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Singapore ratifies Paris climate agreement at UN

Channel NewsAsia 21 Sep 16;

SINGAPORE: The Republic on Wednesday (Sep 21) formalised its pledge to fight climate change, with Foreign Affairs Minister Vivian Balakrishnan depositing Singapore’s instrument of ratification of the Paris Agreement at the United Nations (UN) headquarters in New York.

The Paris accord, sealed late last year in the French capital, commits countries to make plans to keep global warming at no more than 2°C above pre-industrial levels to try to avoid the worst effects of climate change.

Dr Balakrishnan signed the Paris Agreement on Apr 22 together with representatives of 174 other countries. According to a joint media statement by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA), the National Climate Change Secretariat (NCCS) on Wednesday, the ratification is a “further affirmation of our support and commitment for climate action”.

By ratifying the agreement, Singapore formalises its pledge to reduce its emission intensity by 36 per cent from 2005 levels by 2030 and stabilise emissions with the aim of peaking around 2030. MFA said this “pledge builds on our existing commitment to reduce, by 2020, greenhouse gas emissions by 16 per cent from the business-as-usual level, which Singapore is on track to meet”.

In July, Singapore released its Climate Action Plan, outlining the various measures to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions and enhance resilience to climate change.

The Paris agreement received a major boost earlier this month when China and the United States, the two largest emitters, jointly acceded to the deal during a summit between Presidents Barack Obama and Xi Jinping.

For the deal to take effect, 55 parties responsible for at least 55 per cent of global emissions of greenhouse gases must join the accord.

As of Tuesday, 29 parties behind 40 per cent of emissions have given their consent, according to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change.

Singapore is among at least 30 countries submitting their ratification at the UN General Assembly on Wednesday. The global body said other states include Latin American heavyweights Argentina, Brazil and Mexico, as well as Thailand, Bangladesh and major fossil fuel power the United Arab Emirates.

- CNA/AFP/ek

Singapore formally joins Paris climate change accord
Today Online 22 Sep 16;

SINGAPORE — Singapore formally joined the Paris climate change accord on Wednesday night (Sept 21, Singapore time), with Minister for Foreign Affairs Dr Vivian Balakrishnan depositing the Republic’s instrument of ratification for the landmark agreement at the United Nations.

“Singapore’s ratification of the Agreement is a further affirmation of our support and commitment for climate action,” said a joint statement issued by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the National Climate Change Secretariat under the Strategy Group of the Prime Minister’s Office last night.

“The unity of purpose demonstrated by the international community marks a major milestone in global climate action. It has contributed towards bringing the Agreement into force. Parties will now work towards its universal and effective implementation.”

The deposit of Singapore’s instrument of ratification during a High-level Event on the Entry into Force of the Agreement at the UN Headquarters organised by Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon follows the signing of the Agreement by Dr Balakrishnan in New York in April, together with representatives from 174 other countries.

The joint statement noted that by ratifying the Agreement, Singapore has formalised its pledge to reduce its Emissions Intensity by 36 per cent from 2005 levels by 2030 and to stabilise emissions with the aim of peaking around 2030.

“This pledge builds on our existing commitment to reduce, by 2020, greenhouse gas emissions by 16 per cent from the business-as-usual level, which Singapore is on track to meet. “

The Republic released its Climate Action Plan in July this year to outline the various measures to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions and enhance resilience to climate change. Improving energy efficiency will continue to be Singapore’s key strategy to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, said the joint statement.

There are plans to enhance energy efficiency across all sectors, including the power generation, industry, buildings, transport, household, waste and water sectors, added the joint statement.

The Paris accord, sealed late last year in the French capital, commits countries to make plans to keep global warming at no more than two degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels to try to avoid the worst effects of climate change.

To come into force, 55 parties responsible for at least 55 of global emissions of greenhouse gases must ratify the accord.

While more than 55 parties have now ratified the agreement, they only account for around 48 per cent of global emissions. The UN is pushing for the agreement to come into force later this year.

Paris climate deal poised to come into force
Today Online 22 Sep 16;

NEW YORK — Thirty-one countries, including Singapore, formally joined the Paris agreement on climate change last night, moving the landmark deal closer to reality.

The United Nations is confident that the agreement will come into force by the end of the year. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, who sees the climate deal as a centrepiece of his legacy, had begun a sustained push to win the formal approval of 55 countries representing 55 per cent of global emissions — the threshold needed to put the accord into force.

