Jakarta (ANTARA) - The Ministry of Environment and Forestry (KLHK) detected 81 hot spots indicating forest and peatland fires in several areas in Indonesia this week.

"Two days ago I checked there were 81 hot spots. Last year, 64 hot spots were detected. We will have a tough job in extinguishing them," Environment and Forestry Minister Siti Nurbaya said after attending the launch of the National Compost Day Movement at Jakarta's Banteng Square on Sunday.

The ministry also stays alert over the appearance of hot spots in the northern parts of Sumatra Island, such as Aceh, which had experienced forest and peatland fires a few days ago.

However, the forest and peatland fires in Aceh had optimally been handled, she said, adding that her ministry also pays attention to North Sumatra, Riau, and West Kalimantan due to their large areas of tropical rain forests and peatlands.

"If we can handle the forest fires, we can overcome the impacts of climate change," she remarked.

Nurbaya addressed that forest and peatland fires in Indonesia contributed to the release of around 400 million tons of carbon dioxide equivalent into the atmosphere.

The Ministry of Environment and Forestry is currently making utmost efforts to prevent forests and peatlands from burning through various mitigation measures as an effort to reduce 140 million tons of carbon dioxide in 2030.

Nurbaya informed that the government has already had a permanent solution for tackling forest and peat land fires in Indonesia, starting from monitoring hot spots, patrolling, and managing land without burning, to modifying the weather.

She explained that in some areas, the fire can also come from the peat because there is coal under the peat.

"Looking from the high number of hot spots and the air vulnerability, we will carry out weather modification to make rain and wet the peat lands," she added.

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Translator: Sugiharto Purnama, Resinta S
Editor: Rahmad Nasution
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