Solving transboundary haze

Jason Loh and Anis Salwana Abdul Malik

 haze affecting Malaysia has been an ongoing problem for decades, and is mainly caused by forest fires due
to agricultural techniques known as “slash-and-burn” from across the border (whether land, i.e. Kalimantan or
cross-straits, e.g. Riau). The root cause of this is the burning of peat lands for cultivation, which takes place especially during the drought season. This is when peat soil becomes flammable and fire spreads easily.


Rainforests and Peatlands Fires Center of Excellence

Bogor – West Java , 9 July 2022
Author: Bambang Hero Saharjo

On 29 June 2022, the LoA between the French Embassy and Timor Leste in Indonesia was successfully signed, represented by Jean-Michel DUMAZ (The Civil Protection Regional Expert, localized in the French Embassy to Singapore) and Prof. Dodik Ridho Nurrohmat (Vice-Rector). for International Affairs, Collaboration, and Alumni Relations) representing IPB University. The collaboration is about “RAINFORESTS AND PEATLANDS FIRES CENTER of EXCELLENCE”.

This project aims to support IPB for science-based education and training capabilities development in the field of peatland and forest fires prevention, contingency, and suppression. The French Embassy will implement through the project a pluriannual program for expertise sharing, that will include a Master’s degree education in France, several trainings of trainers (ToT) activities, digital solutions for education implementation, equipment for field fire response procurement.

The project is qualified as Centre of Excellence (CoE) for the enhanced expertise shared, and for the innovative education tools implemented, as virtual reality, simulation and learning management systems. Physically located in Bogor in IPB facilities, the CoE will deliver from the expertise shared from France, education programs for the Indonesian community involved in forest and peatland fires management. The CoE will also implement education sessions for the ASEAN and overseas countries, in particular those having similar forest and peatland and strongly affected by fires

Areas of Cooperation

The development of the cooperation regarding the development of the rainforest and peatland fires center of excellence will particularly focus on the following areas:

  1. a) Education and training, skills, and expertise development
  2. b) Knowledge management,
  3. c) Learning tools and systems
  4. d) Fires data collection and Lessons learned
  5. e) Scientist cooperation

Forms of Cooperation

In each afore-mentioned area, the cooperation may result in:

− Sharing of knowledge, expertise, and best practices,
− Higher education and research partnerships,
− Provision of experts, instructors, and specialist for training and technical assistance,
− Exchange of experts or trainees in the framework of study visits or training activities,
− Participation in meetings, conferences, or seminars,
− Implementation of digital tool for learning and education,
− Supply of equipment for field trainings and experiments

The cooperation that the Signatories intend to implement will be developed for a period of five (05) years from the date of the signing of the present Agreement. It may be extended for further periods of five (05) years provided the Signatories jointly express such an intent. The Signatories may decide to put an end to this cooperation, by notifying the other Signatory of this intention three (03) months in advance.

As a follow-up to the above collaboration, training activities on “Fire Behavior Analyst” have been carried out for 4 days from 4 to 7 July 2022 which take place from 13.00 to 17.00 every day. The training was provided by French fire experts, namely Sebastien LAHAYE, Xavier JOSEPH and Jean-Michel DUMAZ. The training was officially opened by Jean-Michel Dumaz, and the Executive Director of the Regional Fire Management Resource Center-Southeast Asia Prof. Dr. Ir. Bambang Hero Saharjo, M.Agr. The training was facilitated by the Regional Fire Management Resource Center-Southeast Asia followed by IPB University (Faculty of Forestry and Environment), BNPB, BPBD South Sumatra, BPBD North Sumatra, Directorate of Forest and Land Fire Control, Directorate General of PPI, Ministry of Environment and Forestry; and the Sumatra Regional Land and Forest Fire Climate Change Control Center.

The training is carried out in English assisted by a translator into Indonesian, making it easier to understand the material presented. The training is carried out online with the support of training materials written in English. During the training, discussions were held related to the material provided which was related to the conditions and efforts made by the government.

On the final day of the training, a questionnaire with 20 questions related to the material provided was held in order to understand the extent to which the participants had understood the material presented by experts from France and its implications for fire control efforts carried out by the government. As a final word, all participants were happy with the material provided and not a few of the material provided was something new for them, so not a few of the participants suggested that this training be continued, including the training carried out in the field. As a form of attendance of the training participants, the French Embassy gave a certificate.

