Indonesia has proposed imposing harsher punishments, including a possible death sentence, on people found guilty of illegal logging. The Indonesian Ministry of the Environment
said it was an attempt to reduce the haze that regularly engulfs the region. Illegal logging is thought to contribute directly to the haze because of cut and burn procedures that easily get out of hand. In addition, the region's dense rainforests are normally damp environments, but once they have been thinned by timber poachers, they dry out and are prone to catch fire. Indonesian authorities are being asked to pass a temporary law while formal legislation goes through parliament. Under the new law, those convicted of illegal logging or starting forest fires will face at least 12 years in jail and the court will be able to impose the death penalty for either offence.