Gov’t to Implement Stricter Law Enforcement on Forest Fires
Date 6 Februari 2020
In a bid to tackle forest and land fires occurring in the country, the Government will continue to implement law enforcement, including administrative, civil or criminal law.
“Many of the perpetrators of forest and land burning have felt the impact of this law enforcement in the past years. I hope the punishments can give them a deterrent effect,” President Jokowi said in his remarks at the 2020 National Coordination Meeting on Forest and Land Fires (Karhutla) at the State Palace, Jakarta, Thursday (6/2).
According to the President, preventive measures should be taken due to climate change’s impact on fire that can be out of control and lead to larger wildfires.
“We need to find long-term fire prevention in dealing with forest and land fire issues,” especially during the dry season in order to prevent fires,” the President said.
President Jokowi went on to say that the Peatland Restoration Agency (BRG) must ensure that peatlands are kept wet, especially during the dry season in order to prevent fires.
“I continue to monitor the works to prevent and handle forest fire, including peatlands rewetting, canal blocking, canal backfilling, retention ponds, and drilled wells construction,” the President added.
President Jokowi further said that the restoration of peat dome ecosystems in peat hydrological areas and in the concession area should be conducted consistently and carefully.
“There should be a permanent solution regarding forest and land burning set intentionally for economic motive,” the President said.
According to the President, he received reports that 99 percent of forest fires were deliberately set by the people for economic motive that is to clear the land.
“It has become an open secret that forest-burning is the cheapest method of land clearing compared with other methods,” he added.
On that occasion, the President instructed Minister of Environment and Forestry to ponder over rewards and incentives related to environmental protection, and the Indonesian Police Chief was instructed to apply stricter punishments.
At the end of his remarks, the President requested regional governments and territorial apparatus to be vigilant and alert to anticipating forest fires, especially in fire-prone areas.
“Regional governments and territorial apparatus, such as village supervisory non-commissioned officers (Babinsa) and police officers assigned to villages as advisors on security and public order (Babinkamtibmas) should be mobilized as well as people’s participation.
On that occasion, President Jokowi said that Indonesia can involve other personnel, including Babinsa and Babinkamtibmas in order to protect the country’s forest.
“I hope that the National Coordination Meeting on Prevention of Forest and Land Fires can make us understand that forest rehabilitation and planting trees are difficult and take more time, it is better for us to protect and take care of the forest,” the President said at the end of his remarks. (DND/EN)
Translated by: Syarifah Aisyah
Reviewed by: Mia Medyana