How Indonesia’s One Map could tackle the haze problem

How Indonesia’s One Map could tackle the haze problem

11 November 2014

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Indonesia — FutureGov interviewed Nirarta Samadhi, head of Indonesia’s One Map initiative to uncover how it can help, and the progress made on the project so far.

How it works

The One Map initiative will standardise all Indonesian government maps and provide a single database so that agencies can analyse different datasets in a single place.

This allows Indonesia’s haze monitoring agency to analyse wind patterns and forest land rights to track forest fires, explained Samadhi.

The agency can then publish the map to Indonesia’s geoportal for governments, businesses and civil society organisations to monitor the haze situation and find the landowners responsible.

According to the Singapore Institute of International Affairs, governments in the region have been unable to clamp down on culprits of the pollution due to a lack of officials maps, local media reported.

Progress so far

Indonesia has improved the accuracy of its map this year, Samadhi added. 80 per cent of central agencies have already shared information, but progress with the remaining agencies will be slower, he said. Ministries don’t want to share information because of “sectoral ego”, he said.

Only 19 per cent of local government units have shared data so far. Some agencies “simply don’t see any merit” in sharing information, he said. Decentralisation of power also allows them to publish their own maps without needing to coordinate with the national government.

What’s next?

Samadhi wants new President Jokowi to allow free distribution of the map. Although Jokowi acknowledged the initiative in his presidential debate, “I haven’t seen any encouraging progress in terms of funding and programmes” for 2015, Samadhi said.

This year Samadhi plans to establish local agencies for geospatial information at every province and sub-province to coordinate with the national agency. He also plans to improve the accuracy of the map by standardising its data sources.

If Samadhi is successful, governments may be more successful in holding back the smog. But it seems as though there will be a long wait for the One Map project to be fully operational.

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