Not Only Subjected To Penalties On Forest And Land Fires, The Council Asks The Government To Focus On Restoring Forests
Ilustrasi foto (Mikhail Serdyukov / Unsplash)

JAKARTA - The Indonesian Parliament supports the government's move to impose strict penalties on parties, both individuals and businessmen, who deliberately open land through burning.

Deputy Chairman of the Indonesian House of Representatives, Azis Syamsuddin, assessed that the government needs to conduct a study to minimize or prevent forest and land fires (karhutla) in the future.

In addition to strict penalties against the arsonists, the House of Representatives (DPR) Leader for Political, Legal, and Security Coordination (Korpolhukam) asked the government to also focus on restoring forest functions.

He asked the Ministry of Environment and Forestry (KLHK) to coordinate with the local government (pemda), the Regional Disaster Management Agency (BPBD) by involving the Forest Police and the National Army (TNI) to carry out blackout efforts.

"Attempt to extinguish the areas where forest and land fires occur in order to prevent the areas affected by the fires from expanding", Azis told reporters, Wednesday, February 24.

In addition, the former Chairman of Commission III of the Indonesian Parliament also asked the government through the Agency for the Assessment and Application of Technology (BPPT) to modify the weather, by creating artificial rain in the Weather Modification Technology (TMC) operation to speed up the process of the blackout.

In the future, Azis assessed that there need to be risk mitigation efforts and handling solutions by the Ministry of Environment and Forestry together with the regional government and BPBD to further improve and intensify the control and prevention of forest and land fires. To increase patrols to keep an eye out for hotspots.

"Disseminate the prevention of forest and land fires to the public, mobilize command posts for forest and land fires control, coordinate regional potentials and improve coordination between related parties", he said.

He also asked the Meteorology, Climatology and Geophysics Agency (BMKG) to always inform the situation and weather conditions. Especially the distribution of smoke from hotspots in a number of areas where forest and land fires occur.

"To people in areas affected by forest and land fires to increase awareness of the potential for the widespread spread of smoke. Hotspots currently exist in parts of Sumatra Island such as in Riau and West Sumatra", said Azis.

As previously reported, President Joko Widodo (Jokowi) ordered law enforcement officials to take firm, uncompromising action against perpetrators of forest and land burning.

"I ask that law enforcement measures be carried out without compromise", said President Jokowi while briefing participants at the National Coordination Meeting of Forest and Land Fires (Karhutla), at the State Palace, Jakarta, Monday, February 22.

In fact, President Jokowi has also implemented removal sanctions for officials who cannot deal with forest and land fires (karhutla) in his area.

"I think we still remember everything if we participate in routine meetings every year like this. I will definitely remember, namely being removed, that is being replaced", he said.

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