Jakarta (ANTARA) - The National Research and Innovation Agency (BRIN) uses weather modification techniques to deal with the threat of drought due to El Nino by raining down on peat domes to prevent forest and land fires.

"We are utilizing potential rain clouds in several locations, including Kalimantan, to apply weather modification technology by watering the land," said Budi Harsoyo, BRIN's laboratory coordinator for weather modification technology management, in a statement released on Wednesday.

BRIN will conduct weather modification operations in five provinces, including Riau, Jambi, South Sumatra, and West Kalimantan, with the current operation taking place in South Kalimantan until July 30, 2023, followed by Central Kalimantan in early August.

"Our objective is to induce rainfall as much as possible in peatlands as peat is highly flammable," he explained.

He also stated that the water level in the peatlands of South Kalimantan is currently relatively safe, ranging from 10 to 15 centimeters.

The government plans to continue weather modification operations until the beginning of the dry season to maintain a safe water level in the peatlands, as nearly 99 percent of forest and land fires are intentionally started by humans for land clearing and burning.

Director of Forest and Land Fire Control at the Ministry of Environment and Forestry, Thomas Nifinluri, emphasized that the El Nino warning this year has compelled the government to take early preventive measures and control forest and land fires through air and land operations.

Additionally, the government is enhancing collaboration among relevant parties, preparing personnel, and improving infrastructure in the field.

"Operating weather modification technology is one of the permanent solutions to prevent forest and land fires," Nifinluri stated.

He noted that phase one of the weather modification operation was conducted from July 7 to 11, during which a total of 5.6 tons of salt was spread in various districts.

Phase two of the operation is planned to take place in Tanah Laut, Banjar, Kota Baru, and Hulu Sungai Selatan districts until the end of July 2023.

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Translator: Sugiharto Purnama, Resinta S
Editor: Anton Santoso
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