Jakarta (ANTARA) - The government's plan to mitigate the impact of El Niño must not neglect other regions that are experiencing dry conditions, the National Development Planning (PPN) Ministry/Bappenas has said.

In confronting El Niño, the government must not focus on peatland ecosystems alone, Bappenas' Director for Forestry and Water Resources Nur Hygiawati Rahayu told ANTARA here on Tuesday.

This is because hotspots may emerge in other regions, such as East Nusa Tenggara and West Nusa Tenggara, which are vulnerable to forest and land fires due to high heat and dryness compared to other provinces, she explained.

The National Development Planning Agency (Bappenas) believes that prevention is a better solution compared to putting out fires, she added.

The preventive measures that the government must immediately undertake include intensifying patrols to detect points where fires may emerge and providing fire extinguishing facilities near fire disaster locations that have been mapped out.

According to Rahayu, ministries and government agencies assigned to handle the disaster must also collect data on regions that always experience recurring fires when El Niño arrives.

This effort will be much better if the data are made open to the public, thus raising awareness and improving Indonesia's disaster risk communication.

The Forestry and Environment Ministry, Agriculture Ministry, and other related parties are already coordinating with each other to handle the issue, Rahayu added.

It is expected that under the direct leadership of the Coordinating Minister for Political, Legal, and Security Affairs, every formulated program can be optimized and the area of land damaged by the fires can be reduced, she said.

"Each ministry/institution has its own job. Bappenas also has to ensure that the program exists and the funding also exists, therefore that is one of the things that we have to do from the protection standpoint, and it is not easy," she added.

Earlier, on June 21, 2023, the Meteorology, Climatology, and Geophysics Agency (BMKG) estimated that the chances of El Niño in Indonesia emerging in June had climbed to 80 percent.

Related news: Govt will take cross-sectoral steps to anticipate El Nino: minister
Related news: Trade Ministry strengthens coordination to anticipate El Nino

Translator: Hreeloita D S, Fadhli Ruhman
Editor: Rahmad Nasution
Copyright © ANTARA 2023