Clean air is a fundamental human right. It's the right to fill our lungs with air that invigorates rather than endangers, that rejuvenates rather than harms. But a cloud of haze from forest fires has been a threat polluting the skies of Malaysia for decades.
The good news is we can stop haze pollution before it's too late. But we don't have much time.
Forest fires are man-made disasters that could have been prevented. In Southeast Asia, these are mainly caused as forests are being fragmented and cleared, and peatlands are being drained to make way for large-scale plantations, primarily for palm oil plantations or pulpwood. Many of the responsible companies that contribute to haze locally and globally are not being held accountable.
Although the ASEAN meeting on transboundary haze pollution was held early June in 2023 to discuss the development of a new version of the transboundary haze roadmap, now is the time to remind the minister that Malaysia must do its part by enacting a domestic Transboundary Haze Pollution Act (THPA). The domestic THPA must compel companies to pay reparations to victims of transboundary haze pollution, as well as accelerate preventive action in hotspot areas through health support.
Haze pollution will be harmful and benefit only the few, it's time to ensure companies operate responsibly. Sign our petition and join us in calling on a domestic THPA.
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