Gov’t to Take Preventive Measures to Prevent Forest, Peat Land Fires
Date 23 Juni 2020
President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo has ordered his Cabinet to take preventive measures to prevent forest and peat land fires as the dry season is approaching
The Meteorology, Climatology, and Geophysics Agency (BMKG) has reported that 17 percent of regions in Indonesia have experienced a dry season in April, 38 percent in May, 27 percent in early June, while several regions will experience the dry season in August.
“We still have at least a month-long to prepare the measures, ” the President said on Tuesday (23/6) during Limited Cabinet Meeting on the Anticipation of Forest and Land Fires, at the Merdeka Palace, Jakarta
President Jokowi also pointed out several notes, among others:
First, regarding management on the ground.
“Once again, the management should be consolidated and coordinated effectively. Monitoring fire-prone areas and updating information are important. We must apply technology to improve monitoring and supervision that will be conducted through the dashboard system,” President Jokowi said, adding that Riau Regional Police has set a great example for adopting a dashboard monitoring system to supervise the situation on the ground in more detail.
“I think supervision will become easier if fire-prone areas can be monitored,” the President added.
In addition to technological instruments, the President also said that the country should have monitoring infrastructure from the highest level to the lowest levels.
“The monitoring infrastructure includes village supervisory non-commissioned officers (Babinsa), security and public order officers (Babinkamtibmas), and village heads. We must involve them because it will be more effective and efficient if we can put out small fires than big fires,” the President said.
Second, the President also ordered his Cabinet Ministers not to start putting out the fire once the fire has got out of control.
“Once small fires are detected, a quick response is needed. I have instructed Governors, Regents, Mayors, Commanders, Military Resort Command, Regional Military Command, Regional Police Chief, and Precinct Police Chief to respond to the fires quickly,” the President added.
Third, the President stated that 99 percent of forest fires are caused by human activities, be it intentionally or due to negligence.
“Therefore, uncompromising strict law enforcement must be enacted to solve the issue,” President Jokowi said.
Fourth, the President called for the arrangement of the peat ecosystem to be carried out consistently to prevent peatland fires.
“Ministry of the Environment and Forestry, the Peatland Restoration Agency (BRG), and Ministry of Public Works and Public Housing are expected to maintain the groundwater level so that the peatlands can stay wet. I think we have used canal blocking, reservoirs, bore wells, and other wetting technologies to keep the peat wet. This must be carried out consistently,” the President concluded. (FID / EN)
Translated by: Syarifah Aisyah
Reviewed by: M. Ersan Pamungkas