President Jokowi to visit Riau to assess forest fire situation

President Jokowi to visit Riau to assess forest fire situation

Photo document of fire burning peatlands in Pekanbaru, Riau, September 2014. (ANTARA/Rony Muharrman)

Pekanbaru (ANTARA News) - The acting governor of Riau, Arsyadjuliandi Rachman, said that President Joko Widodo (Jokowi) is scheduled to visit the province to inspect the forest fire situation in the region.

"The president will visit Riau on Wednesday or Thursday next week, particularly to inspect forest fires," Rachman stated here on Friday.

The acting governor held a meeting with the head of REDD+, Heru Prasetyo, the deputy of the unit responsible for the Supervision and Management of Development (UKP4), Mas Achmad Santosa, and other related institutions.

Rachman further noted that Joko Widodos government paid special attention to the forest fire problem in Riau province. The Minister of Forest and Environment Affairs Siti Nurbaya inspected Riau to discuss ways to put an end to the blaze, as well.

"Their efforts show the seriousness of the working cabinet and motivate the local administration to solve and prevent forest fires," Rachman affirmed.

In addition, the REDD+ head expressed hope that the Riau Forest Fires Mitigation Action Plan is formulated post haste.

He wished that the action plan is drawn up within two weeks of the meeting. "It will be better if the plan is mapped out before President Jokowi comes to Riau," Prasetyo pointed out.

As many as 14 points of regulation will be included in the action plan. These will include the formulation of protection policies for areas that are prone to fires, among others.

Apart from establishing a peatland inventory team, the regulation will also define peatlands as conservation areas, in accordance with the Riau Area and Spatial Planning program.

Prasetyo emphasized that the action plan will also include recommendations and monitoring efforts that will focus on company involvement.

Furthermore, by implementing the action plan, Prasetyo hoped that the government and private parties figure out short- to long term ways to decrease the impact of the fires.

"We hope that fire mitigation costs are decreased by implementing the action plan," he remarked.
(Uu.B019/INE/KR-BSR/H-YH)

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