While more than 55 parties have now ratified the agreement, they account for only around 47.5 per cent of global emissions. “We have crossed one of the two thresholds,” Mr Ban declared last night. “We need 7.5 per cent more ... What once seemed impossible is now inevitable. I’m confident that by the time I leave office (at the end of this year) the Paris agreement will have entered into force,” he said.

Among the 31 countries that deposited their instruments of ratification at the UN yesterday were Argentina, Brazil, Mexico, Bangladesh, Singapore, Thailand and the United Arab Emirates. Before yesterday, 29 countries had ratified the agreement.

Complex and controversial international accords usually take several years to enter into legal force. But the haste on the Paris accord was driven at least in part by the looming American election.

Mr Donald Trump, the Republican candidate, has vowed to pull the United States out of the accord if he is elected. If the deal comes into legal force before the presidential inauguration, it will take four years under the accord’s rules for America to legally withdraw. That would keep the country bound to the measure through the first term of the next administration.

US Secretary of State John Kerry said last night he is confident of reaching the magic number of 55 per cent before the next UN climate conference, which starts on Nov 7 in Marrakech, Morocco. The conference will open one day before the US presidential elections.

Sealed late last year, the Paris accord commits countries to make plans to keep global warming at no more than 2°C above pre-industrial levels to try to avoid the worst effects of climate change.

The agreement received a major boost earlier this month when China and the US, the two largest emitters, jointly acceded to the deal during a summit between Presidents Barack Obama and Xi Jinping.

Another breakthrough in the quest for quick ratification came earlier in the month when the European Union, which accounts for about 10 per cent of global warming emissions, set an Oct 9 vote to join the agreement, with or without action by its member states. The bloc has pledged under the Paris agreement to cut its emissions 40 per cent from 1990 levels by 2030, but not all of its 28 member states are prepared to approve their individual climate pledges.

That push gained unexpected momentum earlier this week when Polish President Andrzej Duda declared before the UN General Assembly that he expected his government to legally join the deal this year. It had been widely expected that Poland, one of Europe’s heaviest coal polluters, would object to the broader European body’s effort to move forward without all of its member states.

“What is important is the heritage that we leave to our children and grandchildren — how they will remember us, and how they will write about us in the history books,” Mr Duda said.

“The EU might still be able to be part of history in the making if they endorse a fast-track ratification process and not have to wait for all 28 member states to complete their domestic process in order to commit to the deal. Late ratification would seriously be putting the EU’s reputation as a climate leader at risk,” said Ms Melissa Low, a research associate from the Energy Studies Institute at National University of Singapore .

She added that if the EU does not ratify the agreement soon, more pressure will be put on other major emitters such as Russia, India, Indonesia, Japan, Canada, Australia and South Korea to ratify the deal. AGENCIES WITH ADDITIONAL REPORTING BY ALBERT WAI

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Paris climate agreement poised to come into force

UN secretary general, Ban Ki-moon, predicts global climate deal will be fully ratified by the end of the year after 31 nations officially sign up in New York
Oliver Milman The Guardian 21 Sep 16;

The Paris climate agreement is on the brink of coming into force after 31 nations officially joined the landmark accord, with the United Nations secretary general, Ban Ki-moon, predicting it will be fully ratified by the end of the year.

On Wednesday, 31 countries formally signed up to the Paris deal at the UN general assembly in New York. They include Brazil, the world’s seventh largest emitter of greenhouse gases, Mexico, Argentina and Sri Lanka. Oil-rich United Arab Emirates also ratified the deal, as did nations considered particularly vulnerable to sea level rise, such as Kiribati and Bangladesh.

The pledges mean that a total of 60 countries, representing 47.7% of global emissions, have now formally joined the Paris agreement. The deal aims to limit the global temperature rise to 2C above pre-industrial levels, with an aspiration of keeping it to 1.5C.

A total of 55 nations representing at least 55% of global emissions need to sign up for the deal to come into force. The first of these thresholds has now been reached, with Ban and the US secretary of state, John Kerry, both predicting that the agreement will be fully implemented within months.

“I’m ever more confident that the Paris agreement will enter into force this year,” Ban said. “I appeal to all leaders to accelerate domestic arrangements to join this year.

“What once seemed impossible now seems inevitable. When this year ends, I hope we can all look back with pride knowing that we seized the opportunity to protect our common home.”

