Indonesia: Greenpeace Launches Interactive Map to Track Deforestation, Fires

Ratri M Siniwi Jakarta Globe 16 Mar 16;

Jakarta. Environmental group Greenpeace has launched an interactive map to track forest fires and acts of deforestation in near-real time across Indonesia.

The Kepo Hutan (Curious About Forests) platform was created in the wake of massive fires that raged in parts of East Kalimantan and Riau last year, resulting from the large-scale draining of peat land and clearing of forests for new plantations, Greenpeace Indonesia forest campaigner Teguh Surya said at the launch in Jakarta on Tuesday (15/03).

The interactive map was also created in support of President Joko Widodo's plans to resolve deforestation issues in the country, and the One Map Policy, which was imposed by the president last year.

Kepo Hutan shows the borders of land concessions and who controls it; lets users see where the burning originates; and provides deforestation alerts for the affected areas.

The map also provides comprehensive data on palm oil and pulpwood plantations, selective logging and coal mining.

Members of the public can access the map on Greenpeace International's official website.

Related data is also made available on the Kepo Hutan platform for community organizations and researchers to carry out analyses.

Bambang Widjojanto, former deputy chief of Indonesia's Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK), stated that the map would allow members of the public to prevent another crisis by monitoring fires in forests and peat lands.

Greenpeace Indonesia launches map to track haze-causing fires
Developed in just six months, the map is the first of its kind in the country
Sujadi Siswo Channel NewsAsia 16 Mar 16;

JAKARTA: Greenpeace Indonesia has launched what could be the first interactive real-time digital map of the archipelago's forests.

Developed in six months, the map has been named “Kepo Hutan”, which literally translates to “nosey about forests”.

The data on the map is compiled from various official sources and presented in a shape-file format that is useful for providing data on a specific location. For example, the map has the potential to identify the owners of the plantations where the fires are burning.

Some of the data in the map will be made available to the public for the first time.

“For example the names of concession holders are not available publicly,” said Longgena Ginting, Director of Greenpeace Indonesia. “We have to search the data from the environment and forestry ministry and include them in the map.”

Currently, the country uses numerous forest concession maps, which results in overlaps and confusion that blunted the efforts of law enforcement agencies to prosecute alleged perpetrators. The haze last year was one of the worst on record, with more than 130,000 hotspots detected, coming at a cost of US$16 billion to Indonesia.

However, this might soon change, with legal experts saying Greenpeace’s map can be used as evidence in court.

"This map is based on other maps that are legitimate because they are produced by the government,” said Bambang Widjojanto, a law expert and former Indonesian Anti-Corruption Agency Commissioner. “This map is structured, over-laid and presented in one format. Therefore it is can be used as evidence."

For almost two decades, the haze created by Indonesian forest fires has periodically choked the air of neighbouring countries, affecting millions of people in Singapore, Malaysia and even Thailand.

- CNA/yt

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