SOUTH EAST ASIA
Regional Fire Management Resource Center – South East Asia (RFMRC-SEA)
A Regional Center of Excellence serving the Science-Policy-Practitioners Interface
In 2017, the partnering institutions Global Fire Monitoring Center (GFMC) and the University of Bogor established the Regional Fire Management Resource Center – South East Asia (RFMRC-SEA) at the Faculty of Forest Science of the University of Bogor, with financial support of German Federal Ministry for Food and Agriculture based on a decision of the German Bundestag (2017-2021). As a Regional Center of Excellence, the RFMRC-SEA is serving the Science-Policy-Practitioners Interface (SPPI). Open and transparent access of comprehensive online documentation provides information for professionals – the communities of fire managers, decision makers and policy makers – and for civil society including media.
- RFMRC-SEA Website: https://rfmrc-sea.org/
The in-depth analysis Enhancing Fire Management Capacity in Indonesia: A Path for Reconciling Social and Environmental Conflicts by the Global Fire Monitoring Center -(2016) provided rationale for the establishment of RFMRC-SEA. Source of satellite image: NASA.
Besides related scientific research and academic education, RFMRC-SEA provides advisory support for the formulation and implementation of relevant sectoral and holistic policies in Indonesia, including and with priority – advisory services to the judicial system. Furthermore the Center promotes regional transboundary cooperation in South-East Asia through networks and provides training for enhancing fire management capacities (primarily: information, trainings, development of human resources and institutional capacities). The establishment of this regional competence center for fire management is a measure of the decentralization of the work of the GFMC in the frame of the Global Wildland Fire Network and the Regional Fire Management Resource Centers.
Inauguration and National Round Table on Fire Management – 2017
On 10 July 2017, RFMRC-SEA was inaugurated in conjunction with the National Inter-Agency Round Table on Fire Management, Republic of Indonesia (Jakarta, Ministry for Environment and Forestry – Manggala Wanabhakti):
- Concept Note (PDF, 0.2 MB)
- Agenda (PDF, 0.1 MB)
- Media reports (PDF 0.4 MB)
Opening of the National Inter-Agency Round Table on Fire Management by GFMC Director Prof. Dr. Johann Georg Goldammer.
Opening of the Regional Fire Management Resource Center – South East Asia (RFMRC-SEA) by the Ministry for Environment and Forest, the Ambassador of Germany and GFMC.
The RFMRC-SEA Team and its leader, Prof. Dr. Bambang Hero Saharjo (right), his team and associated partners. All photos: RFMRC-SEA
First Regional Round Table on Fire Management – 2018
On 06 to 07 June 2018, the first Regional Round Table and Consultation Enhancing Regional Cooperation in Fire Management in South East Asia, was organized by organized by RFMRC-SEA) and hosted by the Ministry of Environment and Forestry, Republic of Indonesia and GFMC (Manggala Wanabhakti, Jakarta, and RFMRC-SEA, Bogor Agricultural University, Indonesia):
- Concept Note and Agenda (PDF, 0.5 MB)
Participants of the Regional Round Table and Consultation from Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand and Vietnam as well as from GFMC presented the lessons learned and challenges ahead in fire management in Southeast Asia (middle photo). On the second day the international continued its discussion at the premises of RFMRC-SEA in Bogor. Photos: RFMRC-SEA.
Capacity Building of the Judiciary System
One of the major efforts and objectives of RFMRC-SEA is the support of the law enforcement and the judiciary system of Republic of Indonesia.
Regular training courses and seminars for judges and police are conducted at RFMRC-SEA.
