Forestry Ministry Hopes no Forest Fire This Year

Editor: Heru Purwanto | 16 May 2017


“We want to be better than in 2016, when forest and bush fires were reduced up to 20 percent,” Secretary General of KLHK Bambang Hendroyono said.

Jakarta (ANTARA News) – The Ministry of Environment and Forestry (KLHK) said it hopes that this year there would be no forest fire in Indonesia.

Forest fires have left a scene of destruction almost every year in a number of Indonesian regions such as Riau, West Kalimantan and Central Kalimantan.

Secretary General of KLHK Bambang Hendroyono said the government has issued a regulation PP No 57/2016 revising PP No 71/2014 on protection and Management of Peat Ecosystem after the devastating forest fire in 2015.

“We want to be better than in 2016, when forest and bush fires were reduced up to 20 percent,” Bambang said addressing “Global Peatlands Initiative” here on Monday, adding more effective measures have been made to prevent forest fires in 2017.

He said Indonesia, which has around 15 million hectares of peatlands or around 12 percent of its total land territory, could keep around 6 tons of carbon per meter.

Therefore, the government has established the Peatland Restoration Agency (BRG) in 2016 to be in charge of restoring around 2 million hectares of degraded peat lands in five years.

The ministry has set a target that in 2017 the agency could restore the condition of 400,000 hectares of damaged peatlands or 20 percent of the target for five years.

The Indonesian government already taken steps toward protection, restoration and management of peatlands such as by issuing regulation PP No 57 of 2016 banning the exploitation of peatlands until the ecosystem has been fully resorted, drying and burning peatlands and any activities that would reduce the water surface.

Bambang said there are four methods of restoring damaged peat ecosystem as outlined in PP 57/2016 — natural successions, rehabilitation or replanting of areas having protective function or cultivation function in line with local wisdom, building water pools to maintain the level of the surface of ground water.

“These methods are important to ensure the restoration of 400,000 hectares peat ecosystem set for this year. One of the targets of BRG is canal blocking , building water pools to keep the humidity in the concession area ” Bambang said.(*)