Haze unlikely in 2019 despite developing El Nino: Indonesian official

Audrey Tan Straits Times 14 Dec 18;

KATOWICE, POLAND - South-east Asia would likely be spared the scourge of haze in 2019, despite predictions of a developing El Nino that could bring drier-than-usual conditions to the region next year, said an Indonesian official this week.

"We are very convinced...that we can handle this," Mr Nazir Foead, chief of Indonesia's Peatland Restoration Agency, told The Straits Times on Thursday (Dec 13), on the sidelines of the ongoing United Nations climate talks in the Polish city of Katowice.

Pointing to stepped-up efforts to protect Indonesia's fire-prone landscape in the aftermath of the 2015 crisis, as well as improved coordination between parties including the government, communities and fire fighters, he added that he was confident that the region would not suffer haze as severe as it was that year.

"We cannot say that there will not be fires, but there will be fewer incidents, and they will be put out much quicker," Mr Foead said.

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Indonesia: Preserving coral reefs means protecting livelihoods in coastal region

Fardah Assegaf Antara 15 Dec 18;

Jakarta (ANTARA News) - Indonesian waters occupy at least 70 percent of its national territory, and in most parts of the country, there are numerous people who earn a livelihood related to and dependent on the oceans.

The world`s largest archipelagic country with a 260-million population and over 17 islands has 5.8 million square kilometers of marine territory, and some 92 thousand km-long beach and coastal areas, or the world`s second longest coast line after Canada.

Indonesia has various coral reefs, which are spread across an area of 25 thousand square kilometers, or around 10 percent of the world`s coral reefs measuring 284,300 square kilometers.

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