Video messages from Germany, France, the EU, Canada, Australia and South Korea among others all promised to ratify the Paris accord in the coming months. Should these promises be fulfilled, the agreement will pass the second threshold and come into force.

Australia, one of the largest per capita emitters, will make its “best endeavours to ratify” in 2016, said the country’s prime minister, Malcolm Turnbull. Barbara Hendricks, the German environment minister, said her country planned to ratify the deal “well ahead” of the next UN climate meeting in Marrakesh in November. The UK has made a similar commitment.

Kerry said it was an “exciting moment” but warned that the threat posed by climate change grows every day.

“The problem we continue to confront is growing,” he said. “Each day the planet is on this course, it becomes more dangerous.

“If anyone doubted the science, all they have to do is watch, sense, feel what is happening in the world today. High temperatures are already having consequences, people are dying in the heat, people lack water, we already have climate refugees.”

Kerry added that international climate negotiations have been a “long and frustrating path” since 1992 but that the Paris deal means that they are “finally becoming a story that we are proud to tell our grandchildren and future generations”.

The UN climate change chief, Patricia Espinosa, said: “This is an extraordinary momentum by nations and a clear signal of their determination to implement Paris now and raise ambition over the decades to come.”

A total of 195 nations put their name to the Paris deal and submitted promises to curb their greenhouse gas emissions. Several analyses have cast doubt over whether the pledged emissions cuts will be sufficient to prevent a 2C temperature increase, with concerns exacerbated by record-breaking heat experienced over the course of 2016

The warmest August on record was recorded last month, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration confirmed on Tuesday. The US government agency said last month was the 16th month in a row where temperature records were broken, with July being the single warmest month since modern record keeping began in 1880.

The soaring heat, which has retained much of its intensity despite the end of the El NiƱo climatic event, is unprecedented in at least 1,000 years and probably much longer, scientists have said.

But climate campaigners have said that the speed of the Paris deal ratification raises hopes that the world is finally swinging behind efforts to reduce emissions and prevent the worst ravages of a warming planet.

“The global community is rallying behind swift and ambitious action to combat climate change,” said Paula Caballero, global director of the World Resources Institute’s climate program.

“The fact that the Paris agreement will likely enter into force this year took everyone by surprise. This rapid pace reflects a spirit of cooperation rarely seen on a global scale.

“Today we pause and celebrate the important progress towards bringing the Paris agreement into force. Then we again pick up our shovels and continue the hard work of creating a safer and more prosperous planet.”

Paris climate accord closer after UN meeting
Shaun Tandon Yahoo News 22 Sep 16;

Smoke belches from a coal-fired power station near Datong, in China's northern Shanxi provinceView photos
Smoke belches from a coal-fired power station near Datong, in China's northern Shanxi province (AFP Photo/Greg Baker)
United Nations (United States) (AFP) - The landmark Paris agreement on climate change moved closer to reality Wednesday after 31 countries joined during the United Nations General Assembly.

UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon voiced confidence that the accord, through which countries commit to take action to stem the planet's rising temperatures, would come into force by the end of the year.

"The momentum is remarkable," said the outgoing UN chief, who convened a meeting on the Paris accord during the annual UN gathering of leaders.

"When the Paris agreement enters into force this year, it will be a major step forward on our journey for a more secure, more equitable and more prosperous future," Ban said.

The countries that joined the accord on Wednesday included Latin American powerhouses Argentina, Brazil and Mexico as well as major fossil-fuel powers Brunei and the United Arab Emirates.

Also submitting its ratification was Morocco, the host of the next UN climate conference which opens in Marrakesh on November 7.

Foreign Minister Salaheddine Mezouar said that Morocco was "strongly committed" to putting the Paris accord in force in time for the meeting.

The Paris agreement needs ratification from 55 countries that account for at least 55 percent of the planet's greenhouse gas emissions responsible for climate change.

With Wednesday's event, in which leaders ceremonially ratified the accord, a total of 60 countries have joined the Paris accord but they account for less than 48 percent of global emissions.

- Calls for more ambition -

The accord requires all countries to devise plans to achieve the goal of keeping the rise of temperatures within two degrees Celsius (3.6 Fahrenheit) above pre-industrial levels.

