Metia Febrita Putri Lembasi

University of Florida

Stakeholder Perceptions of Community Fire Brigades (MPAs): An Assessment using SWOT-AHP in Indonesian Peatland Frontier

I got the opportunity to study the environment and develop my understanding of sustainable resource use and conservation. The coursework, which included social science theory and practices, enriched my interdisciplinary knowledge and deepened my comprehension of forestry theories and concepts. It served as a crucial stepping stone for my professional career. I have always been very fond of nature and biodiversity and my aspiration to work in this sector arose after interactions I had with people and communities in forests with my mentor. I observed that in many cases poverty limits potential, and that the role of women in managing natural resources is undervalued. I developed a strong urge to pursue a job that would enable me to directly engage with forest-dependent people and help tackle gender-related taboos and issues in my country.

I currently work for the organization Strengthening Palm Oil Sustainability in Indonesia, which allows me to contribute to effective input for forestry policies, address deforestation and forest degradation concerns, closely support forest dependent people and to recognize the contribution of women in managing and conserving forests and the environment while at the same time empowering them. Not only do I work with stakeholders at the regional, national and international levels, but I also work closely with grassroot organizations and local people.

Stakeholder Perceptions of Community Fire Brigades (MPAs): An Assessment using SWOT-AHP in Indonesian Peatland Frontier

Fire events on peatland in Indonesia occur almost every year and have become more extensive in recent decades. These uncontrolled peat fires have an alarming impact on ecosystems, human health, and the economy. Various efforts have been made by the Indonesian government to address the issue, including regulations on the establishment of community fire brigades (Masyarakat Peduli Api – MPA). Although MPAs are required through government regulations, villagers’ membership is voluntary, mobilized through concern about fires. MPA members aim to control fires, patrol their designated areas, and raise awareness about the negative impacts of fires within their communities. Previous studies have shown that MPAs might play an important role in implementing local land and forest fire prevention, but they have not been able to carry out their duties properly. Challenges facing MPAs include: inadequate facilities and infrastructure; lack of guidance/aegis from government and influential actors; a lack of financial resources; and strong demand for oil palm and land, which leads to peat fires in the first place

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