Since early July, forest and land fires have occurred in Aceh, West Kalimantan, Riau, Jambi and South Sumatra. According to BMKG data as of August 6, 2017, the areas that still in potentially fires are Central Kalimantan, South Kalimantan, Jambi, South Sumatra, Lampung, and parts of Riau. Data from Center Analysis of Disaster Alert Situation (PASTIGANA), until August 6, 2017 there are 207 hotspots with medium category, and 75 hotspots with high category in Indonesia.
Based on data collected by Walhi South Sumatra Region, from 24 to 30 July 2017 there are 168 total fire point in South Sumatra. The fire point in IUPHHK concession (Permit for Timber Forest Product Utilization) is 18 points, 32 points in the plantation business permit, 22 points in mining business permit and 6,459 hectares of burnt area. While in Jambi there are 500 hectares land burned. In South Kalimantan there are about 64 hotspots, 10 hotspots in HGU, 12 hotspots in forest, 26 hotspots in the peat ecosystem.
This week, various agencies of state apparatus claimed to have “law enforcement”, claiming to have captured the perpetrators of forest fires. Unfortunately many legal processes stop only on field actors.
Based on data collected by Walhi South Sumatra Region, from 24 to 30 July 2017 there are 168 total fire point in South Sumatra. The fire point in IUPHHK concession (Permit for Timber Forest Product Utilization) is 18 points, 32 points in the plantation business permit, 22 points in mining business permit and 6,459 hectares of burnt area. While in Jambi there are 500 hectares land burned. In South Kalimantan there are about 64 hotspots, 10 hotspots in HGU, 12 hotspots in forest, 26 hotspots in the peat ecosystem. More than half are in the forest.
WALHI has noted the fires in 2015, there were 439 companies involved the arson in 5 Provinces, 308 of them are oil companies. “WALHI has encouraged law enforcement against forest and land fires by 2015, either directly to the government, or through pre-trial. Throughout the past 3 weeks, WALHI and the network have been in pretrial proceedings of SP3. The case was issued by Riau Police against 3 companies that indicated to burn land in 2015 in Riau District Court in Pekanbaru, but Riau District Court rejects this Pretrial Appeal.
Learning from karhutla events that occurred in 2015, WALHI reminds the public not to forget the tragedy that has resulted in violations of environment and human rights. The forest and land fires in 2015 have resulted 24 deaths, over 600 thousand people suffering from ARI, and as many as 60 million people were exposed to the smoke, 2.6 million hectares of forest and land burnt, caused 221 trillion rupiah loss. Government also have to spent 720 billion to overcome the fire (BNPB, 2015).
The government has made various efforts to overcome this fire either by air or land. But the fire remains unquenchable. Based on WALHI Executive Regional Data, there are strong indication that the cause of fires is by the number of concession licenses granted on peat land. The consequencies are the concession holder drains the peat so it can be managed. They burned the area so that the operational costs can be reduced to a minimum without cost.
Weekly Action Against Forest-Burning Corporations
To date, many forest and land fires are located in the concession area, unfortunately the “law enforcement” effort is targeting only on the “field actors”. Therefore, the National Executive and Regional Executive of Walhi of South Sumatra, Jambi, Riau, South Kalimantan, and Central Kalimantan took action in a week against Smoke.
At national level the action was carried out on Tuesday, August 8, 2017 in Front of the National Palace. The action was carried out in a theatrical form, carrying tree seeds covered by “artificial fumes”, and all the participants using masks and unfurling the banner of “Fight Against Forest Combustion Corporation”.
This action is intended to encourage public not to forget the previous forest and land fires and their impact on society and the environment. Through this Action, WALHI also reminded the government for their commitment to handle the karhutla, the President’s commitment to review license, law enforcement, restoration and recognition of people’s governance areas as a part of the Ministry.