Indonesia: Government prepares grand design to prevent forest fire

Antara 19 Dec 17;

Jakarta (ANTARA News) - The government has prepared a grand design to prevent land, forest, and plantation fires, which would summarize facts, images, the cause of the fires, and solution for the disaster.

"The grand design would focus on (prevention) activities and monitoring conducted by both the government and private sectors from 2017 to 2019," Coordinating Minister for Economic Affairs Darmin Nasution said here on Tuesday.

The grand design is formulated by the Coordinating Ministry for Economic Affairs, Ministry of Environment, and Ministry of National Development Planning.

According to Nasution, the government has also prepared various financial instruments that would support the funding for forest fire prevention at village level.

"The financial instruments are needed to facilitate access to funding resources related to climate change," he noted.

Meanwhile, Environment and Forestry Minister Siti Nurbaya remarked that the grand design would stress on five key strategies to prevent land, forest, and plantation fires.

The five strategies are regulation on economic incentive and disincentive, reinforcement of villagers` role and social institutions, law enforcement, synchronization of law and licensing, infrastructure development, and reinforcement of early fire response.

Previously, head of National Development Planning Agency, Bambang Brodjonegoro, pointed out that the fires have caused at least Rp221 trillion in loss for the country in 2015 from flights cancellation, closure of offices, and other economic activities, which makes preventing fires more crucial than putting them out.

Reported by Agita Tarigan
Editor: Heru Purwanto

Minister Urges World to Stop Blaming Indonesia for Wildfire Cases
Tempo 19 Dec 17;

TEMPO.CO, Jakarta - The Coordinating Minister for Economic Affairs, Darmin Nasution asked the international community to stop blaming Indonesia for the wildfires that happen annually.

“Don’t just rant and [blame us] for it. We would rather work together [to solve the problem],” said Darmin during a meeting on wildfires and haze today. He added that wildfires and the haze it produces are a regional and global problem.

According to Darmin, Indonesia is currently finalizing a one map policy to overcome wildfires. The policy will enable the Indonesian Government to map-out the areas that are prone to wildfires.

Read: Singapore Lauds Indonesia's Efforts in Handling Forest Fires

“Therefore, we invite the participation of everyone either from the central and regional government, businesses, general public, institutions, and the international community,” he said.

Darmin revealed that the government is currently shifting its orientation from overcoming wildfires to preventing it from happening since it is much easier to do.

According to the Ministry’s records, from 2015 to 2017, wildfire and land fire hotspots have been significantly reduced. The data also suggests that there were 22,000 hotspots in 2015 and is currently down to 2,500 hotspots in 2017, which is an 89 percent reduction.

The area affected by wildfires has also been reduced from 2.6 million hectares in 2015 to just 146,000 hectares in 2016. Meanwhile, cases of wildfire hotspots in 2017 were successfully reduced to 125,000 hectares which are a mere 15 percent compared to that in 2016.

Syafiul Hadi