Fire Project


Fire Project

Tropenbos Indonesia implements Fire Project in Ketapang District, West Kalimantan, since September 2021. The project is part of Wildfire Project led by Tropenbos International, funded by the Dutch Government. The Wildfire Project intends to contribute to the adoption of fire-smart territory approach in the tropics, which is expected to reduce the risk of extreme fires and achieve sustainable forest and land use for the creation of climate-smart landscapes.

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

During the past decades forest fires have often been in the news in various international media, including the number of areas known as tropical forests that were severely burned, such as tropical forests in the Amazon, Brazil or in Kalimantan, Indonesia. The losses incurred were extraordinary, both from an economic and social perspectives, including the impacts on health and extensive environmental damage. Fire events are becoming increasingly complex due to the effects of climate change, while economic activities that give unfortunate impacts to the environment continue. In Indonesia, for example, the development of areas for monoculture plantations and infrastructure development has increased the risk of fires in fire-prone areas such as on peatlands.

Wildfire Project, which is part of the Working Landscape Program, intends to apply fire-smart territories/FST for the tropical countries where fires and wildfires have hampered the creation of climate-smart landscapes. Through FST, stakeholders in the landscapes are invited to manage and utilize the forest and lands to achieve mutually agreed goals and reduce the risk of fires. In the long term, it is hoped that the governments where the TBI network is located, including in Indonesia, can improve environmental management that pays attention to the application of good fire management practices in its climate and land use policies. In the short term, it is hoped that local and national authorities can work together with local stakeholders to implement an inclusive and effective fire-smart strategy in accordance with local conditions.

Tropenbos Indonesia has been involved in the formulation of district-level fire response planning and guidelines for Ketapang District, West Kalimantan in 2020. Fire Project implementation in Indonesia focuses on a 100,000 ha landscape consisting of two adjacent peatland hydrological units (PHUs), i.e. Pawan-Kepulu and Kepulu-Pesaguan. Peatland fires frequently occurred in the degraded and drained areas of this landscape including those planted sparsely with young oil palm. The drained peats are highly flammable during dry season, and once fires are lit, they become uncontrollable. Therefore, fire prevention efforts under Fire Project in this landscape incorporate peatland restoration approaches that reduce the flammability of the peatlands.

Due to the multitude of interests in the landscape, all these efforts are addressed through multistakeholder processes involving governments and all actors in the landscape; hence integrated landscape and jurisdictional approaches. Within this integrated approach, the roles of empowered and capacitated smallholders and communities are key. For that purpose, an important part of the project is on strengthening farmers and local institutions in three villages of Sungai Pelang, Sungai besar and Pematang Gadung.

Through this project, it is hoped that fire-smart areas with peatland-adaptive practices can be achieved, while the risks of fires can be reduced towards sustainable peatland management and climate-smart landscape.


2021 - 2023