Indonesia — Indonesia has collected up to 300 billion rupiah (about 33million U.S.dollars ) as funds to avert and overcome forest fires from differentinstitutions for one year, Forestry Minister MS Kaban said here Sunday. Theminister said about one half of the funds were collected from the Office of theCoordinating Minister for People’s Welfare, the Forestry Ministry and the restfrom the provincial administrations.
“Each province of the seven participating provinces provides 10 billionrupiah (about 1.1 million dollars),” he was quoted by national Antara NewsAgency as saying.
Kaban pointed out that 78 percent of areas where forest fires were locatedbelonged to private owners, so local administrations had to take part in effortsto avert and overcome forest fires. He added that some 26 billion Rupiah (about2.86 dollars) is scheduled to rent helicopters.
“This part of funds are used to rent four to seven helicopters which pourwater on fires for about 500 hours.”
The minister expressed hope the number of hot spots in Indonesia’s forests couldbe reduced up to less than 50 percent.
“With the involvement of regional heads like governors, district heads aswell as security institutions, I believe there will be drastic changes in2007,” he said.