— This is the script of CNBC's news report for China's CCTV on September 20, 2019, Friday.
This forest wildfire and haze caused lost to many aspects, apart from casualties, the biodiversity around the wildfire was affected as well, related institutions are trying to protect the endangered Orang Utan.
The fires have also disrupted production of palm trees and factories, because smoke and haze weaken photosynthesis, some commercial crop, such as palm may cost more time to ripen. Some southeast countries including Singapore have cancelled many flights because of the smog, according to Indonesian local reports; some foreign tour groups also cancelled their trip to Indonesia. Additionally, the pollution is harming the health of people in affected countries and causes economy loss.
At current stage, it's hard to calculate the specific loss of forest fire and haze pollution, but it has become the most serious one since the haze crisis in Southeast Asia happened in 2015. In the haze crisis in September 2015, the loss of Indonesia alone amounted to about $16 billion,
which covers the impact to agriculture, forestry, trading, tourism and transportation, as well as the influence to school closure, emergency response, firefighting and environment.
As for the specific causes of smog and who should be responsible for it are still in controversial among Indonesia and Malaysia these affected countries, but most believes it is because Indonesian farmers and other people who is involved in related commercial activities burnt the rainforest.
In Indonesia, people burn the banana tree every summer, which is a slash-and-burn method, and it is a historic activity. Analysts believe, because of the development of palm oil industry, this problem has been hard to solve.
An Indonesian local Research Company released a report recently, pointing out that the palm oil industry is responsible for at least 39 percent of the forest loss on the Indonesian island of Borneo between 2000 and 2018, and that is even a conservative estimation.
Palm oil industry plays an important role in Indonesia economy, now Indonesia is the biggest palm oil exporter in the world, Indonesia and Malaysia, who comes as the second, account for 85% global palm oil outputs. Indonesian related authorities said there is no fact can prove that the palm oil industry should be blamed for the fire and smog, but they did admit this forest fire was caused by people.
Now people are more concerned how long will the fire and smog last, but unfortunately, drought and high temperatures of this year have created challenges for both firefighting and artificial rainfall, what's more, many of the fires in Indonesia are in so-called peatlands, where the accumulation of organic matter is so rich that it can burn for months or even years. So the impact is expected to continue for some time.