Jakarta (ANTARA) - The Ministry of Environment and Forestry said on Monday that it had increased patrols based on field data and findings to prepare for potential forest and land fires this year.

"We still have many challenges ahead," said Laksmi Dhewanthi, the ministry's Director General of Climate Change Control, during the "FMB9: Anticipating Forest and Land Fires" online event.

"The weather and anomalies continue to change, and we must also ensure that follow-up impacts, such as water, food, and energy crises, do not occur," she added.

Dhewanthi mentioned that the ministry had carried out patrols in areas such as peatlands in coordination with the Meteorology, Climatology, and Geophysics Agency (BMKG).

The coordination aims to obtain real-time weather data if there is potential for a prolonged El Niño or if there is a finding of a weather anomaly that can trigger fires.

The database for detecting hotspots is also being strengthened through the Fire Danger Rating (FDR) system.

The system is used to enhance monitoring of fire risks in forest vegetation and its products, and predict fire behavior, which can serve as a guideline for decision-making in the field.

"Furthermore, we also map regions that are prone to fires in the future," she added.

Using the data, the ministry employs technology to carry out weather modification for filling reservoirs in peatlands affected by drought.

Dhewanthi emphasized that forest and land fire prevention patrols have become more integrated, involving teams of officials from the MoEF's Manggala Agni officials, the Indonesian Military (TNI), the National Police (Polri), the relevant office, and the local community.

She said that each region has different disaster potentials, so that prevention management must be tailored to the characteristics of each region.

She highlighted the importance of the community's continued care for the environment and the need to increase literacy with concrete data and information so they can effectively handle disasters like forest and land fires.

Regional governments are also asked to improve their readiness in terms of equipment, facilities, and infrastructure, as well as adopt good practices and environmentally friendly strategies to handle forest and land fires.

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Translator: Hreeloita Dharma, Raka Adji
Editor: Anton Santoso
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