Walhi: Land Owners Must Take Accountability for Forest Fire

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Petir Garda Bhwana

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  • TEMPO.CO, Jakarta - Director of West Kalimantan’s Environmental Forum (Walhi) Anton Wijaya asserted that land and forest fires are the responsibility of concession landowners. Anton said that they must take accountability for anything happens in their areas.

    According to Anton, the provision is stipulated in the prevailing regulations. “So it is no longer about from where the fires start, but whether their concession land is burned or not,” said Anton to Tempo in Jakarta, Wednesday, September 18.

    He added that such accountabilities are automatically valid by the time the government issued the land permit for them.

    Previously, Environment and Forestry Ministry (KLHK) sealed off 42 lands owned by corporate and one land owned by an individual for allegedly involving in wildfires. The majority of lands are located in South Sumatra, West Kalimantan, and Central Kalimantan.

    Several of the firms belong to foreigners; one from Singapore and three others from Malaysia. “Those corporates are currently undergoing investigation process,” said the Ministry’s Director-General of Law Enforcement Rasio Ridho Sani when met in Graha BNPB, East Jakarta, Saturday, September 14.

    Anton further outlined that corporations’ responsibility for the forest fires is regulated in Law. No. 41/1999 on forestry and Law No. 32/2009 on environmental protection and management.

    FAJAR PEBRIANTO