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Jakarta Post

Govt, palm oil association empower locals to fight fires

  • News Desk

    The Jakarta Post

Jakarta   /   Thu, September 15, 2016   /  08:32 pm
Govt, palm oil association empower locals to fight fires Pontianak residents continue their daily activities despite thick haze blanketing the city on Sept.16, 2015. (thejakartapost.com/Severianus Endi)

A number of government institutions and the Indonesian Palm Oil Entrepreneurs Association (Gapki) have teamed up to empower local people living near forests to prevent and fight forest fires, an association official has said.

The program involves 527 villages located near concession areas owned by members of the association, Gapki secretary general Togar Sitanggang said in a statement, adding that in dealing with forest fires, local people would cooperate with the police, the military and Regional Disaster Mitigation Agency (BPBD) branches.

“As a result, there are fewer fires in company concession areas, while fires outside of concession areas can also be controlled. This shows that the involvement of local people in preventing forest fires has been effective,” Togar added.

Based on monitoring carried out by Global Forest Watch from Jan. 1 to Aug. 31, according to the association, 68 percent of hotspots occurred in areas owned by individuals, 18 percent in areas owned by Industrial Forest Concession (HTI) holders, 9 percent in areas owned by palm oil plantation companies and 5 percent in logging areas.

Each plantation company is cooperating with residents living near its concession area in a number of provinces such as Riau, Jambi, South Sumatra, South Kalimantan, Central Kalimantan and West Kalimantan, Togar added. (bbn)

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