IPB University Launching System Monitoring and Reporting Technology for Fire Prevention Patrol (SMART Patrol Information System) (SIPP Karhutla)

IPB University Launching System Monitoring and Reporting Technology for Fire Prevention Patrol (SMART Patrol Information System) (SIPP Karhutla)

IPB Convention Center Bogor, 29 Juni 2022

IPB University Launches the System Monitoring and Reporting Technology for Fire Prevention Patrol (SMART Patrol Information System) (SIPP Karhutla), it was carried out by the Chancellor of IPB University Prof. Arif Satria, accompanied by the Dean of FMIPA IPB University Dr. Berry Juliandi, Deputy Head of Research Division of LPPM IPB University Prof. Sugeng Heri Suseno, Dean of the Faculty of Forestry and Environment Dr. Naresworo Nugroho, Director General of Climate Change Control of Forest and Land Fires – Ministry of Environment and Forestry Ir. Laksmi Dhewanthi, M.A, Director of Forest and Land Fire Control – Ministry of Environment and Forestry Ir. R Bassar Manullang, , Representative from LPDP, Triyoga Adi Perdana and Officer in Charge of ITTO, Dr Hwan-Ok MA.

The Chancellor of IPB University said that this Karhutla SIPP is a breakthrough from IPB University, which hopefully could solve fire problems through the technology. This system, he said, was also part of an early warning system to predict the future in terms of preventing forest fires. The Chancellor added that currently managing natural resources must be solved with technology 4.0 so that it can improve the ability to predict with precision.

The launch of the System Monitoring and Reporting Technology for Fire Prevention Patrol (SMART Patrol Information System) (SIPP Karhutla) was carried out simultaneously with the holding of the National Seminar “Forest and Land Fire Prevention entitled Policy, Social Approach, and Technological Innovation” by organized the Department of Computer Science, FMIPA IPB University with the Department of Silviculture, Faculty of Forestry and Environment, IPB University and the Directorate of Forest and Land Fire Control, Directorate General of Climate Change Control, Ministry of Environment and Forestry are supported by the International Tropical Timber Organization (ITTO) and the Education Fund Management Institute (LPDP) of the Ministry of Finance of the Republic of Indonesia. The event was held at the IPB International Convention Center, (29-30/6/2022).

The System Monitoring and Reporting Technology for Fire Prevention Patrol (SMART Patrol Information System) was built as a tool to support the implementation of forest and land fire prevention patrols (karhutla) in Indonesia. The development and/or development of this system is carried out by the Department of Computer Science, FMIPA IPB in collaboration with the Center for Climate Change and Forest and Land Fire Control (Balai PPIKHL) for the Sumatra Region, the PPIKHL Center for the Kalimantan Region and the Directorate for Forest and Land Fire Control, the Directorate General for Climate Change Control. Ministry of Environment and Forestry. SIPP Karhutla – SMART Patrol Information System consists of a Mobile Application for recording data on forest and land fire patrols, a Database Management System for managing forest and land fire patrol data, and a Web-Based Application for real time monitoring of patrol activities, user management, reporting, and analysis of spatial data on forest and land fire patrols.

The use of SIPP Karhutla has been regulated in the Regulation of the Director General of Climate Change Control No. P.10/PPI/SET/KUM.1/12/2020 concerning Procedures for Using the Information System for Forest and Land Fire Prevention Patrols (SIPP Karhutla) as a reference in forest and land fire prevention patrols. This system has been used to support the implementation of forest and land fire prevention patrols in the Manggala Agni Operations Area (DAOPS) in Sumatra and Kalimantan. Currently, the initiation of the use of SIPP Karhutla – SMART Patrol Information System has also been carried out in the areas of Java, Bali, Nusa Tenggara, and Maluku, Papua. The use of SIPP Karhutla – SMART Patrol Information System has been proven to support the implementation of forest and land fire prevention patrols in the field and manage patrol data more effectively and efficiently, with an efficiency level of 39.2% for recording patrol field data, 31.9% for reporting patrol field data, and 59.7% for the preparation of patrol data reports.

