This is from the CNN article:
For around two decades, large paper and palm oil plantations have farmed the rich peatlands that run along the Sumatran coast of Indonesia and the island of Borneo.Every year, existing farmland is dried out and burned for the next season's crop and to clear surrounding forests for expansion. The fires are large and hard to control. The dry, carbon dioxide-rich peatlands can burn for many weeks.At times, the AQI in Indonesia has reached as high as 1,000, with visibility falling below 100 meters (328 feet).Authorities in Indonesia have long tried to put a stop to the illegal practice, and those found guilty can be fined up to 10 billion rupiah ($700,000), while managers of firms doing the burning can face up to 10 years in jail. Despite this however, the fires have continued. Dozens of people have been arrested over suspected involvement in massive forest fires in Indonesia, where thousands of hectares of ecologically rich land have been burned, engulfing the region in a thick toxic haze.
The fires have impacted the lives of people across the region. Singapore and Malaysia have both choked in a dense haze all week as a result of the fires, with air quality reaching unhealthy levels.More than 600 schools have closed in Malaysia because of the air pollution, affecting hundreds of thousands of students, according to the Singapore-based Straits Times. Indonesian President Joko Widodo said Tuesday that 52 planes were conducting water bombing operations against the forest fires and 5,500 additional personnel were deployed in haze-hit Riau province on Sumatra.
This is incredibly sad, also for the loss of wildlife. Any soapmaker that uses palm oil has no reason to. They are promoting the deforestation of these areas and are contributing to the decline of some endangered species which I find incredibly sad. All because palm oil is known to make a harder bar of soap - and it's super cheap compared to the other oils. Always ask your soapmaker if they use palm oil, and find another one if they do.