of the region’s plantation companies, Reuters reported.

The Association of Southeast Asian Nations agreed to adopt the Haze Monitoring System, which will allow regional governments to share satellite data and better locate the land-clearing fires responsible the region’s highest smog levels since 1997. The 10-member cooperative has been criticized in the past for failing to take punitive measures against the palm oil producers and other companies that own the razed land.

The Indonesian government apologized for the smog last June, and pledged to take action against eight Southeast Asian companies. The smog from the land-clearing fires has led to concern over public health and damaged regional tourism.

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