Pontianak, W Kalimantan (ANTARA) - West Kalimantan Police Chief Inspector General Suryanbodo Asmoro stated that his side had handled 224 reports of forest and land fires in West Kalimantan between 2019 and 2022.

"In the case handling process, several points of preventive efforts have been applied in overcoming forest and land fires," Asmoro remarked here on Saturday.

He explained that one of the efforts in handling forest and land fires in 2019-2022 was through law enforcement actions.

"We received 224 reports with 226 suspects and 209 case resolutions. Then, another effort is the existence of a memorandum of understanding (MoU) or cooperation for integrated law enforcement between the West Kalimantan police chief and the higher prosecutor’s office chief," he remarked.

Asmoro said that acceleration of the village's progress and independence program (Desa Mandiri) is expected to increase the rural community's awareness of the law and improve the economy.

Thus, he said, rural communities will not burn land in order to support their livelihoods.

Meanwhile, on Friday (January 20), the Ministry of Environment and Forestry held the 2023 Special Coordination Meeting for Forest and Land Fire Mitigation. The meeting was chaired by Coordinating Minister for Political, Legal, and Security Affairs Mahfud MD.

At the meeting, Mahfud lauded all ministries and agencies as well as local governments for tackling forest and land fires. The improvement in forest and land fire cases was apparent from a 42.9-percent decrease as compared to previous years.

On the same occasion, the Meteorology, Climatology, and Geophysics Agency (BMKG) forecast that the dry season in 2023 will be drier than in 2022, thereby increasing the likelihood of forest and land fires due to El Nino as what had occurred in 2019.

Based on the prediction, Minister Mahfud urged all regions to stand by and increase their efforts in handling forest and land fires.

"I ask all ranks of the Indonesian Military/Police (TNI/Polri), local governments, the stakeholders, and the people to increase vigilance and work together in handling forest and land fires," he stated.

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Translator: Rendra O, Kenzu
Editor: Azis Kurmala
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