Jakarta (ANTARA) - The National Disaster Mitigation Agency (BNPB) is seeking to prevent transboundary haze pollution this year by anticipating forest and land fires as early as possible.

"In 2023, this (the transboundary pollution prevention) is what we are highly concerned of,” acting head of BNPB’s Center for Disaster Data, Information, and Communication, Abdul Muhari, said at a virtual “Disaster Briefing” on Tuesday.

Currently, all stakeholders are preparing preventive measures under the coordination of Coordinating Minister for Political, Legal, and Security Affairs, Mahfud MD, to ensure that there is no transboundary haze pollution this year, he added.

Hence, forest and land fires must be anticipated as early as possible and immediately extinguished to keep them from spreading further, he said.

"It is the principle (of our mitigation attempts). Mr. President (Joko Widodo or Jokowi) has repeatedly emphasized that prevention is the most important attempt," the BNPB official added.

Related news: Police, military should intensify forest, land fire prevention: Jokowi

The forest and land fire prevention efforts are being supported by the Manggala Agni Task Force (forest fire brigades of the Environment and Forestry Ministry), land fire awareness communities, and a community-based alert and preparedness system, he informed.

His agency has also readied a number of helicopters to monitor hotspots in a number of regions.

"Thus, when the satellite imagery detects increasing hotspots, we will check whether they are true hotspots or not. In addition, we have also started to prepare a helicopter for water bombing,” Muhari expounded.

Currently, the government is also seeking to prevent the occurrence of follow-up incidents triggered by disasters that are common in Indonesia, for instance, liquefaction, ground movement, or landslides, which are often caused by earthquakes, he said.

Thus, his agency will need to prepare a plan to mitigate the impacts of various disasters at once.

At the “2023 Joint Indonesian Military (TNI) and National Police (Polri) Leader Meeting” on February 8, President Widodo stressed on intensifying mitigation efforts in several forest fire-prone areas as the temperatures in those regions are expected to increase from February-end to March.

The regions include Riau, North Sumatra, and Kalimantan.

Related news: Central Kalimantan urged to anticipate forest, land fire

Related news: RI ratifies ASEAN agreement on transboundary haze pollution

Translator: Devi Ramadhan, Uyu Liman
Editor: Yuni Arisandy Sinaga
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