Indonesian government's promise up in smoke: fires rise by 59 percent

Jeremy Hance
mongabay.com
June 13, 2010



The Indonesian government failed to live up to its promises to reduce fires across the tropical nation last year. Instead a 2009 State Environment Report showed a 59 percent rise of fire hotspots from 19,192 in 2008 to 32,416 last year, as reported by The Jakarta Post.

Officials say land clearing was the primary cause of the fire increase in the tropical nation. Unlike temperate forest, rainforests rarely burn naturally.

"Illegal land clearing with fires by local people in Kalimantan and Sumatra is still rampant," Heddy Mukna, deputy assistant for forest and land management at the Environment Ministry told The Jakarta Post. The state of Kalimantan on the island of Borneo saw fires triple in some areas from 2008 to 2009. Haze blanketed much of the island last year during the 'burning season'.

In 2007 the Indonesian government announced plan to cut forest fires in half to mitigate climate change from 35,279 fires in 2006. The government has since revised that cut to 20 percent rather than 50 percent.

Indonesia is the third largest emitter of greenhouse gases in the world behind China and the US. Eighty percent of its 2.3 billion tons of greenhouse gas emissions is from rainforest and peatland destruction.







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CITATION:
Jeremy Hance
mongabay.com (June 13, 2010).

Indonesian government's promise up in smoke: fires rise by 59 percent.

http://news.mongabay.com/2010/0613-hance_indonesia_fire.html