Credible data key to Indonesia’s efforts to solve forest fire, emissions challenges — expert

Research by the Center for International Forestry Research into the 2013 Sumatra fires has indicated that nearly a quarter burned in industrial oil palm and acacia plantations, and very few took place in natural forests. Picture Credit: NASA image by Jeff Schmaltz, LANCE/EOSDIS Rapid Response, NASA Earth Observatory

Research by the Center for International Forestry Research into the 2013 Sumatra fires has indicated that nearly a quarter burned in industrial oil palm and acacia plantations, and very few took place in natural forests. Picture Credit: NASA image by Jeff Schmaltz, LANCE/EOSDIS Rapid Response, NASA Earth Observatory

Accurate information on the causes of wildfires and the amount of carbon emissions they produce is critical if Indonesia is to meet its emissions reductions targets, said experts at an event on the sidelines of the U.N. climate change meetings in Warsaw, Poland.

Earlier this year, fires swept across parts of the Indonesian island of Sumatra — sending smoke billowing across the narrow Strait of Malacca and causing record-breaking air pollution levels in Singapore and Malaysia.

Daniel Murdiyarso, a principal scientist with the Center for International Forestry Research (CIFOR), said that the international media attention the event generated must be translated into funding for more detailed research — and a commitment by the Indonesian government to address the issue.

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