WA’s Award-winning Firewatch Program Helps Indonesia’s Wildfires

WA’sAward-winning Firewatch Program Helps Indonesia’s Wildfires

13 March 2007

published by www.media-newswire.com

Indonesia — A team of fire monitoring experts from Landgate, ( formerly theDepartment of Land Information ), is helping the Indonesian Government reducethe smoke haze caused by the huge forest fires which have plagued South EastAsia since the 1990s.

Land Information Minister Michelle Roberts said Landgate�s SatelliteRemote Sensing Service ( SRSS ) had a 25-year history of customisingsatellite-monitoring applications to meet the specific needs of Governmentagencies across Australia.

�Importantly, Landgate�s Firewatch program has been recognised asAustralia�s leading fire monitoring service, winning multiple awardsincluding the Government Technology Gold Award and WA Premier�s Award in2005,� Mrs Roberts said.

�Taking this expertise overseas to assist our near neighbours inmonitoring and managing wildfires via satellite has been a logical step.�

Today the Minister welcomed the Republic of Indonesia�s Consul, DrAloysius Madja and a �hot spot team� from Indonesia, to Landgate�sSatellite Remote Sensing Service in Floreat.

The Indonesian team of seven is taking part in a six-week training program withthe SRSS technical team.

�This intense training program follows visits by SRSS technical teams toIndonesia to meet Forestry and Environment Ministries, to assess their needs andascertain sources of local spatial information which will be used to generatefire maps,� the Minister said.

�Access to these fire maps will help these agencies to control andrestrict the spread of forest fires which have been an annual disaster in theregion for many years.�

The Landgate technical support and training team will return with the Indonesianhot spot team to assist them in setting up the Fire Hot Spot Monitoring andManagement Program in their country.

Mrs Roberts also welcomed two representatives from the Forest ProtectionDepartment of the Vietnamese Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development whowere also taking part in the intensive training program.

By undertaking an effective role in trying to solve the regional smoke hazeproblem and the protection of regional forests, Landgate is helping tostrengthen Western Australia’s relationship with Indonesia and South-East Asia,she said.

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