Indonesia Jakarta Today (23 Jan) President Joko Widodo (Jokowi) asked permits of companies involved in forest fire to be revoked immediately. There should be no compromise with regard to forest fires, the President said.
Antara News reported Mr Jokowi said at the State Palace on 23 Jan, “I observed in 2015 to 2016 some (permits) were repealed, some were frozen, and some (corporations) were given a warning. I request that in 2017 there is no warning. Just freeze or revoke their permits.
If we (the government) are decisive they will guard against forest fire, everybody will maintain it, he said.
At least three companies permits had been revoked, 16 companies had their license suspended and 115 companies received warnings in cases involved land and forest fires during the period in 2015.
“The number of losses in 2015 was not small, it was about Rp220 trillion (S$ 23.37 billion). Law enforcement officers should be firm and resolve the existing cases of forest fires. I remind you again, there should be no compromise with regard to forest fires,” the president added.
“Process the cases firmly and execute immediately after legal binding decisions are achieved that no one dare to breach,” the President said.
The President also reminded the private companies which have received concessions of forest utilization to seriously take care and maintain its territory.
President Jokowi then asked the Peat Restoration Agency (BRG) to start to manage the peat burned in 2015.
He also expects the synergy between central government agencies, police, military, and provincial and district governments in an effort to prevent forest fires and land. “They should really work together in preventions, moving quickly to the fields, when the fire is still in a small location so that land and forest fires do not occur in 2017,” the president said.
The Indonesia Environment and Forests Minister Siti Nurbaya expressed her agreement with the move of licenses revocation for companies involved in forest fires. “I agree completely, because there should be no more fire. However I will have to see the government regulation and its laws. I will see what could be attributed on the orders of the President,” said Ms Nurbaya.
Antara News also reported President Joko Widodo asked the regional heads to not hesitate to set emergency alert status on land and forest fires.
“I want the emergency alerts established early. Do not let anything be a problem in issuing emergency alert letters. Issue it immediately. Especially governors in areas prone to forest and land fires, immediately distribute it. Even on only one fire location directly issue the letter,” said the President.
President Jokowi also asked that the fire control posts at the village and district level to be reactivated and the surrounding communities to be involved in forest fire prevention efforts.