This is because clearing land by burning is cheaper and easier to do
Jakarta (ANTARA) - Forest and land fires in Indonesia were mainly caused by human activities, according to Director of Forest and Land Fire Control of the Ministry of Environment and Forestry Basar Manullang.

During the 2022 Climate Festival event series in Jakarta, Wednesday, Manullang stated that 99 percent of the forest and land fires that occurred in Indonesia were caused by anthropogenic or human activity factors.

Human activities that can trigger forest and land fires include land clearing to build settlements and agricultural land by burning, he added.

"This is because clearing land by burning is cheaper and easier to do," Manullang remarked.

Other human activities, such as looking for firewood, hunting, and camping, can also trigger land and forest fires, he noted.

Manullang said that forest and land fires are causal to huge losses, as they cause a decrease in biodiversity, increase greenhouse gas emissions, decrease soil quality, and trigger public health problems.

He noted that forest and land fires can also cause economic losses; disrupt relations with neighboring countries; and disrupt economic, educational, social, and cultural activities.

He stated that the government was taking collective action to prevent and control forest and land fires in future.

In accordance with the president's direction, the government prioritized the implementation of forest and land fire prevention efforts that included early detection and monitoring of hotspots.

The government is also improving the infrastructure to monitor forest and land fires, strengthening the capacity to handle forest and land fires at the site level, intensifying the dissemination of information to prevent corporations and residents from clearing land by burning, structuring the peat ecosystem, increasing alertness in handling hotspots, and enforcing the law without compromise.

According to the ministry's data from January to August 2022, forest and land fires covered an area of 135,909 hectares, or 17 percent lower than the same period in 2021.

Controlling forest and land fires is part of the government's efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 29 percent with its own efforts and 41 percent with international assistance by 2030, Manullang stated.

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Translator: Suci Nurhaliza, Resinta S
Editor: Sri Haryati
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