TEMPO.CO, Jakarta - The Indonesian Forum for the Environment (Walhi) campaign manager for food, water, and essential ecosystems, Wahyu Perdana, revealed that the number of hotspots from possible 80 percent forest fires has increased to 34,000 spots from January to September this year.
“As of September 17, there are 34,000 hotspots. They call such [critical] conditions as improving; that is basically lying to the public,” says Wahyu to Tempo on Wednesday, September 18.
According to the data he compiled, the number of hotspots in Sumatra and Kalimantan reached 328,724 hectares that consist of 239,161 mineral lands and 89,000 hectares of peatlands.
The environmental and forestry ministry has sealed off concession lands incriminated forest fires that comprise 51 companies and one privately-owned land.
He deemed the haze from the forest fires in the two aforementioned regions have caused numerous losses for locals that are directly affected by illnesses related to inhaling the thick smog. This has also led to financial losses for those affected.
The Walhi manager asserts that the government is definitely able to solve the issue but is not reflected in the government’s mitigation efforts.