But Edgar Gutierrez, the environment and energy minister of Costa Rica, said that the level was not ambitious enough in light of evidence of worse-than-feared climate change, with last month the hottest August on record, extending the global record streak to 16 months.

Gutierrez called for countries to aim for 1.5 Celsius and warned that even a one-year delay in implementing the Paris accord could be too late for the planet.

"Climate change is already dangerous, it has already exceeded the capacity of many countries to adapt to it, we have already lost lives, we are losing species and we have lost lands and buildings," said Gutierrez, speaking on behalf of a troika of climate-vulnerable nations including Ethiopia and the Philippines.

Mattlan Zackhras, a senior official from the Marshall Islands, warned that despite pledges under the Paris accord the planet still looked on track for a rise of three degrees.

"This will wipe out my country and many island-states in the Pacific," he told reporters.

- EU set to seal accord -

Ban's office said that 14 other countries accounting for 12.58 percent of emissions had signaled they would ratify the accord this year, meaning the agreement is virtually certain to come into force, barring a widespread change of heart.

The European Union will enter the agreement "in the next weeks," Miguel Arias Canete, the 28-member bloc's commissioner for climate action and energy, told reporters.

China and the United States, the two largest emitters, gave a major boost to the accord when they signed on during a summit earlier this month between presidents Xi Jinping and Barack Obama.

Amid political opposition from the rival Republican Party, Obama has had to rely on executive actions including regulating power plants to cut emissions in the United States.

The US Senate refused to join the earlier Kyoto Protocol, leading the Democratic Obama administration to insist that the Paris agreement not be a formal treaty that would require Senate ratification.

Secretary of State John Kerry said that the United States "shared our part of the blame" for the years of difficulty in securing global action on climate change.

"It's one of the reasons why President Obama and I have been so focused and so committed to try to make up that difference and help us to get where we are today," Kerry said at the United Nations.

Kerry pointed to the string of record-breaking high temperatures, as well as rising incidence of disease and water scarcities, as reasons to be ambitious in cutting emissions.

"If ever anybody doubted science, all they have to do is watch, feel, sense what is happening in the world today," he said.

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August shatters global heat records for 16th month in a row

Kerry Sheridan Yahoo News 21 Sep 16;

Miami (AFP) - Last month was the hottest August in modern times and marked the 16th month in a row when global records for heat were shattered planet-wide, US authorities said Tuesday.

The string of unusual heat across land and sea surfaces is "the longest such streak in the 137-year record," said the monthly climate report by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

The NOAA report also found that global temperatures over the entire year so far have been "the highest on record."

Average temperature for the year across global land and ocean surfaces was 1.82 degrees Fahrenheit above the 20th century average of 57.3 F.

That was enough to surpass 2015, the previous record holder, by 0.29 F.

Climate scientists say the upward trend of heating is driven by the burning of fossil fuels, which add to greenhouse gases that trap heat around Earth.

The record heat trend has been exacerbated by the El Nino weather phenomenon, which boosted warmth in the Pacific around the equator in the first half of this year.

A separate analysis issued by NASA's Goddard Institute for Space Studies (GISS) on September 12 found that last month tied with July's record for the hottest month ever in the modern era.

"Monthly rankings, which vary by only a few hundredths of a degree, are inherently fragile," GISS director Gavin Schmidt said in a statement.

"We stress that long-term trends are the most important for understanding the ongoing changes that are affecting our planet."

- August records -

Taken alone, August's temperature across global land and ocean surfaces was 1.66 degrees Fahrenheit above the 20th century average of 60.1 F, NOAA reported.

"This was the highest for August in the 1880-2016 record, surpassing the previous record set in 2015 by 0.09 F," the government agency said.

Africa and Asia each saw record-high average temperatures for the month -- the hottest since continental records began in 1910.

"Much-warmer-than-average conditions engulfed the vast majority of the world's land surfaces," said the NOAA report.

"Record warmth during the first eight months was present across Alaska, western Canada, northern South America, central and southern Africa, southern Europe, Indonesia, and across parts of Central America, the Caribbean, northern and central Asia and Australia."

Bahrain experienced its second-warmest August since national records began in 1902, with an average temperature of 97.5 F -- or 4.3 F above average.

New Zealand has seen its hottest year since national records began in 1909.

- Hot water -

The world's oceans, which absorb much of the heat from the atmosphere, were the second-warmest on record, just a tad (0.04 F) behind 2015.

