Indonesia: UK Donates $3.6m to Prevent Wildfires in Sumatra

Radesman Saragih Jakarta Globe 14 Mar 17;

Jakarta. The United Kingdom has donated 3 million pounds ($3.6 million) to prevent and mitigate wildfires in Sumatra and Kalimantan.

The recipients of the aid are Jambi, Riau, South Sumatra, West Kalimantan and East Kalimantan.

"The UK government deeply cares about Indonesia's efforts to prevent forest fire and haze. Therefore, UK has established partnerships with five provinces to prevent and mitigate these disasters. We also provided 3 million pounds in aid," British Ambassador Moazzam Malik said in Jambi on Monday (13/03).

The ambassador praised Jambi for issuing regulations on forest and peatland fire prevention. Jambi was the first among the five provinces to enact such laws.

"I promise to support the prevention and mitigation of forest and peatland fires. Hopefully, Jambi will become an example for other provinces to issue similar regional laws," Malik said.

Jambi Governor Zumi Zola expressed his concerns over the environmental, health and material losses caused by wildfires.

In 2015, the fires devoured more than 130,000 hectares of forests and peatland in the province, where 1,654 hotspots were detected and the losses reached Rp 12 trillion.

Extreme haze made many suffer from respiratory illnesses.

"Jambi bans land burning. We will act firmly against all violators," Zumi said.

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