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Indonesian Islamic council issues fatwa on forest fires

JAKARTA - Indonesia's highest Islamic council has issued a fatwa on burning land and forests, a government official said on Wednesday, in an effort to halt the toxic smog that blankets the region each year.
The fatwa is not legally binding but is aimed at discouraging plantation companies and farmers from clearing land using slash-and-burn methods in Southeast Asia's biggest economy.
"There was a meeting between the environment minister and the Indonesian Clerics' Council, which issued fatwa no 30/2016 about forest and land burning law," said ministry spokesman Novrizal Tahar.
"The point is that an act (of burning) that causes environmental damage, according to (the council) decision, is illegitimate."
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