Record warmth was observed in the Atlantic along the US East Coast, the central southern Atlantic Ocean, and across parts of the western Indian Ocean and the western and southeastern Pacific Ocean, said NOAA.

"Cooler-than-average conditions were limited to small areas" of the Pacific, the southern Atlantic Ocean and the southeastern Indian Ocean.

The warming trend of El Nino subsided in July and neither El Nino nor La Nina, its cooling counterpart, are expected to prevail for the rest of this year.

In another troubling indicator for the planet, sea ice in the Arctic continued to retreat.

"The average Arctic sea ice extent for August was 23.1 percent below the 1981–2010 average," said NOAA.

"This was the fourth-smallest August extent since records began in 1979."

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Tree that fell into apartments flagged as risk

Melody Zaccheus, MyPaper AsiaOne 22 Sep 16;

A 12-storey high tree that crashed through five apartments at Pearl Bank Apartments in Outram on Sept 11 had been flagged as a risk by its management council more than a year ago.

Residents had been worried that the tree, a Purple Millettia that was more than 60 years old, would end up collapsing onto the building, its management council chairman Cecilia Seet told The Straits Times.

"We warned NParks (National Parks Board) and gave them feedback last August that the tree, in particular, was very tall.

"It stood on a slope and there are strong winds in the area... so we were very concerned for the safety of residents," she said.

While no one was hurt, some apartments suffered damage, with windows shattered, window grilles going off their hinges and bathroom fittings broken, for instance.

In response to queries, NParks said the tree was last inspected in February by its arborists, who found it healthy and did not observe any visible signs of damage or disease.

A month earlier, the tree had also been pruned to lighten the weight of the crown.

NParks noted reports of strong winds of at least 50kmh and rain over the weekend of Sept 10 and Sept 11, which it said probably weakened the tree.

After the incident, NParks also checked the trees around Pearl Bank Apartments last Tuesday and found them to be healthy.

The annual number of fallen branches and trees under NParks' management has dropped from more than 2,500 before 2004 to about 1,300, for the past decade or so.

An accountant living there who gave her name as Madam Seow, 48, said parts of her bedrooms and living room were damaged by the tree but is relieved that her family is safe.

NParks said it is in contact with residents whose windows were damaged during the early morning incident.

The tree that crashed was one of only two heritage Purple Millettia trees here.

NParks said all trees are inspected by staff who look out for abnormalities such as damage to the trunk, wood decaying fungi and broken branches, among other things.

If abnormalities are detected, staff will conduct a second level of inspection with equipment such as a sonic tomograph or resistograph to detect internal decay.

All trees are inspected every six to 24 months. Where necessary, crown reduction pruning is done to reduce the weight so that they can better withstand strong winds.

NParks group director of parks Chuah Hock Seong said it is not possible to eliminate the risk of tree falls, as even healthy trees can be affected by gusty winds and heavy rain.

- See more at:

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Malaysia: Bad Weather During King Tide Phenomenon Can Cause Severe Flooding - Experts

Erda Khursyiah Basir Bernama 22 Sep 16;

KUALA LUMPUR, (Bernama) -- The "king tide" that pounded coastlines in the west coast states of Peninsular Malaysia earlier this week and caused flooding in various areas took many people by surprise.

And, today, the Drainage and Irrigation Department warned that the exceptionally high tide is expected to return next month.

Since these high tides, also commonly referred to as king tides or spring tides, can be forecast, perhaps it is time for the relevant government agencies to put in place an early warning system so that coastal villagers are placed on alert for bigger-than-usual tides and possible flooding.


Head of Physical and Geological Oceanography Laboratory at Universiti Malaysia Terengganu's Institute of Oceanography and Environment Asso Prof Dr Mohd Fadzil Mohd Akhir said although the Malaysian Meteorological Department could forecast king or spring tides and also the height of the sea level, the recent phenomenon took everyone by surprise due to the unexpected weather conditions.

"The high-tide phenomenon is predictable and it occurs every year... but this time in the west coast, the high waves were accompanied by strong wind and heavy rain, which caused the sea water to overflow and flood some of the coastal villages. The wind is an important factor because the rough sea can cause waves to rise in height and sea water to spill over (low-lying areas)," he explained.

Mohd Fadzil said the recent phenomenon in the west coast had opened the eyes of the authorities and made them more aware of the dangers inherent in coastal areas during the high-tide season and inclement weather.

