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Golfrid Siregar, left, at a protest against the proposed Batang Toru hydropower project, which threatens the only known habitat of the critically endangered Tapanuli orangutan. Indonesian Forum for the Environment

By Ayat S. Karokaro

Environmental activists in Indonesia have raised suspicions over the death this week of a human rights defender who was a staunch advocate of communities threatened by palm oil plantations.

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Indonesian firefighters battle a forest fire, one of many spewing toxic haze across the region causing an increase in reports of respiratory illnesses, in Kampar, Riau on Sept. 23. WAHYUDI / AFP / Getty Images

By Sakinah Ummu Haniy, Hidayah Hamzah and Mirzha Hanifah

Indonesia's forest fires have made headlines globally over the past few weeks. This year's forest fires have affected millions of people. Schools have closed in some areas due to unsafe levels of air pollution, while many people are suffering from respiratory illnesses. The haze has spread so far as to affect Singapore and Malaysia.

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EcoWatch Daily Newsletter

Forest fire continues to blaze in Indonesesia on Sept. 18. WAHYUDI / AFP / Getty Images

Nearly 200 people have been arrested in Indonesia over their possible connections to the massive wildfires raging in the nation's forest, officials said this week.

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Elephants at the Padang Sugihan Wildlife Reserve on Dec. 15, 2018. Khairul Abdi / CIFOR / Flickr

By Taufik Wijaya

The planned construction of a bridge and private port in southern Sumatra threatens to damage one of the last remaining habitats of the island's critically endangered elephants.

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Newly established oil palm plantation in Central Kalimantan, Indonesia. Rhett A. Butler / Mongabay

By Hans Nicholas Jong

Indonesia's president has made permanent a temporary moratorium on forest-clearing permits for plantations and logging.

It's a policy the government says has proven effective in curtailing deforestation, but whose apparent gains have been criticized by environmental activists as mere "propaganda."

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Sustainability activist and Instagram influencer Margarita Samsonova speaks with EcoWatch on her experience as a volunteer worker abroad. Facebook Live

EcoWatch teamed up with sustainability activist and Instagram influencer Margarita Samsonova via Facebook Live to give you the tools you need to make a massive impact on this planet through volunteer work.

Here are five steps including valuable "pro-tips" to get you on your way to a life-changing experience as a volunteer abroad.

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Art direction: Georgie Johnson. Illustrations: Freya Morgan

By Joe Sandler Clarke

"Don't expect us to continue buying European products," Malaysia's former plantations minister Mah Siew Keong told reporters in January last year. His comments came just after he had accused the EU of "practising a form of crop apartheid."

A few months later Luhut Pandjaitan, an Indonesian government minister close to President Joko 'Jokowi' Widodo, warned his country would retaliate if it was "cornered" by the EU.

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Residents of Makassar, Indonesia are evacuated following flooding this week. INDRA ABRIYANTO / AFP / Getty Images

More than 20 people have died and more than 3,000 have been displaced by landslides and flooding following heavy rain in the southern part of Indonesia's Sulawesi Island, AFP reported Thursday.

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Damage left after a tsunami struck Indonesia Saturday. AZWAR IPANK / AFP / Getty Images

A tsunami struck Indonesia without warning Saturday night, killing at least 373 people and injuring more than 1,400, The Associated Press reported Monday. With 128 still missing, the death toll is expected to rise further in the second deadliest tsunami to inundate the country this year.

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Deforestation on peatland for palm oil plantation in Borneo, Indonesia. glennhurowitz / Flickr / CC BY-ND 2.0

The world's largest palm oil trader released plans on Monday to increase its efforts to eliminate deforestation from its supply chain.

Wilmar International, which supplies 40 percent of the world's palm oil, has teamed up with the sustainability consultancy Aidenvironment Asia to develop a comprehensive mapping database to better monitor the company's palm oil supplier group.

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A sperm whale that washed up in Indonesia's Wakatobi National Park had plastic bottles, bags and cups in its belly. @WWF_ID / Kartika Sumolang

Yet another whale has suffered from plastic pollution. A sperm whale that washed up dead in a national park in Indonesia had nearly 13 pounds of plastic waste in its stomach, park officials told the Associated Press.

Researchers from the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) and the park's conservation academy uncovered more than 1,000 other pieces of plastic, including 115 plastic cups, four plastic bottles, 25 plastic bags, 2 flip-flops and a nylon sack.

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