Forest and land fires are a recurrent phenomenon in Indonesia and have become a local, national and global concern. The health issues and economic disruption caused by haze from forest and land fires have been enormous. In 2015, 43 million people were exposed to haze, half a million people suffered from acute respiratory infection, and economic losses amounted to USD15-30 billion. Malaysia, Singapore and the Philippines have also been affected. While fire and haze have resulted in significant costs to many people, fire is also an enormous benefit to those engaged in the expansion of agriculture that has transformed Indonesia’s landscape. These beneficiaries include corporations, local elites, and rent seekers involved in patronage networks.
Lessons learned from existing policies and actions in Asia may help Indonesia to reduce the occurrence of fire and haze in the coming years. The newly established ‘Peatland Restoration Agency’ (BRG) by Indonesian President Joko Widodo for example, presents a major opportunity to reduce fires on peatland.
The session will ask questions such as:
- How can we contribute to the policies and actions of the Peatland Restoration Agency and other leading organizations to reduce fires?
- How can we move on with clear policies and actions to prevent fires and haze in 2016?
How can landscape transformation be conducted in an environmentally friendly manner?
Speakers:- Herry Purnomo, Scientist, CIFOR and Professor, Bogor Agriculture University
- Nur Masripatin, Director General, Climate Change Management, Ministry of Environment and Forestry, Indonesia
- Riko Kurniawan, WALHI Riau
- Agus Purnomo, Director for Strategic Stakeholder Engagement, Sinar Mas Agri Business and Food