Introductory Remarks of President of the Republic of Indonesia at Limited Cabinet Meeting on the Anticipation of Forest and Land Fires, Tuesday, 23 June 2020 at the Merdeka Palace, Jakarta
Date 23 Juni 2020
Assalamu’alaikum warahmatullahi wabarakatuh.
Distinguished Vice President, Coordinating Ministers, Ministers, Ladies and Gentlemen, and Head of Institutions.
In the midst of our busy activities associated with the pandemic, we also have a major task of taking precautionary measures to tackle land and forest fires. Therefore, this morning’s Limited Meeting theme will remind us again of our task.
The Meteorology, Climatology, and Geophysics Agency (BMKG) reported that 17 percent of our regions 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 quick month-long preparation to remind this. However, as far as I remember, we have already held a large meeting in January or February.
Therefore, I would like to remind you again. First, related to management on the ground. Once again, the management should be consolidated and coordinated effectively. Monitoring fire-prone areas and updating information are quite important. Do apply technology to improve monitoring and supervision that will be conducted through the dashboard system. Yesterday, I saw that Riau Regional Police is great at setting an example and I saw the dashboard directly that it can describe the situation on the ground in detail. I think supervision will become easier if fire-prone areas can be monitored.
Besides technological instruments, we also have monitoring infrastructure from up to the bottom levels. The monitoring infrastructure includes village supervisory non-commissioned officers (Babinsa), security and public order officers (Babinkamtibmas), and village heads. Do involve them because it will be more effective if we can put out small fires, it will be more efficient, do not put out when the fire widespread.
Second, I have also conveyed this issue many times that we should not extinguish the fire when it expands. As small as possible the fire starts, we must be quick response. Yesterday, I have instructed the Governors, Regents, Mayors, Commanders, Military Resort Command, Regional Military Command, Regional Police Chief, and Precinct Police Chief to respond to the fires quickly.
Third, we know that 99 percent of forest fires are caused by human activities, be it intentionally or negligently Therefore, uncompromising strict law enforcement must be enacted to solve the issue.
Lastly, I urge the arrangement of the peat ecosystem to be carried out consistently to prevent peatland fires. Ministry of 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 peat remains 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.
I think that concludes my remarks.
Translated by Syarifah Aisyah
Reviewed by Yuyu Mulyani