Will Sumatra burn again in 2004?

Meeting in Palembang to address peatland fire and smoke problems in Sumatra
December 10-11, 2003

Opportunities for media

(December 9, 2003) A major meeting this week in Palembang will examine the actions, government policies and industry practices needed to address Sumatra’s large and persistent peatland fire and smoke problems.

Participants at the meeting will include representatives from the Ministries of Forestry and Agriculture, timber and palm oil plantations, NGOs, research centers and local communities.

Smoke from the 1997/98 fires in Indonesia affected 35 million people in Indonesia and neighbouring countries. In Sumatra, tens of thousands of people were hospitalized due to smoke inhalation and other health problems associated with widespread fires in forest and peat land areas.

Much of the haze that blanketed Indonesia and SE Asia was from the extensive fires on peatlands in Sumatra that have increasingly become the focus of regional development plans. In the five years since these fires were reported in newspapers around the world, the international community has provided US$30 million in funding to help solve Indonesia’s fire problem. Nevertheless, the problem remains.

The two-day workshop, "Kebakaran di Lahan Gambut: Masalah dan solusi", provides an excellent opportunity for local media to get a true picture of the extent of Sumatra’s peatland fire problems and possible solutions. Many key speakers at the event will be available for interview.

Semiloka Dua Hari

"Kebakaran di Lahan Gambut: Masalah dan solusi"

10-11 Desember 2003, Hotel Budi
Palembang, Indonesia

To arrange interviews or for further information, please contact:
Yani Saloh at: (CIFOR) or email at y.saloh@cgiar.org

Organized by:

CIFOR – Center for International Forestry Research
ICRAF – the World Agroforestry Center
The European Union
Bappeda Propinsi Sumsel
Wetlands International
ACIAR -The Australian Center for International Agricultural Research