Indonesia’s highest Islamic authority recently criticized plantation companies and farmers who use the illegal slash-and-burn method, claiming it is “haram.”
The Indonesian Ulema Council (MUI) and the nation’s environment ministry are said to be discussing ways to enforce laws against illegal burning of land and forests. Government officials confirmed that MUI was planning to issue a fatwa on this matter, which would hopefully discourage companies from causing further environmental damages.
For those who don’t know, a fatwa is a ruling on a point of Islamic law given by a recognized authority. “There was a meeting between the environment minister and the Indonesian Clerics’ Council, which issued fatwa no 30/2016 about forest and land burning laws,” ministry spokesman Novrizal Tahar told Reuters.
In addition, both parties believe that the proposed ruling would increase the people’s awareness on forest fires and get them to start taking action. “This fatwa will make religious leaders and the general public […] care and start to take responsibility to end forest burning in their area,” said the head of environmental protection Hayu Prabowo.
For the past few years Indonesia has been making efforts to tackle forest fires, one of the nation’s most detrimental environmental issues. Last year Indonesia faced one of the archipelago’s worst forest fires in history that caused thousands to suffer from serious respiratory conditions.
Featured image via Wikicommons; Video via Seeker Daily