TEMPO.CO, Jakarta - The Indonesian Forum for the Environment (Walhi) urged the government to evaluate the implementation of the national peatland restoration following constant numerous forest fires in large areas.
West Kalimantan Walhi Director Anton P. Wijaya said on Wednesday that the evaluation must soon be done as forest fires continue to happen despite the constructions of the program’s infrastructures. He says someone must take responsibility.
He argues that the Peatland restoration agency must be responsible for the current smog from forest fires, especially if the areas that are experiencing the fires already have programs that see wetting of peat soils.
The Walhi director also suggests that the Environment and Forestry Agency (KLHK) together with the Ministry of Agriculture should take responsibility for forest fires that continue to take place in concession lands, whether it is plantations or productive forests.
The Riau Walhi Director Riko Kurniawan echoed Anton’s statement and added that the visibility in Siak District experiences drastic decline caused by the smog from the forest fires. He also noted that conditions in Riau have worsened because of this after the region went by two years free of forest fire smog.