The construction and/or development of the SIPP Karhutla – SMART Patrol Information System is also supported by funding from the Education Fund Management Institute (LPDP) of the Ministry of Finance and the KLHK-ITTO Cooperation Activity PP-A/56-340-1 Capacity Building on Forest and Land Fire Management in Indonesia.

Link Youtube: Sipongi KLHK and  Dept. Ilmu Komputer IPB

By: Committee National Seminar SIPP Karhutla

Forest fires: Satellites detect 62 hotspots in North Sumatra

Forest fires: Satellites detect 62 hotspots in North Sumatra

Reporter: Juraidi, Fardah | Editor: Rahmad Nasution
29th March 2022

Medan, North Sumatra (ANTARA) – The Meteorology, Climatology, and Geophysics Agency (BMKG) has reported 62 hotspots indicating forest or plantation fires in a number of areas in North Sumatra province on Tuesday.


Thailand detects over 15,000 hotspots in forests and farmlands

Thailand detects over 15,000 hotspots in forests and farmlands

The most hotspots in the North amounted to 2,823 in Mae Hong Son province, followed by 1,971 hotspots in Lampang and 1,665 in Chiang Mai.

The Interior Ministry has detected 15,716 hotspots which cause haze so far this year.

Sutthipong Chulcharoen, permanent secretary of the Interior Ministry, said that from Jan 1 to March 20 there were 15,716 hotspots including 6,757 in national forest reserves, 4,594 in conservation forests and 2,172 in farmland.

The most hotspots in the North amounted to 2,823 in Mae Hong Son province, followed by 1,971 hotspots in Lampang and 1,665 in Chiang Mai.

In the corresponding period last year there were 51,536 hotspots. This year’s hotspots dropped by 35,820 or 69.50%.

Mr Sutthipong said the Interior Ministry instructed governors of all provinces, especially those in 17 Northern provinces, to monitor local forest fires, hotspots and haze situations, improve response plans and order organizations concerned to take legal action strictly to limit haze. (TNA)


Sustainable forests for combating climate change

Sustainable forests for combating climate change

Reporter: Prisca T V, Mecca Yumna | Editor: Sri Haryati
21 March 2022

Jakarta (ANTARA) – Indonesia is ready to embark on a new chapter of life, as the Nusantara Capital City begins its development with the rehabilitation of forests in the area, as said by President Joko Widodo.

During a visit to the Mentawir Nursery, North Penajam Paser District, East Kalimantan, on March 14, 2022, the president said that the rehabilitation was meant to revitalize the forest area around the city to its original function as a tropical forest and not a homogeneous monoculture expanse of vegetation.

Efforts to rehabilitate forests in the new capital will be supported by construction of the Mentawir Nursery that will produce 15-20 million seedlings to be planted in critical lands.

The measure was taken to materialize the concept of a forest city for the new capital, wherein of the 256 thousand hectares of the IKN authority area, around 70 percent is in the form of natural cover and trees.

Not only the new capital city, but other forests in Indonesia were also rehabilitated by the government, through the Environment and Forestry Ministry, in a bid to suppress the rate of deforestation in the country.

Rehabilitation efforts have been one of Indonesia’s focuses in recent years. The focus also extended to peat and mangrove areas.

Establishment of the Peatland Restoration Agency, which is now the Peat and Mangrove Restoration Agency, indicated the government’s commitment to restoring and rehabilitating degraded peat and mangrove areas.

The forestry and other land use (FOLU) sector is also in the spotlight when Indonesia targets a net carbon sink in the sector by 2030. It was expected that net zero emissions could be achieved in 2060 or earlier.

In the updated Nationally Determined Contribution (NDC) climate target document, Indonesia targets a 29-percent reduction in greenhouse gas emissions by 2030 alone. If the global community extended its support, it is expected to reach the 41-percent target of reduction.

Of these targets, FOLU has the largest reduction target of 17.2 percent through individual efforts and 24.1 percent with support from the global community.

The rest came from the energy sector (11 percent and 15.5 percent), waste (0.38 percent and 1.4 percent), agriculture (0.32 percent and 0.13 percent), and industry and product use or IPPU (0. 10 percent and 0.11 percent).

