Indonesia is one of the most richly biodiverse places on the planet, with countless species and others that have yet to be discovered. But fires that were set in June to clear land for agricultural development – which were whipped far beyond control by the El Nino meteorological conditions – turned an annual environmental concern into a global crisis. Nearly 120,000 fires have been counted so far, and the resulting haze spread across Southeast Asia. An estimated one-third of the remaining wild orangutans on Borneo were threatened by the fires, which destroyed 2 million hectares of forest land.
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