Trends in Environmental Studies in Southeast Asia: Transboundary Haze

Varkkey, H. (2017) Trends in Environmental Studies in Southeast Asia: Transboundary Haze. In: International Convention of Asia Scholars 2017 (ICAS 10), 20-23 July 2017, Chiang Mai International Exhibition and Convention Centre (CMECC), Chiang Mai, Thailand.

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Environmental politics is part of an emerging and exciting field of study in Southeast Asia. The literature on politics and governance in Southeast Asia and ASEAN has for many years been overwhelmingly dominated by ‘hard’ issues of security and economics, and not so much by ‘soft’ issues like the environment. This is unsurprising considering that ASEAN was founded primarily to accelerate economic growth and political security in the region. However of course, hand in hand with the increased rates of environmental deterioration and pollution in various Southeast Asian countriesover the years, the academic attention to issues of the environment in the region has slowly increased as well. Before the serious episodes of haze in the late 1990s, water management in the Mekong dominated what little environmental conversations that were happening among scholars of the region. However, the environmental ‘disaster’ that was the haze grabbed local, regional and even global attention and this has translated to an increased interest in ASEAN scholars to think and write about this issue. Haze is defined by the ASEAN Secretariat as “sufficient smoke, dust, moisture, and vapour suspended in the air to impair visibility”. In Southeast Asia, most of this haze originates from land and forest fires in Indonesia and to a lesser extent Malaysia. These fires can either occur naturally or are intentionally lit to quickly and cheaply clear land for small scale or commercial agriculture like pulp and paper and palm oil. Haze becomes transboundary when “its density and extent is so great at the source that it remains at measurable levels after crossing into another country’s airspace”.

Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Paper)
Additional Information: Conference paper
Uncontrolled Keywords: Environmental politics; Southeast Asia; Pollution; ASEAN
Subjects: G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation > GE Environmental Sciences
H Social Sciences > H Social Sciences (General)
Divisions: Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences
Depositing User: Mr. Mohd Safri
Date Deposited: 25 Aug 2017 02:04
Last Modified: 25 Aug 2017 02:04

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