Indonesia’s commitment in the FOLU sector resulted in several achievements, one of which was the reduction of deforestation by 75 percent to 115,460 hectares during the 2019-2020 period.

This figure shows a decrease as compared to the deforestation of 462,460 hectares during the 2018-2019 period.

According to the ministry’s data, the gross deforestation rate during the 2019-2020 period reaches around 119,091 hectares, with reforestation covering an area of 3,631 hectares. Meanwhile, gross deforestation during the 2018-2018 period was recorded at 465,500 hectares and the reforestation area reached three thousand hectares.

The area burned due to forest fires has decreased in recent years. Based on SiPongi data from the Environment and Forestry Ministry, the area burned in 2021 reached 358,867 hectares, or up from 296,942 hectares in 2020.

However, this number shows a drastic decrease from the area burned in 2015 and 2019, which reached 2.6 million hectares and 1.6 million hectares, respectively.

In 2021, vegetative forest and land rehabilitation efforts were also conducted in an area of 203,386 hectares.

It comprises forest rehabilitation in an area of 46,752 hectares and mangrove rehabilitation in an area of 35,881 hectares.

As efforts to rehabilitate the land were made in an area of 67,138.73 hectares, so were the efforts to rehabilitate watersheds spanning an area of 11,709 hectares.

Sustainable forest

Environment and Forestry Minister Siti Nurbaya Bakar stated that Indonesia will continue to move to fulfill its commitments to control climate change without waiting for promises from developed countries. She delivered the statement on the occasion of the 2022 Forester Service Day.

To cement Indonesia’s commitment to achieving the FOLU Net Sink target by 2030, the ministry issued the Decree of the Environment and Forestry Ministry Number 168 of 2022 that contains the 2030 FOLU Net Sink Operational Plan.

The minister stated that after 2030, the FOLU sector was expected to be able to absorb greenhouse gases along with reducing emissions from energy transition activities as well as other sector exploration activities to achieve carbon neutral or net zero emissions by 2060.

Minister Bakar said that the program would apply the principles of sustainable development that include sustainable forest management as well as environmental governance and carbon management.

The main target remains on the efforts to reduce deforestation and forest degradation, she highlighted.

Although it is not easy, Indonesia will continue to employ the principles of sustainability as the basis for environmental development.

This sustainable foundation is also the theme of World Forest Day 2022, which is commemorated every March 21. This year’s theme is “Forests and Sustainable Production and Consumption.”

As quoted from the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) website of the United Nations, sustainable forest management is one of the keys to dealing with climate change.

Forests also play an important role in addressing poverty issues and meeting the targets of the Sustainable Development Goals.

Professor Herry Purnomo of the Faculty of Forestry at Bogor Agricultural University opined that public contribution was necessary to encourage sustainable forest management.

One effort that the public can make to contribute to the cause is to use certified forestry products.

The professor deemed it important since by buying certified products, the entrepreneur or forest manager would strive to meet such demands, thereby following the regulations of sustainable forest management.

Some of the certificates for sustainable forest production are the Timber Legality Verification System, or SVLK, issued by the government. SVLK aims to ensure that wood products and their raw materials are obtained from legal sources.

There are also several other certifications, such as global-scope ecolabels issued by the Forest Stewardship Council.

Some products with certifications that can be used by the community were furniture and paper, he pointed out.

To encourage the public to use forest products from sustainable sources, it is necessary to promote the behavior on a national or regional scale. People could start by using certified forestry products in government buildings.

He also called for consistency in the environmental recovery efforts that had been successfully brought up by Indonesia, using the momentum, such as the Indonesian G20 Presidency.

He expected that annually, efforts would be made consistently to decrease deforestation and increase reforestation.

Indonesia currently leads in terms of reducing deforestation, and the global community is mostly focused on various efforts being undertaken in the country.

By consistently pushing for a sustainable system and encouraging environmental recovery, Indonesia can lead by setting an example, backed up by the leadership of the G20 2022, he concluded.



