"We have proved that the area (under forest and land fires) declined significantly to the lowest level in 2020. This shows the government's serious commitment. We have told investors that Indonesia has managed to overcome (forest and land fires)," the ministry's assistant deputy for climate change and disaster mitigation, Kus Prisetiahadi, said here on Tuesday.
Fires laid to waste 296,942 hectares of forests and land in Indonesia in 2020 compared to 1,592,010 hectares the previous year, he pointed out.
The government has claimed that the area under forest and land fires fell by up to 82 percent last year from a year ago.
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Forest and land fires in 2015 affected an area of 2.61 million hectares, Prisetiahadi said.
Despite the drastic drop, the Coordinating Ministry for Maritime Affairs and Investment will continue to coordinate with the Environment and Forestry Ministry to prevent forest and land fires in vulnerable areas, he assured.
The Environment and Forestry Ministry is one of the seven ministries under the purview of the Coordinating Ministry for Maritime Affairs and Investment.
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Quoting data from the Meteorology, Climatology and Geophysical Agency (BMKG), Kus said medium-to-large scale forest and land fires could potentially occur in the central part of Sumatra Island and parts of West Nusa Tenggara and East Nusa Tenggara provinces in August 2021.
The current dry season is expected to reach its peak in areas prone to forest and land fires in the southern part of Sumatra and part of Kalimantan in August and September, he added.
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