Global Landscape Fire Awards 2019

Ceremony of handing over the Global Landscape Fire Award 2019, sponsored by the Global Wildland Fire Network to the laureate Dr. Ir. Siti Nurbaya, MSc, Minister for Environment and Forestry, Republic of Indonesia, and Certificates of Distinction for Prof. Dr. Ir. Bambang Hero Saharjo, M.Agr., IPB University, and Dr. Ir. Raffles B. Panjaitan, MSc, Director of Forest and Land Fire Management, Directorate General of Climate Change, Ministry for Environment and Forestry, Republic of Indonesia; Jakarta, Indonesia.

Notes for the Speech Prof. Dr. Dr.h.c. mult. Johann G. Goldammer

Link News:

Beri Penghargaan, GFMC Akui Komitmen Pengendalian Karhutla di Indonesia

Johor fire chief says open burning main cause for forest fires in state

JOHOR BARU, Sept 11 — Uncontrolled open burning was identified as the main cause for the destruction of more than 48ha of forest areas in Johor recently, said state Fire and Rescue Department director Datuk Yahaya Madis.

In Johor, he said there were three hotspots, with the biggest being Muar with 20ha destroyed, followed by Pontian (12ha) and Gelang Patah (16ha) recently.

“About 60 per cent of the open burning in Muar has already been put out, while in Pontian the department has achieved about 70 per cent.

“For Gelang Patah, the operation to extinguish the blaze has ended, but there are still some reports of small fires occurring there, but is managed by the Iskandar Puteri Fire station,” explained Yahaya.

He said this after the department took the anti-corruption oath before the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC).

Newly-appointed Johor MACC director Datuk Norazlan Mohd Razali was present to witness the ceremony held at the state Fire and Rescue Department headquarters at Jalan Kangkar Tebrau here today.

Despite the ongoing task to extinguish the remainder forest fires, Yahaya said that the situation was under control.

He said there was no urgent need for federal assistance.

“We have enough manpower and assets to contain the situation, besides receiving assistance from agencies such as the Public Works Department, the Drainage and Irrigation Department and also the Civil Defence Force,” said Yahaya.

He explained that lower rainfall in the last few weeks have worsened matters.

“The department urges the public, especially landowners and farmers, to avoid any open burning activities to clear their land,” said Yahaya.

Link: https://www.malaymail.com/news/malaysia/2019/09/11/johor-fire-chief-says-open-burning-main-cause-for-forest-fires/1789498

This Is How The Million-Dollar Business Of Criminal Deforestation In The Amazon Works

BuzzFeed News visited one of the regions worst affected by fires in the Amazon to see how illegal deforestation is paving the way for a global environmental crisis.
| September 4, 2019

APUÍ, Brazil — A vigorous and incredibly lucrative trade in land for livestock is fueling the fires that have devastated the Amazon and caused an international outcry.

BuzzFeed News toured one of the areas most affected by fires in the Amazon and found that, according to farmers, one hectare of land cleared for cattle is changing hands for 20 times the price of the same area with standing forest.

In the municipality of Apuí, in Amazonas state, a bushel of pasture land, around 2.5 hectares, can be worth up to 10,000 Brazilian reals (about $2,430) if it’s close to a highway with access to water, while forested land goes for only around 500 Brazilian reals (about $120). Many of these deals are conducted illegally.

Apuí has witnessed more than 2,000 blazes in 2019. It also has one of the largest cattle populations in the state of Amazonas, with eight oxen per every person who lives there. That has attracted ranchers from out of state.

“The bushel of forest is cheap, the pasture is not. And now the deforestation has increased, the burning has increased, because many people are coming from abroad who are selling their farm in [the neighboring state of] Rondônia and coming here,” said rancher Demésio Souza da Luz.

Incomes and employment rates are low in Apuí, with daily labor rates of around $18. But workers can be offered much more, around $120, to spend two days clearing a bushel of forest. Once the trees are felled, they are burned, Luz said. Luz added he was proud to have accepted the money to put his two children through college.

Incomes and employment rates are low in Apuí, with daily labor rates of around $18. But workers can be offered much more, around $120, to spend two days clearing a bushel of forest. Once the trees are felled, they are burned, Luz said. Luz added he was proud to have accepted the money to put his two children through college.

Fires occur in the Amazon annually with depressing regularity, but this year’s have been particularly devastating and, according to farmers in Apuí and the Brazilian Institute of Environment and Renewable Natural Resources (IBAMA), coordinated as never before.

Danilo Nascimento, an investigator for IBAMA in the Apuí region, has counted 20 incidents of deforestation and burning in the past week.

“Fire is a common practice for grassland weed control, but allied to this, there has been an advance in deforestation,” he said.

One case under investigation involves a fuel tanker’s arrival in the municipality, followed by two buses filled with people and chainsaws. First the chainsaws were used to bring down the trees; then, after a wait of a few days as the logs dried, fuel was scattered in the area, and the fires started.

