Ahead of President Jokowi’s Visit, Riau Province Steps Up Its Forest Fires Prevention

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Photo: greeners.co/Danny Kosasih

Jakarta (Greeners) – Ahead of Presiden Joko ‘Jokowi’ Widodo visit to Riau province to celebrate World Environment Day, officials are stepping up the game to anticipate smokes caused by hotspot, said an official in Jakarta on Thursday (14/07).

Military commander 031/Wirabima, Brigadier General Nurendi, said that prevention phase has become essential in tackling forest fires.

“Riau province has been pushing forward forest fires prevention concept since early this year. It has proven that the concept had managed to reduce burned areas drastically compare to previous years. For the past three years, though burned areas have been decreasing, we still found land in fires,” he said.

READ ALSO: Minister of Environment and Forestry: Indonesia Readies for Forest and Land Fires

Riau Governor, Arsyadjuliandi Rachman said that his administration was still investigating on recent forest fires and promised to directly hand over culprits caught red handed in burning lands to the police.

“Riau government is working with law enforcement, the police, in following up forest fires cases,” he added.

Furthermore, he said that they have been implementing forest fires prevention strategy according to current procedure. In addition, Riau fire fighters, forest rangers, the military, ministry of environment and forestry’s fire fighters Manggala Agni, and Fire Care Society, have been patrolling for any hotspots found in the field.

If they located any hotspots, they would directly put out the fires with water bombing.

“Facilities such as helicopters from National Agency for Disaster Management (BNPB) in Pekanbaru really helps us in the field to tackle forest fires,” he said.

READ ALSO: Six Governors Committed An International Pledge On Deforestation

Based on preliminary investigation, recent hotspots were located in concessions areas. At least 20 percent of burned lands owned by companies.

“We are still investigating on corporate’s involvement in these cases,” he said.

President Jokowi is scheduled to attend World Environment Day held in Siak district of Riau, in conjunction with Zamrud National Park inauguration. In addition, the president would also inaugurate Pekanbaru-Dumai toll road, Trans-Sumatra railroad, and Tenayan Raya Power Plant.

Reports by Danny Kosasih

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