Indonesian Haze: Reading Practice 1 (news)

By | September 17, 2015

Indonesia, Singapore and Malaysia are choking under a thick haze of smog caused by the annual burning of land for the production of pulp, paper and palm oil on the island of Sumatra, in western Indonesia and Borneo.

The smog has become so bad the Indonesian government has declared a state of emergency in Riau province, one of the worst affected areas.

It’s a persistent, annual problem that disrupts lives, costs the governments of Indonesia, Singapore and Malaysia billions of dollars, and leaves millions of people at risk of respiratory and other diseases. The land that burns is also extremely carbon rich, raising Indonesia’s contribution to climate change.

For 18 years, large pulp and paper and palm oil plantations have farmed the rich peatlands that run along the Sumatran coast of Indonesia and Borneo Island.

Every year, existing farmland is burned for the next season’s crop and to clear surrounding forests for expansion. The fires are large and hard to control and when dry, the CO2 rich peatlands can burn for many weeks.

“Those big scale companies are also eager to expand their operations into the adjacent peatland,” said Yuyun Indradi, from Greenpeace Indonesia.

“Whether they deliberately set the fire, or they can also ask people in the communities around their areas to burn the land, that’s also a possibility. And then at the end, those burned areas are proposed as the expansion of their plantation.”

CNN Meteorologist, Tom Sater, said there are as many as 1,143 hot spots along the Sumatran coast at present where fires are burning. This year’s strong El Nino has also exacerbated the problem, creating extra dry conditions that fan the flames.

1. The text is about … .
A. smog hanging over South Asian countries
B. land burning on the Island of Sumatra
C. people irresponsibly setting fire in the forest
D. burned areas of forest as the expansion of plantation
E. peatlands that burn for many many weeks

2. According to the news, the haze problem happens … .
A. everyday
B. every month
C. every year
D. every two years
E. every three years

3. Who is to blame for the burning of land in Indonesia?
A. everyone
B. farmers
C. land owners
D. paper companies
E. plantation owners

4. Why has the Indonesian government declared a state of emergency?
A. A large number of people are affected
B. The smog has become so bad
C. Firefighters can’t extinguish the flames
D. Riau is one of the worst affected areas
E. Indonesia has become a victim

5. The forest fire in Indonesia contributes to the climate change. How?
A. It has released carbon on a large scale
B. The fires are large and hard to control
C. Large companies burn land for expansion
D. The fires have increased the air temperature
E. The whole world is severely affected by the haze

6. What has made things worse?
A. geography
B. temperature
C. storms
D. El Nino
E. the wind

7. A Greenpeace Indonesia activist implicitly states that the fires … .
A. are set on purpose
B. accidentally happen
C. are natural
D. are part of tradition
E. rarely happen in Indonesia

The original source of the text is http://edition.cnn.com/2015/09/17/asia/indonesian-haze-southeast-asia-pollution/index.html

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