Indonesia: President hopes for implementation of sustainable fire prevention efforts

Antara 26 Nov 15;

Banjar (ANTARA News) - President Joko Widodo (Jokowi) has expressed hope that several provincial administrations would undertake sustainable fire prevention efforts to avert fire disasters in the future.

"I have reminded the officers in the provincial and district administrations as well as military and police personnel to prevent the recurrence of forest fires in 2016," the president affirmed here on Thursday.

The president visited the Sultan Adam Forest Park in South Kalimantan Province to commemorate the National Tree Planting Day and the Flora-Fauna Day.

In spite of Indonesia being ranked third as the country with the richest natural resources, however, it has also become the sixth-largest producer of carbon emissions.

Jokowi affirmed that the forest fire disaster in 2015 would add to the total carbon emissions.

"It is not a positive achievement but rather a warning for us," he pointed out.

Indonesia is targeting to decrease its carbon emissions by up to 29 percent in 2030. The country has also urged other advanced and developed countries to stay committed to saving the environment.

"Forest fires can serve as a precious lesson for Indonesia after 18 cases of this natural disaster have occurred. It should be a learning experience for us," Jokowi noted.

Besides destroying forests, the fires have also damaged the natural ecosystem.

The provincial administration must prevent the occurrence of forest fires in 2016.

"We have several examples in some provinces that have wide forest areas but none of them were burnt. There are some provinces that undertook prevention efforts and some others that did not," the president remarked.

The head of state has urged the officers to focus on preventing peatland fires as the disaster is more difficult to handle.

"The administration should not become complacent after the fires have been extinguished as we must take preventive steps, such as creating partitioned canals," Jokowi pointed out.

The president said the celebration of the National Tree Planting Day is an effort to give back to the environment by planting 10 thousand trees.

He called for tree-planting activities to be carried out in particular areas to facilitate monitoring efforts.

Jokowi wants Indonesia to maintain function as lung of the world 26 Nov 15;

President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo on Thursday visited the Sultan Adam People Forest Park (Tahura) in South Kalimantan to attend the commemoration of Indonesian Tree Planting Day and kick off the month-long tree-plating campaign as parts of national efforts to maintain the country’s role as the lung of the world.

“Today, we are planting 2,000 trees. As total of 8,000 trees have been planted since Monday,” said the President while symbolically planting a tree in the forest in the company of First Lady Iriana Widodo, as stated in the Presidential Office’s press release.

About 105 hectares of the Sultan Adam People Forest, which covers a total area of 116,000 hectares, were recently ravaged by wildfires, along with thousands more hectares of forest land in Sumatra and Kalimantan in the country’s worst-ever forest fires.

The environmental catastrophe did not only destroy the forests, but also caused serious problems for people’s health and air transportation due to widespread haze.

The government has come under heavy criticism for what many saw as a sluggish effort to stop the forest and peatland fires, and particularly for its late decision to accept foreign help in extinguishing the fires.

Jokowi called on Indonesians to rehabilitate the forests and carry on the momentum of Tree Planting Day and the National Flora and Fauna Day to improve the country’s environment.

“We need to conserve flora and fauna to maintain the country’s biodiversity and the country’s function as the lung of the world,” said the President.

During the occasion, the President also handed over awards to the winners of the 2014 National Tree Planting Competition to governors, regents and mayors as well as businesspeople, universities, schools, cooperatives and individuals who played important roles in protecting trees.

Environment and Forestry Minister Siti Nurbaya said the government would rehabilitate more than 100 hectares of Sultan Adam People Forest Park that was on fire recently. (bbn)(+)

Fires damage 300-ha area in Lore Lindu
The Jakarta Post 26 Nov 15;

The Lore Lindu National Park (TNLL) in Central Sulawesi has reported that at least 300 hectares (ha) of the park were damaged by fires during this year’s prolonged dry season.

TNLL head Sudaryatna said that many of the fires in the past several months were started by local residents who intentionally burned grass fields to speed up the growth of new grass that they could feed to their livestock.

“According to our analysis and information collected by our officers, [many of] those fires were due to residents’ negligence,” he told The Jakarta Post on Wednesday.

The 218,000-ha park is home to 117 mammal species, 29 reptile species and 14 amphibian species. Around a half of them are species native to Sulawesi.

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