Minister Urges World to Stop Blaming Indonesia for Wildfire Cases

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  • Fire in Ogan Ilir, South Sumatra, Indonesia. ANTARA/Nova Wahyudi

    Fire in Ogan Ilir, South Sumatra, Indonesia. ANTARA/Nova Wahyudi

    TEMPO.CO, Jakarta - The Coordinating Minister for Economic Affairs, Darmin Nasution asked the international community to stop blaming Indonesia for the wildfires that happen annually.

    “Don’t just rant and [blame us] for it. We would rather work together [to solve the problem],” said Darmin during a meeting on wildfires and haze today. He added that wildfires and the haze it produces are a regional and global problem.

    According to Darmin, Indonesia is currently finalizing a one map policy to overcome wildfires. The policy will enable the Indonesian Government to map-out the areas that are prone to wildfires.

    Read: Singapore Lauds Indonesia's Efforts in Handling Forest Fires

    “Therefore, we invite the participation of everyone either from the central and regional government, businesses, general public, institutions, and the international community,” he said.

    Darmin revealed that the government is currently shifting its orientation from overcoming wildfires to preventing it from happening since it is much easier to do.

    According to the Ministry’s records, from 2015 to 2017, wildfire and land fire hotspots have been significantly reduced. The data also suggests that there were 22,000 hotspots in 2015 and is currently down to 2,500 hotspots in 2017, which is an 89 percent reduction.

    The area affected by wildfires has also been reduced from 2.6 million hectares in 2015 to just 146,000 hectares in 2016. Meanwhile, cases of wildfire hotspots in 2017 were successfully reduced to 125,000 hectares which are a mere 15 percent compared to that in 2016.

    Syafiul Hadi