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Fighting forest fires in Indonesia starts with getting the data right - In conversation with Edi Purwanto

Forest fires have been wreaking havoc in large parts of Indonesia, most of them set deliberately to clear land for oil palm plantations. A recent government moratorium on expanding oil palm in forest areas could help preventing forest fires in the future, but the lack of accurate spatial data is a main barrier to implement the moratorium, says Edi Purwanto.

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Karhutla, who is at fault?

Cases of forest and land fires (karhutla) in Kalimantan province including in Ketapang district seem to have become an annual routine. Fires occur almost every dry season, especially during the extreme droughts due to the effect of El Nino. Natural factors such as the prolonged summer, human factors such as negligence, or a combination of both certainly put some effects. It is difficult to determine the exact cause of the fires that often cause "presumption" or finding for a “scapegoat" as a justification for the theory on paper. However, there is no smoke without fire, no effect without cause.

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Provide Incentives for Conservation Outside Protected Areas

The policy of the Environment and Forestry Ministry to encourage regional governments to ensure non-state forest areas (APL) to have good forest cover and high biodiversity values as essential ecosystem areas (KEE) has received warm response from conservation NGOs.

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Tropenbos Indonesia

Support the achievement of a productive and sustainable landscape through governance programs that include strategies to improve food security, responsible use of forest and land, and mitigation and adaption to climate change