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阴霾笼罩马来西亚

Malaysia Haze Points to a Regional Problem
阴霾笼罩马来西亚

KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia — For much of the year, the Petronas Towers, the world’s tallest twin buildings, are gleaming landmarks visible far from the city center here. But last weekend, the 88-story structures were shrouded in a smoky haze that prompted doctors to warn people with respiratory problems to wear masks.

吉隆坡,马来西亚——在一年的大多数时间里,人们都能从远离市中心的地方看到那座闪闪发亮的地标性建筑——双子塔,世界上最高的双子建筑。但是上周末,这座88层高的建筑被阴霾笼罩,医生不得不警告患有呼吸系统疾病的人戴上面具。

The haze, attributed mostly to fires burning on the Indonesian island of Sumatra, has become a recurring summer blight, engulfing parts of Malaysia, Thailand, Brunei and Singapore, and leaving a litany of health and economic costs in its wake.

这些阴霾主要来自印度尼西亚苏门答腊岛的大火,已经成为夏日常态,祸及马来西亚、泰国、文莱以及新加坡的部分地区,造成了一连串的健康问题和经济损失。
 

Experts say that some progress has been made in the 15 years since the Association of Southeast Asian Nations first pledged to combat the problem, after one of the worst forest fires in the region’s history. That fire was traced to the clearing of land by burning in Indonesia.

专家说,15年前印尼因烧荒而引发了该地区史上最严重的森林火灾,当时东南亚国家联盟(Association of Southeast Asian Nations)第一次承诺解决这一问题,自此之后,情况确实有所改善。

But experts say far more must be done before the area will see clearer skies, including better law enforcement and international cooperation.

但专家表示,该地区想要重见蓝天,还有许多工作要做,包括加强执法以及国际合作。

The haze that hit Kuala Lumpur last weekend was the worst so far this year, according to Halimah Hassan, director general of Malaysia’s Department of Environment, with readings on the air pollution index exceeding the threshold for unhealthy.

马来西亚环境部(Malaysia’s Department of Environment)部长哈莉玛·哈森(Halimah Hassan)表示,上周末侵袭吉隆坡的阴霾是今年以来最严重的,空气污染指数超过了不健康指数界限。

By Monday, winds had begun pushing the haze north. Asean’s Web site on the haze reported that the smoke was also affecting southern Thailand early last week.

周一,大风已经开始将阴霾向北推移。与阴霾相关的东盟网站报道说,上周早期,阴霾还影响到了泰国的南部地区。

The skies over Kuala Lumpur were clearer on Friday, and pollution levels in the capital had dropped to mostly moderate levels. But unhealthy levels were reported in Miri, in Sarawak State, on the island of Borneo, because of a peat fire that started in the area on Thursday.

周五,吉隆坡的天空趋于晴朗,大部分区域的污染降低到了中等水平。但加里曼丹岛沙捞越州米里地区的空气污染达到了危害健康水平,原因是周四爆发了泥炭火灾。

Ms. Halimah warned that the haze could continue to be a problem in the coming months, given predictions of dry weather and southwesterly winds until September.

哈莉玛女士警告说,阴霾可能会持续几个月,原因是干燥的气候和西南风预计会延续到9月。

The environment department has imposed a blanket ban on open fires in Malaysia and has increased efforts to control local sources of air pollution. However, Ms. Halimah said, fires in Indonesia were primarily responsible for pushing the air pollution index to unhealthy levels.

马来西亚环境部下达了有关野外用火的全面禁令,并且加大了控制本地污染源的力度。不过,哈莉玛女士说,印尼的火灾才是导致空气污染指数达到不健康水平的主要因素。

A major source of smoke, researchers say, are fires set on palm oil and rubber plantations, primarily in Sumatra, to get rid of old trees and to clear land for new plantations.

研究人员称,阴霾的主要成因是焚烧棕榈树和橡胶种植园的举动,目的是清除老树,腾出土地种植新树。这样的举动主要出现在苏门答腊岛。

The 1997 forest fires in Indonesia smothered Southeast Asia in its worst haze in decades, with another severe episode occurring in 2005, said Euston Quah, a professor of environmental economics at Nanyang Technological University in Singapore.

