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Environmental disaster on Borneo

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From December 17, 2015 to January 17, 2016, the Galeria Fatahillah in Jakarta, Indonesia, is presenting Mencegah Bara (peat fire prevention), an exhibition of photography and art that draws attention to the recent environmental disaster on the island of Borneo.

During the months of September and October 2015, slow-burning, highly-pollutant peat fires over thousands of hectares of Borneo, produced a blanket of smog that covered two thirds of the world's third largest island, and spread to Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand and beyond. These yearly fires are man-made, but soon get out of control due to the nature of peat, which makes them extremely hard to put out until the monsoon rains arrive.

With the extreme drought conditions produced by this year's El Niño, the smog in 2015 reached record pollutant levels, was responsible for deaths among children and the elderly, caused respiratory problems for thousands, and produced economic losses in the billions.

While working on a Channel NewsAsia TV documentary covering what has already been called the biggest environmental crime of the 21st century, LFI photographer Björn Vaughn (LFI 6/2014, LensCulture.com) also captured some haunting stills that have circled the globe via social media, as well as numerous news sites such as the Jakarta Globe, BBC and VICE News. A selection of these pictures will be part of the Mencegah Bara exhibition.

Mencegah Bara, December 17, 2015 to January 17, 2016, Galeria Fatahillah, Lantai 2, Kantor Pos Taman Fatahillah, Jl. Taman Fatahillah No. 3, Jakarta 11110, Indonesia

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