Clerics issue edict against forest fires
be against the law for any foreign donation to be accepted by any member of government.”
China’s rise and its sweeping claims to the South China Sea have seen a dramatic sharpening of SinoUS rivalry.
Australia has also become increasingly concerned about the purchase of domestic infrastructure and land by foreigners, and recently banned a sale of farmland by the country’s biggest private landowner to a Chinese-led consortium.
However, the government’s first foreign land register last week showed that British and US investors own far more agricultural land in Australia than Chinese nationals or companies do. – INDONESIA’S top Islamic religious body yesterday issued a fatwa (edict) against intentionally starting forest fires in a bid to stop the blazes that cloak the region in haze every year.
The religious edict by the Indonesian Ulama Council said it was haram, or against Islamic law, for Muslims to start fires on purpose in forests or on plantation land.
“The Koran states that we are not allowed to harm the environment, and forest burning causes damage not only to the environment but also to people’s health – even neighbouring countries are complaining,” said Huzaemah Tahido Yanggo, head of the body’s fatwa council.
The fires and subsequent smog occur annually to varying degrees in Sumatra island and the Indonesian part of Borneo during the dry season, to clear land for palm oil and pulpwood plantations.
The blazes last year were among the worst in memory and cloaked large parts of Indonesia, Malaysia and Singapore in choking smog.
Environment and Forestry Minister Siti Nurbaya Bakar welcomed the edict. A fatwa has no legal force and is aimed at encouraging the devout against taking a certain course of action.
But it remained unclear whether the latest edict would have any effect in the sprawling archipelago of more than 17,000 islands and 255 million inhabitants.
The council had previously issued a fatwa to protect the environment, including one against illegal hunting and trade in endangered animals in the biodiverse country, which environmentalists said was the world’s first.
Authorities plan to stop granting new land concessions for palm oil plantations, and have established a new agency to restore millions of hectares of carbon-rich peatlands susceptible to fires. –
This file photo shows smoke rising from cleared forestland in Pelalawan Regency, Riau province. Indonesia’s top Islamic clerical body has issued a fatwa against intentionally starting forest fires in a bid to stop the blazes that cloak Southeast Asia in haze every year.
Australian Labor Party Senator Sam Dastyari speaks to the media in Sydney on September 6 to make a public apology for asking a company with links to the Chinese government to pay a US$1273 bill incurred by his office.