Indonesia has a new tool to help rapidly detect and monitor damaging forest fires, with the launch of an Australian-funded online system in Jakarta on Thursday.
Indofire is a collaborative project between Indonesia`s Ministry of Forestry, Institute of Aeronautics and Space (LAPAN), Ministry of Environment, the Australian Government and the Western Australian state government agency Landgate, the Australian Embassy here in a media release said.
Fires in forests and peatlands and the smoke haze they produce are seasonal problems in Indonesia.
Indofire downloads satellite information for all of Indonesia twice a day. This data appears on the Indofire website within an hour. This facilitates fast detection of fires, allowing fire fighters to respond quickly and reduce the fires` spread and severity.
Indofire also includes mapping information which allows forestry officials to identify where fires start and track their spread.
Deforestation and fires in forests and peatland account for more than 65 per cent of Indonesia`s greenhouse gas emissions. Monitoring, controlling and reducing fire is a key means to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from these sources.
The A$1.5 million Indofire system has been developed as part of the A$40 million Indonesia-Australia Forest Carbon Partnership. This practical cooperation between Indonesia and Australia on REDD (reducing emissions from deforestation and forest degradation in developing countries) aims to ensure REDD is part of a future international agreement on climate change.
Other partnership activities include the A$30 million Kalimantan Forests and Climate Partnership and support for development of Indonesia’s National Carbon Accounting System.