He added that the king tide phenomenon was common in countries like Vietnam and Indonesia, as well as in some parts of China where the tidal bore phenomenon was a tourist attraction. (A tidal bore, which occurs along a coast where a river empties into the sea, is a strong tide that pushes up the river, against the current.)

"The king tide phenomenon is also common in the United States and United ingdom... in fact, statistics have shown that in the last 10 years, there had been an increase in tidal flooding," he told Bernama.


According to a Bernama report, as of yesterday a total of 1,089 residents from various areas on the west coast that were hit by the high-tide phenomenon were evacuated to several relief centres.

Science, Technology and Innovation Minister Datuk Seri Madius Taugau was reported to have said yesterday that strong southwesterly wind of between 40kmph and 50kmph and strong waves that reached a height of 3.5 metres had contributed to the rising sea level during the high-tide phenomenon.

He also said that the ongoing southwest monsoon, the full moon and the moon orbiting closest to Earth (a state known as perigee) were other causes for the rising sea level.

Institute of Ocean and Earth Sciences (IOES) deputy director Prof Datuk Dr Azizan Abu Samah concurred that the effects of the recent high-tide phenomenon were compounded by the strong southwesterly wind.

He explained that what had occurred was a spring tide, which was usually caused by the gravitational pull of the full moon or new moon.

"When the phenomenon occurred (in the west coast of Peninsular Malaysia), we had just entered the full moon phase. But this time the strong southwesterly wind made the situation worse," he said.


According to Azizan, king tides (that are higher than spring tides) occur when the Earth was in alignment with the moon and the sun.

"King tides can cause the sea level to rise very high and cause serious flooding, as had happened in Terengganu and Sarawak previously," he said.

Touching on the diurnal and semidiurnal tidal cycles, Azizan said the diurnal tidal cycle could also cause waves to rise higher and cause flooding, as was the case in December 2014 when the east coast states were hit by severe floods.

(The diurnal tidal cycle, which occurs in June and December, is characterised by a single high tide every 24 hours, while the semidiurnal tidal cycle, which occurs in March and September, is characterised by two high tides occurring daily about 12 hours apart.)

Since the authorities could forecast high tides, Azizan suggested that the public check out websites like to get the relevant information on king tides or spring tides.

In Sarawak, the state Department of Irrigation and Drainage's website provides information (such as date, time and predicted tide level) on king tide periods for the whole year.

The information is obtained from the Sarawak Government Almanac (an annual calendar containing important dates and statistical information such as astronomical data and tide tables), based on the computations by the Sarawak Marine Department.


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Amazon forest fire threatens natives, wildlife in Peru

AFP Yahoo News 22 Sep 16;

Lima (AFP) - An enormous fire is destroying vast stretches of the Amazon rainforest in Peru, threatening natives and wildlife, officials said, blaming traditional slash-and-burn farming.

The fire broke out on September 10 in an indigenous community called Pitsiquia, in the heart of the Peruvian Amazon, said the National Civil Defense Institute.

It has since destroyed more than 19,000 hectares (47,000 acres) of forest -- an area more than three times the size of Manhattan -- and another 200 hectares of farmland in the Junin region, said the disaster response agency.

"We still have not managed to bring it under control," it said in a statement.

Air pollution caused by smoke is causing eye problems for inhabitants, said local health authorities.

The fire is in an extremely remote region known as VRAEM, an acronym for the Apurimac, Ene and Mantaro river valleys.

The area is known for its isolation, dense rainforest and tropical crops -- coffee, cocoa and the country's largest tracts of coca, the raw ingredient for cocaine.

Authorities are worried the fire could wreak chaos on a major indigenous reserve, home to native communities that have limited contact with the outside world, and spread to the Otishi National Park nearby.

"The focus of the fire, the most dangerous part, has entered the Ashaninka reserve. It's advancing very quickly," said Jimmy Laura, a spokesman for the Rio Tambo municipal district.

"If the fire crosses the reserve, it will reach the national park," he told AFP.

The reserve is home to some 5,000 people in 10 communities.

Officials said a drought had left the region vulnerable. The fire then broke out when local farmers were burning a pasture to clear it for planting.

"Unfortunately, this practice can get out of control," said Marco Pastor, an adviser at the national parks service.

He said a newly launched Peruvian satellite, PeruSAT-1, was being used to monitor the fire and assess the damage.

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