Jakarta (ANTARA) - Coordinating Minister for Political, Legal and Security Affairs Wiranto has admitted poor law enforcement against individuals applying slash and burn method caused forest and land fires. He said the government would take a different approach to stop the traditional farming practices.

"This traditional society, we have reminded them. Corporations can help them with tractors (for land clearing) hence they do not have to burn the forest," Wiranto said after a meeting on land and forest fire here on Wednesday.

According to Wiranto the sanction imposed for individuals that ignited the fires was ineffective to stop the practice.

"It is ineffective, we have to find another way to solve the problem. Because they practise this for generations. But we have to change the mindset, and we need the help of all stakeholders to change their mindset," Wiranto remarked.

The minister disclosed that 37 corporations have been warned to stop slash and burn practises in land clearing and the legal process against five other companies are still ongoing.

Wiranto said, the number of hotspots this year is higher than the previous years.

"The largest percentage of forest fire were caused by human activities, slash and burn method in land clearing," he said.

Present in the meeting were Environmental Affairs and Forestry Minister Siti Nurbaya, Head of the National Disaster Mitigation Agency (BNPB) Doni Monardo, Coordinating Minister for Economic Affairs Darmin Nasution, and Coordinating Minister for Human Development and Cultural Affairs Puan Maharani.

The meeting also discussed efforts to make artificial rain.

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Translator: Syaiful Hakim, Sri Haryati
Editor: Fardah Assegaf
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