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ITTO webinar explores importance of fire management in Indonesia

 Friday, August 6, 2021

A recent webinar held as part of an ITTO project explored Indonesia’s understanding of fire management and prevention of forest from the sudden outbreak of fire. The webinar also included the importance of involving communities in fire prevention. Indonesia once again discussed effective of fire management strategies in a recent webinar. The devastating forest fire of 1997/98 and 2015 burnt 9.7 million and 2.6 million hectares, respectively. Past experience further triggered the need for discussion of fire safety management and explore that it is essential in Indonesian forest. However, the country has reduced fire occurrence, with fewer than 300 000 ha affected in 2020.

The webinar, “Forest Fires in Southeast Asia: Policy and Research Development in Indonesia”, held on 21 July 2021, had about 200 participants, mainly from Southeast Asia but also Japan, the Republic of Korea and elsewhere. ITTO’s co-organizer was the Directorate General of Climate Change, Indonesian Ministry of Environment and Forestry (MOEF), with collaboration from the Regional Fire Management Resource Center-Southeast Asia at Bogor Agricultural University. The webinar was the first in a series of fire-related webinars on forest fire in Southeast Asia sponsored by an ITTO project funded through the Japanese Government’s initiative, “Emergency Support to Large-scale Forest Fires in the Amazon Region and Indonesia”.

Driven by President Jokowi’s direction to intensify synergy and coordination among stakeholders, Indonesia has developed “fire communities” in 26 provinces and “fire care community paralegals” in 40 villages in seven provinces.

In her opening remarks, Laksmi Dhewanthi, MOEF Director General of Climate Change, said that the current momentum for reducing forest fire must be continued because considerable challenges remain.

“We need to increase fire prevention efforts to further suppress fire occurrences, so that haze pollution may be eliminated, as per Indonesia’s commitment to meet a haze-free ASEAN,” she said.

Webinar participants agreed on the importance of coherent, synergized and coordinated policy implementation with strengthened community participation and ecosystem resilience in improving forest fire management.

The next webinar is scheduled on August 26, 2021, and where the topic of discussion will be forest fire prevention actions in ASEAN countries as prevention of forest from fire is crucial.

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