(The decline in) 2020, 2021, and 2022 was very significant. 
Jakarta (ANTARA) - The number of hotspots and areas affected by forest and land fires in Indonesia has continued to decline every year, Director for Forest and Land Fire Mitigation at the Environment and Forestry Ministry Basar Manullang said.

"According to the database, there has been a decrease in the number of hotspots from 2015 to 2022, since every morning, all Manggala Agni (forest fire brigades of the ministry) are required to check (the condition of their) operational areas. Furthermore, there is also a significant decrease in the area affected by forest and land fires," he informed at the Climate Festival 2022 webinar on Wednesday.

In 2015, there were 70,971 hotspots, a decline of 20.4 percent from 89,214 in 2014, he said.

Although the numbers increased again in 2018 and 2019, they were still far below the number of hotspots in 2014, he noted. There were only 9,245 and 29,341 hotspots in 2018 and 2019, respectively.

The number dropped sharply to 2,568 in 2020, 1,451 in 2021, and 1,245 in 2022.

"(The decline in) 2020, 2021, and 2022 was very significant. We are very grateful for God's blessing to Indonesia as well as the more integrated attempts to control forest and land fires on site conducted by our Manggala Agni's fellows," the director said.

The area affected by forest and land fires stood at 2.6 million hectares in 2015, he added. In the succeeding years, the area managed to be maintained far below the figure.

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The area affected by forest and land fires in the period from 2016 to 2021 was recorded at 438,363 hectares, 165,484 hectares, 510,564 hectares, 1,649,258 hectares, 296,942 hectares, and 358,864 hectares, respectively.

Meanwhile, during the period from January to September 2022, the total area reached just 183,743 hectares.

The figure declined 20 percent year-on-year (yoy) in January–September 2022, Manullang said.

In the future, he said he expects Manggala Agni, as the forerunners of forest and land fire mitigation in Indonesia, to continue to optimize cooperation with various local stakeholders on site as well as increase their competency and capacity.

Various innovations are also required to improve disaster mitigation efforts, he added.

Related news: Forest, land fires most common disasters last week: BNPB

Translator: Suci Nurhaliza, Uyu Liman
Editor: Rahmad Nasution
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