As Indonesian forests burn, new anti-fire agency feels the heat


AS FOREST fires raged like never before across Indonesia last year, President Joko Widodo announced he was setting up a special agency to tackle the annual scourge that shrouds parts of South-east Asia in choking haze.

But, with this season's fires already blazing, the Peatlands Restoration Agency has barely got off the ground and has a huge task ahead of it.

Nazir Foead, who was appointed to lead the body, told Reuters it needed at least US$1 billion in funding over five years, but that the government was unlikely to allocate a budget for another two months.

Mr Foead, an environmental expert who was formerly the World Wildlife Fund's conservation director in Indonesia, so far has just a...

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