The President of Indonesia Joko Widodo, accompanied by the Minister of Forestry and Environment Siti Nurbaya, came to Riau province last week to monitor the burned forest areas that caused haze in Sungai Tohor village, Meranti Islands District, media reported.
On a humid afternoon in Sungai Tohor, a coastal village in Sumatra's Riau province, 50 or so men are packed into a town-hall conference room. They sit in neat rows of blue plastic chairs, many clad in knee-high rubber boots, loose-fitting polo shirts, and baggy pants, the casual uniform of an Indonesian farmer. Women and children peer in through open windows and doors. There's excitement in the air, thanks to a gaggle of visiting journalists and enviros who have come to discuss the fate of the village Âand a way of life now under siege.