Indonesia land-burning fines unpaid years after fires

Posted at 7:57 PM, Feb 14, 2019
and last updated 2019-02-14 19:57:13-05

JAKARTA, Indonesia (AP) — Environmentalists say Indonesian plantation companies fined for burning huge areas of land since 2009 have failed to pay hundreds of millions of dollars in penalties meant to hold them accountable for actions that took a devastating environmental and human toll.

Separate summaries of the cases compiled by Greenpeace and the Ministry of Environment and Forestry show the palm oil and pulp wood companies involved in fires owe more than $220 million in fines. The figure for unpaid penalties for environmental destruction swells to $1.3 billion when an illegal logging case from 2013 is included.

Indonesia's annual dry season fires were particularly disastrous in 2015, burning 2.6 million hectares (10,000 square miles) of land and spreading health-damaging haze across Indonesia, Singapore, southern Thailand and Malaysia.