新加坡南洋理工大学环境经济学教授柯仲佑(Euston Quah)说,1997年发生在印度尼西亚的森林火灾,产生了数十年来最严重的阴霾,使东南亚地区陷入窒息状态。2005年又发生了一场严重的火灾。

The 1997 haze cost Indonesia, Singapore, Malaysia and southern Thailand $4.5 billion, including from health costs and a decline in tourism, Mr. Quah said. In response, Asean members developed a Regional Haze Action Plan to monitor and combat the pollution caused by land and forest fires. In 2002, they signed the Asean Agreement on Transboundary Haze Pollution.

柯先生表示,1997年的阴霾给印度尼西亚,新加坡,马来西亚以及泰国南部造成了45亿美元的损失,其中包括医疗费用以及旅游业下滑的损失。为了监测并战胜由地火和山火引起的污染,东南亚联盟成员国创建了地区阴霾控制计划。2002年,各国又签署了《东盟跨国界阴霾控制协定》。

Ten years later, Indonesia remains the only country in the bloc not to have ratified the agreement. However, at an Asean meeting in May, environment ministers said that Indonesia had begun the process of ratification, according to a statement on the body’s Web site.

10年之后,印度尼西亚仍然是东盟中唯一一个没有批准该协定的国家。然而,东盟网站上的一份声明显示,在5月份一次东盟会议上,各国环境部的部长说,印尼已经启动了批准协定的进程。

Mr. Quah said he believed that the Indonesian government was not ready to meet the terms of the agreement. For example, he said, it would have to demonstrate a speedy response from all levels of government when fires broke out, a challenging task in the huge archipelago.

柯先生说,他认为印尼政府还没有准备好履行协议中的规定。他说,比如,当火灾爆发时,各级政府必须迅速应对,这对于这个庞大的群岛国家来说是个挑战。

At the May meeting, the Asean ministers noted that Indonesia had reduced the number of hot spots, areas with the potential for uncontrolled fires, but environmental experts say that better law enforcement is needed.

在5月的会议上,东盟的各位部长称印尼已经减少了失控火灾热点地区的数量,环境专家则说,印尼还需要加强执法。

While clearing land by burning is now banned in Indonesia, Mr. Quah said he was not aware of a single case in which a plantation owner had been prosecuted for a fire set on his property. He said the government should also provide incentives for villagers to report fires before they get out of control.

印尼已经禁止烧荒,柯先生却说,他还没听说过种植园主因为在自己土地上放火而被起诉的事件,连一例都没有。他说政府应该设立激励机制,奖励那些在大火失控前进行汇报的村民。

“If they report fires early, then they should be rewarded, either with gifts in kind or money so that we can control the small fires quickly,” Mr. Quah said.

“如果他们早点上报火情,他们就应该获得奖励,礼品实物和现金都行,这样我们就可以尽快遏制小规模的火灾,”柯先生说。

Malaysia has provided Indonesia with firefighting equipment and firefighters, while Singapore has supplied satellite-imaging equipment to detect hot spots, he said.

他说,马来西亚为印尼提供了灭火装备和消防员,新加坡则提供了监测热点的卫星成像装置。

Kurnia Rauf, director of the forest fire control division in the Indonesian Forestry Ministry, said that tracking down the people responsible for illegal burning was difficult. “They set fires to open the area for planting because it’s much faster and easier,” he said.

印尼林业部山火控制局的主任库尔尼娅·拉乌夫(Kurnia Rauf) 说,非法放火人员的追查工作很困难。“他们之所以要烧荒,是因为这个方法快速便捷,”他说。

He added that his division was trying to educate people about hot spot indicators. Local forestry officials were also leading ground checks, he said, and people could report hot spots to the forest fire control task force via cellphone.

他补充说,他的部门尝试教授人们有关热点指标的知识,地方林业部门官员也会进行土地检测。他表示,人们可以通过手机向负责控制山火的特别行动队报告热点。

Anthony Tan, executive director of the Center for Environment, Technology and Development, Malaysia, an independent research organization in Kuala Lumpur, urged a broad view of the problem. He said that while blame was typically directed at Indonesia, fires in other countries also contributed to the haze. “Asean as a bloc has to look at this problem as an Asean problem,” he said.

安东尼·陈(Anthony Tan)是马来西亚环境科技发展中心执行主任 ,该中心是吉隆坡的一个独立研究组织。他敦促大家从更为宏观的角度来看待这个问题。他说,罪责虽然通常落在印尼方面,但其他国家的火灾也对阴霾的产生负有责任。“东盟是一个整体,必须把这个问题当成整个东盟的问题来对待,”他说。
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