Despite the widespread incidents of deforestation and burning, however, it’s unlikely that the people ordering the land to be cleared will be identified and held to account.

“We did the math, and there are people who spend up to 3 million Brazilian reals [about $730,000] to clear the forest,” said rancher Paulo Sancler Lopes, who has a herd of 500 cattle and for 21 years has been managing the pasture without having to use fire. Sancler said that the people clearing the forest, who live out of state, then use a loophole to designate the land as producing oranges to avoid fines.

Sancler said he has lost thousands of hectares of land to other farmers in territorial disputes because of a lack of legal certainty about who owns the land.

“I won’t be fighting in court for 20 years and creating conflict with people I don’t know. I preferred to lose,” he said.

Adelário Ronnau owns 83 hectares of land and has a 130-strong herd. He said he had been in Apuí since 1983, like other settlers encouraged by the military government of the time to deforest and populate the region.

“These deforesters are wanting to appropriate the land. Their business is as follows: They deforest now, wait a while, and sell after forming a farm,” Ronnau said.

The old farmers like Ronnau blame the new land grabbers and make a point of distinguishing themselves because they say they came to Apuí encouraged by the government of the day, and not pushed by the expanding agribusiness in neighboring states.

IBAMA has the power to seize cattle in land that’s been deforested and burned, and even issue huge fines. But in reality, it’s next to impossible to tell the difference between cattle reared by the farmers who’ve been there for decades and cattle sold by out-of-state ranchers driving the new round of deforestation and fires.

“We don’t know what is cattle reared on deforested land and what isn’t,” said Sancler.

Link: https://www.buzzfeednews.com/article/tatianafarah/amazon-rainforest-fires-deforestation

The Amazon, Siberia, Indonesia: A World of Fire

By 
The growing intensity of wildfires and their spread to new corners of the globe raises fears that climate change is exacerbating the dangers.

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In South America, the Amazon basin is ablaze. Halfway around the world in central Africa, vast stretches of savanna are going up in flame. Arctic regions in Siberia are burning at a historic pace.

While the Brazilian fires have grown into a full-blown international crisis, they represent only one of many significant areas where wildfires are currently burning around the world. Their increase in severity and spread to places where fires were rarely previously seen is raising fears that climate change is exacerbating the danger.

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Land grabbers implicated in peat swamp blazes

writer: Post Reporters | 27 Aug 2019

The Crime Suppression Division (CSD) has launched an investigation into the burning of peat swamps in Nakhon Si Thammarat’s Chalerm Prakiat district with a land acquisition motive suspected to be behind the blazes.

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Amazon fires: Brazilian rainforest burning at record rate, space agency warns

21 August 2019

Brazil’s Amazon rainforest has seen a record number of fires this year, according to new data from the country’s space research agency.

The National Institute for Space Research (Inpe) said its satellite data showed an 83% increase on the same period in 2018.

It comes weeks after President Jair Bolsonaro fired the head of the agency amid rows over its deforestation data.

Smoke from the fires caused a blackout in the city of Sao Paulo on Monday.

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Forest fire destroys over 1,200 acres of land

İZMİR-Anadolu Agency | 19 August 2019

 

Forest fires have consumed some 500 hectares (over 1,200 acres) of land in İzmir, Turkey’s Aegean coast, an official said on Aug. 19.

On Aug. 18, the fires broke out in four different regions- including two in the southwestern Muğla province and others in Izmir province, according to Agriculture and Forest Ministry.

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Forest fires draw partisan reports from Turkish press

Michael Mackenzie | Aug 18 2019

 

After a year when its news agenda has rarely slowed down from its breakneck pace, Turkey had a week of calm for the Feast of the Eid al-Adha holiday last week. During this welcome break from a frenzied political agenda, Turks also received the good news that their tourism sector had capped a strong couple of years with an excellent performance over the holiday period, with hotels in the Aegean and Mediterranean regions reportedly booked to capacity.

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Indonesia’s raging forest fires, explained

Kharishar Kahfi | 14 August 2019
The Jakarta Post
Indonesia is currently on the brink of another haze crisis as the archipelago is seeing an increase in the number of forest and land fires. According to the Meteorology, Climatology and Geophysics Agency (BMKG), the number of hot spots increased to 2,002 on Aug. 9 from 1,586 on Aug. 7 and 1,025 on Aug. 3. The hot spots were largely detected in the provinces of Riau, West Kalimantan and Central Kalimantan.

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Malaysia calls on Asean to fight haze as Indonesia battles forest fires

6 August 2019

PETALING JAYA (THE STAR/ASIA NEWS NETWORK) – Malaysia will call on Asean member countries to take proactive measures to avoid trans-boundary haze during a two-day meeting in Brunei beginning on Tuesday (Aug 6).

In a statement, the Energy, Science, Technology, Environment and Climate Change Ministry said Malaysia wanted concerted efforts taken in accordance with the Asean Agreement on Trans-boundary Haze ratified by member countries.

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