National and international outreach work: RFMC-SEA Bulletin # 3
RFMRCE-SEA Research and Publications
During the phase of establishment of RFMRC-SEA – supported by GFMC and the German Government between 2017 and early 2022, the scientific-technical publications reveal the advancement of the work in fundamental landscape fire science and knowledge transfer at the Science-Policy Interface:
Field research and training: Sampling of peat fire emissions for laboratory analysis and field training for fire investigation of illegally set fires and wildfires by Indonesian Police
Cooperation with International Organizations
The scientific and policy outreach of RFMRC-SEA includes cooperative efforts with regional multilateral intergovernmental organizations such as the Association of South East Asian Nations (ASEAN), international organizations and the UN system. One of the major efforts of GFMC and RFMRC-SEA was the contribution to the development of the WMO Vegetation Fire and Smoke Pollution Warning Advisory and Assessment System (VFSP-WAS):
- Vegetation Fire and Smoke Pollution Warning and Advisory System (VFSP-WAS): Concept Note and Expert Recommendations (WMO GAW Report No. 235) (GFMC lead author) (PDF, 3.3 MB)
- The WMO Vegetation Fire and Smoke Pollution Warning Advisory and Assessment System (VFSP-WAS): Concept, Current Capabilities, Research and Development Challenges and the Way Ahead. Biodiversidade Brasileira 11 (2), 2021, 179-201. DOI: 10.37002/biobrasil.v11i2.1738
- Bridging the Services of the WMO Vegetation Fire and Smoke Pollution Warning Advisory and Assessment System (VFSP-WAS) to Politics, Policies and Land Management: the South East Asia Example and Global Visions. Biodiversidade Brasileira 11 (2), 2021, 202-212. DOI: 10.37002/biobrasil.v11i2.1740
- WMO VFSP-WAS website: https://community.wmo.int/activity-areas/gaw/science/modelling-applications/vfsp-was
At the international workshop and training course “Forecasting Emissions from Vegetation Fires and their Impacts on Human Health and Security in South East Asia”, organized by WMO, IBBI, UNISDR/IWPM, GFMC & RFMRCE-SEA, UNU, GIZ, IGAC and BMKG in 2016 in Jakarta, Indonesia, the Southeast Asia Vegetation Fire and Smoke Pollution Warning Advisory and Assessment System (VFSP-WAS) was established in 2021.
At the UNFCCC COP-26 in Glasgow (UK), a thematic Side Event “Robust Actions on Integrated Forest Fire Management: Synergizing Resources in Achieving Indonesia Forestry and Other Land Use (FOLU) Net Sink 2030” (Indonesian Pavilion, 04 November 2021), chaired by the Minister for Environment and Forestry, Republic of Indonesia, was supported by RFMRC-SEA and GFMC. The Side Event addressed the advancements in reducing unnecessary and illegal use of fire in land-use change by law enforcement.
The Global Landscape Fire Award is awarded to individuals or institutions for “Recognition for the Successful Achievements in Reducing the Adverse Impacts of Landscape Fires on the Environment and Humanity and the Promotion of Sustainable and Safe Application of Fire in Land Use and Ecosystem Management”. The 2019 Award was granted Dr. Ir. Siti Nurbaya, MSc, Minister for Environment and Forestry (MoEF), Republic of Indonesia. Certificates of Distinction of the Award were granted to the head of RFMRC-SEA, Prof. Dr. Ir. Bambang Hero Saharjo, and Dr. Ir. Raffles Brotestes Panjaitan, Director of Forest and Land Fire Management, MoEF.
- Eulogy by GFMC (PDF)
Ceremony of handing over the Global Landscape Fire Award 2019 on 11 September 2019 in the Ministry for Environment and Forestry, Republic of Indonesia, Jakarta, to the laureate Dr. Ir. Siti Nurbaya, and Certificates of Distinction for Prof. Dr. Ir. Bambang Hero Saharjo, and Dr. Ir. Raffles Brotestes Panjaitan, MSc, Director of Forest and Land Fire Management, Directorate General of Climate Change, Ministry for Environment and Forestry, Republic of Indonesia.
Prof. Dr. Bambang Hero Saharjo, head of the Regional Fire Management Resource Center – South East Asia (RFMRC-SEA) and Indonesia’s lead expert witness on environmentally catastrophic peatland fires, has been awarded the 2019 John Maddox Prize for Standing up for Science for his courage and integrity in standing up for sound science in the face of harassment, intimidation, and law suits (GFMC co-nominator); London, United Kingdom).
- Maddox Prize background, 2019 awardees and media reports about the public response on the recognition of Bambang Hero Saharjo (PDF)
- Death threats not a deterrence in mission to save Indonesia forests (Borneo Bulletin, 13 September 2020)
Bambang Hero Saharjo (second from right) after accepting the 2019 John Maddox Prize in London, 12 November 2019
Financial Sponsor of Establishment of RFMRC-SEA.