Illegal burning in Northern Thailand contributes harmful levels of air pollutant PM2.5

Illegal burning in Northern Thailand contributes harmful levels of air pollutant PM2.5

Published on

Illegal burning in more than 135 areas in the northern province Mae Hong Son has contributed to the rise of the air pollutant PM2.5 to levels considered to be harmful to human health. Authorities are also concerned that the poor air quality could also worsen the condition of Covid-19 patients in the area. Today, the air quality in Mae Hong Son reached what IQ Air considers “Very Unhealthy” levels.

Some fires in the north of Thailand are from crop burning where farmers intentionally set fire to fields after harvesting to quickly clear the land and fertilise the soil. The debate on the illegality of crop burning has been a longstanding issue between farmers and the Thai government.

Thai media reports that some officials suspect that some of the fires were caused by illegal gangs smuggling teak wood and burning the stumps to destroy the evidence. The Mueang district chief officer, Pongpeera Choochuen, says those who start the fires in the forest will be arrested and face criminal charges.

A satellite also detected 1,000 hot spots in the province’s preserved forests which are at risk of wildfire. Pongpeera is urging residents in the Mueang district to help monitor the forest. By communities, he says residents should set firebreaks, which are typically strips of bare soil to prevent a fire from spreading. He also asked residents to keep a lookout at who is going in and out of the forest.

SOURCE: Khaosod | Siamrath


Deforestation in Southeast Asia

Deforestation in Southeast Asia


Forests cover just over 30% of the global land area, yet they harbour a vast majority of the world’s wildlife species – including 80% of the world’s amphibians, 75% of birds, and 68% of mammals. But since 1990, over 420 million hectares of forest have been lost as a result of human activity, largely due to deforestation and land clearing for agricultural purposes and logging. Southeast Asia has one of the highest rates of deforestation in the world to support the region’s agricultural and food production, as well as other raw material industries. We discuss what was the major cause of deforestation in Southeast Asia and look ahead to the future. 

Southeast Asia, including Indonesia, Malaysia, Vietnam, and Thailand, is home to nearly 15% of the world’s tropical forests, which makes it all the more attractive as a deforestation hotspot. The region has one of the highest rates of deforestation, losing at least 1.2% of its forests annually, which is comparable only to Latin America where deforestation rates in the Amazon account for one-third of global tropical deforestation.


Fire fighters containing forest fires in Ob Khan national park in Chiang Mai

Fire fighters containing forest fires in Ob Khan national park in Chiang Mai

March 5, 2022

Chiang Mai Provincial Governor Prachon Prachsakul has ordered local officials and relevant agencies to assist in containing the spread of forest fires at Ob Khan national park in the province.

About 35 fire fighters from the national park and the Mirror Foundation, who have been battling the fires, have complained that there are not enough of them to cope with the fires, which have been burning for more than three days and stretch for about three kilometres through the forest in the park.

Without timely reinforcements, they have expressed concern that the entire 6,000 hectare forest may be wiped out.

The line of fires is located far from communities, but satellite images have detected many hot spots, many of them close together.

Nipaporn Paisarn, the national park chief, said that damage to the forest cannot be assessed yet.

According to the governor, the fires are concentrated in four locations in the park and men from Hang Dong district office have already been sent to battle the fires.

Meanwhile in the neighbouring province of Mae Hong Son, the level of PM2.5 dust in the atmosphere is beyond safety limits due to fires in the province and in Myanmar.

2,000 hot spots have been detected in Myanmar and 800 in Mae Hong Son from satellite images.

Most fires in Thailand’s northern provinces were man-made, when farmers burn farm waste or when villagers set fires in forests to help them hunt for wildlife.


16 Hotspots of Possible Forest Fires Detected in East Kalimantan

16 Hotspots of Possible Forest Fires Detected in East Kalimantan

Translator: Antara | Editor: Petir Garda Bhwana
28 February 2022 10:47 WIB

TEMPO.COJakarta – The Meteorology, Climatology and Geophysics Agency (BMKG) detected 16 hotspots indicating forest fires in five districts in East Kalimantan Province.

“A total of 16 hotspots are detected today starting at 1 a.m. until 4 p.m. WITA (Central Indonesian Standard Time) and we have immediately conveyed (the information) to the respective districts,” Iwan Munandar, forecaster at the Sultan Aji Muhammad Sulaiman (SAMS) Sepinggan Meteorology Station, said on Saturday.