President Jokowi Applauds Task Force for Significantly Reducing Hotspots
Date 6 Februari 2018
President Joko Jokowi Widodo expressed his appreciation to the Task Force of Forest and Land Fire Management (Karhutla) for the significant progress it has made in handling forest and land fires in the last two years (2016-2017).
“There’s a very significant drop in hotspots from 21,929 hotspots in 2015 to 3,915 hotspots in 2016. In 2017, the number dropped to 2,567 hotspots,” the President said at the 2018 National Coordination Meeting (Rakornas) on Forest and Land Fire Management (Karhutla), at the State Palace, Jakarta, Tuesday (6/2).
Nevertheless, the President noted that handling forest and land fires is a never-ending task and reminded that the fires in 2015 must not happen again this year, nor in years to come.
President Jokowi went on to say that every time he met with Singaporean Prime Minister or Malaysian Prime Minister around 2015 – 2016, they complained about haze from Indonesian forest fires that blanketed their countries. Nevertheless, the President explained that in the last meeting in India, he assured his Singaporean and Malaysian counterparts that Indonesia will anticipate haze issues. “If the haze prevails, where do we put our face?” the President continued.
On that occasion, the President reiterated what he delivered in 2016-2017 that the rule of thumb for handling forest and land fires is still the same.
“I have an agreement with the Indonesian National Defense Forces (TNI) Commander, with the Indonesian National Police (Polri) Chief. As you may be aware, many high-ranking officials in the regions have been replaced, so the new ones may not know about the rules of thumb. If the fires still prevail and are not properly handled in your region, I will replace you,” the President firmly said.
According to the President, what has been effectively done is to mobilize all companies, communities, or organizations. He pointed out the example within the Police and TNI in which there are public order officers (Babinkamtibmas) and village supervisory non-commissioned officers (Babinsa) respectively.
“I think it will be effective should they get involved to empower the community, companies,” the President said.
President Jokowi also agreed that a leap of progress in handling forest and land fires needs to be disseminated to the community as a reminder. Let us remind them that in 2015 and years before, around 18 years, based on the data that I have, fires occurred every year over and over again, President Jokowi said.
“We can nip the fires in the bud if we work together. Lets remind them that if we join hands and work not based on routines and use our intelligence on the ground, we can achieve many things,” the President concluded.
Attending the Meeting were Vice President Jusuf Kalla, Coordinating Minister for the Economy Darmin Nasution, Minister of the Environment and Forestry Siti Nurbaya, Minister of State Secretary Pratikno, Minister of Law and Human Rights Yasonna H. Laoly, and Minister of Health Nila F. Moeloek. (DND/RAH/ES) (MUR/EP/YM/Naster).