Inter-institution Collaboration Sharply Decreases Hotspots: Environment Minister
The number of hotspots in Indonesia has significantly decreased by 91.39 percent from 25,453 to 2,191 thanks to hard work and collaboration between the Government and various parties, Minister of the Environment and Forestry Siti Nurbaya said.
“I really appreciate and thank the regional governments, the Indonesian National Defense Forces (TNI), the Indonesian National Police (Polri), Ministry of the Environment and Forestry, the Agency for the Assessment and Application of Technology (BPPT), private sectors, the community, and the National Disaster Mitigation Agency (BNPB),” she said.
The Minister also expressed her gratitude to those who have been working on the ground such as Manggala Agni (firefighter brigades), TNI’s village supervisory non-commissioned officers (Babinsa), community police officer (Babinkamtibmas), the BNPB and Regional Disaster Mitigation Agency (BPBD), and the Air Force’s pilots who carried out weather modification technology (TMC) operations in several regions prone to forest fires.
“Thank God the Almighty, our prayers and efforts have paid off this year. We can prevent combination of two disasters namely forest fires and COVID-19 that have been the concern of many people,” she added.
The Minister went on to say that President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo’s directives followed by non-stop efforts from the Central government and regional governments have freed several regions prone to forest fires from haze this year.
“The most concrete example is the provinces of Riau and West Kalimantan which usually experienced haze in April to May for Riau, and in mid-August for West Kalimantan,” she said, adding that Riau finally ends its alert status for forest and land fires this year.
In addition, the air pollution standard index (ISPU) in Riau is still categorized as ‘safe’. Based on Terra/Aqua satellite monitoring, the hotspots in Riau Provinces decreased by 88.37 percent compared to that of last year from 2,902 to 327.
Based on observation from 1 January to 31 October 2020, 2,282 hotspots have been detected with a high (80 percent or higher) confidence level throughout Indonesia. The figure decreased by 91.57 percent compared to that of last year which were 27,055 hotspots.
“We have learned from our experiences and will continue to learn to tackle forest and land fires. Thus, we can immediately realized President’s orders to establish a permanent land and forest fires control system. We have tried to do that in 2020 and will continue to make some efforts next year in order to manifest that solution,” she stated.
Given the dynamic challenges in tackling land and forest fires, she added, collaboration between various parties is needed in the face of the same challenge in the future. (Ministry of Environment and Forestry PR/UN)
Translated by: Rany Anjany
Reviewed by: Muhardi