Priority for Preventing Forest and Land Fires in the Midst of the COVID-19 Pandemic

Joko Widodo
President of Indonesia
Category : Peat Fire
Supports the umbrella pledge


Penanganan Karhutla tetap Prioritas ditengah Covid-19

Since early March 2020, the number of COVID-19 positive cases had continued to increase until the beginning of the dry season, a period when forest and land fire prone to occur in several areas. 

According to the Meteorology, Climatology, and Geophysics Agency (BMKG) forecast, the dry season in fire-prone provinces will begin in May. Despite this condition, the Minister of Environment and Forestry, Siti Nurbaya, emphasized that handling forest and land fires remains a priority during the pandemic. The forest and land fire task force will continue to monitor and supervise the fire-prone areas during the pandemic.

To increase efforts to prevent and control forest and land fires, the Minister of Environment and Forestry has informed the regional heads in early March, asking all parties, including the private sector and regional stakeholders, to be vigilant about forest and land fires. In addition, several priority measures to be taken by the Ministry of Environment and Forestry are:

  1. Appoint the Governors, whose provinces are prone to forest and land fires, as the Head of the Provincial Land and Forest Fire Control Task Force in anticipating dry peatlands
  2. Coordinate with the Technology Assessment and Application Agency (BPPT) to apply Weather Modification Technology for wetting peatlands, which is planned to be done in early May in fire-prone locations, i.e. Riau (Bengkalis, Pelalawan), South Sumatra (Musi Banyuasin and Ogan Komering Ilir), and Jambi (Muaro Jambi and East Tanjung Jabung).
  3. Coordinate with stakeholders to implement Weather Modification Technology, urge active participation of the private sector, and disseminate information to forest farming communities to promote land clearing without burning.
  4. Provide stricter warnings to permit holders whose areas repeatedly experience forest and land fires.

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