Meetings on the Indonesian fires

R e l i e f W e b
Source: UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA)
Date: 30 Apr 1998

Meetings on the Indonesian Fires


In view of the forest fire emergency facing Indonesia, the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) and the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) established close cooperation through the Joint UNEP/OCHA Environment Unit (which was put into place in 1994, within the Disaster Response Branch of OCHA in Geneva).

OCHA and UNEP have responded to the current fire emergency crisis in Indonesia and particularly in East Kalimantan by mounting a United Nations Disaster Assessment and Coordination (UNDAC) mission, which visited the country from the end of March to mid April 1998.

Three meetings on the Indonesian fires were convened jointly by UNEP and OCHA in Geneva on 20 and 21 April 1998. They consisted of an Expert Workshop on Fire-Fighting, a Meeting on Medium- to Long-Term Programmes for Responding to the Indonesian Fire Emergencies, and a Donors Meeting on the Indonesian Fires.


An Expert Workshop on Fire-Fighting was organized on 20 April 1998. It was attended by fire-fighting experts, with extensive practical experience in Indonesia, from Australia, Canada, Chile, Finland, France, Germany, Indonesia, Malaysia, the Netherlands, the Russian Federation, Singapore, Spain and the United States of America (list of participants in Annex 2).

The meeting was facilitated by the United Nations Office at Geneva.

Mr. K. Anthony Edwards, Special Advisor to the Executive Director of UNEP, opened the meeting and welcomed the participants and observers.

Dr. Klaus Töpfer, Executive Director of UNEP, addressed the expert meeting. He welcomed the participants, expressed UNEP’s preoccupation with the situation in Indonesia, and referred to his visit to Indonesia where he was received by H.E. Mr. Soeharto President of the Republic of Indonesia and the Ministers of People’s Welfare and Poverty Alleviation, the State Minister for Environment and the Minister for Forestry and Plantation. He also referred to his visit to Brunei to attend the ASEAN Ministerial Meeting on Haze. The participants were also welcomed by Mr. Gerhard Putman-Cramer, Chief, Disaster Response Branch, on behalf of OCHA.

The report of the UNDAC mission to Indonesia was presented to the experts by Mr. Erik Haegglund (leader of the mission) and Mr. Simo Wecksten.

The meeting broke then in three working groups to address three major issues related to fire fighting, such as:

What can be done immediately?
How can the repetition of fires be avoided?
Who does what at the different levels of organizations?

The groups held two plenaries along the day to discuss their respective progress. As a result of the deliberations, a list of recommendations was produced, which can be grouped as follows:


Immediate Action

Conditions to be met by the Government of Indonesia in order to encourage donors’ involvement

  • Identification of fire-fighting priorities (life and property/assets, etc.)
  • Improvement of administration and fund management structure
  • Ensuring the use of existing trained personnel and appropriate equipment
  • Involvement of all stakeholders in the decision-making process
  • Provision of full support to all donor operations (e.g.: logistics, medical, etc).

Expected Donor’s Involvement

The experts furthermore recommended, based on the provision of equipment and training for about 1000 local fire-fighters, to make available:

  • 50 fire fighting packages as designed by UNDAC mission in 1997 and taking into account donations in 1997)
  • 40 instructors for 30 days , combined with the training teams already deployed by, inter alia, EU and GTZ
  • Make use of previously trained fire fighters to assist with training programmes

Provision of Incident Management Specialists (highest operational management level of each fire) based on five teams of four persons (also to provide some management training)

Government Liaison Teams

  • at provincial level – to provide liaison with the Incident Management Teams-two persons (one team per province)
  • at national level – to provide liaison with the provinces-two persons

Aircraft – to be used for crew deployment/reconnaissance/aerial coordination/water dropping

  • 5 helicopters (one per incident team)- to include training in basic aircraft safety for fire fighters.
  • training for specialist roles of air fire combat (pilots).
  • 4 specialists to train helicopter crews (two weeks)


  • mobile phones in large urban areas (Incident managers, trainers, liaison)
  • satellite phones in remote areas (Incident managers, training teams)
  • radios (between fire crews and incident managers

Funding for:

  • fire fighter support (food/accommodation)
  • fuel (for aircraft, vehicles, pumps) travel and other transport costs
  • salaries
  • equipment (local and imported equipment purchases)
  • research and development- evolution and feedback
  • logistics (communications, medical, etc).



  • Prevention of new fires is essential
  • Prevention capability should be a major element in targeting suppression areas (avoid investing time and energy in suppressing fires that are likely to be repeated)

Broad Application (National Scale)

  • Use existing remote sensing information to identify problem areas
  • Focus on large land owners as a sizeable amount of large-scale fires on their properties
  • Identify deliberate breach of government policies
  • Ensure publication of information on breach of policy
  • Support BAPEDAL (Indonesian Environmental Impact Management Agency) concerning enforcement and documentation.
  • Provide information for medium term land-use mapping

Focused Application

Focus ground effort on targeted suppression areas

  • Work with local communities
  • Hire local people for paid fire watch or patrols
  • Principle : “less fires-more reward”

Enhanced Preparedness

  • Encourage early response to fire outbreaks using capability, especially in suppression target areas
  • Consider Army/Jagawana in early response and suppression (less involved in prevention)

Recognize and Publicize Successes


International Level

Coordinated United Nations response will be directed to the Regional ASEAN level and Indonesia

Regional Level

At ASEAN level, the ASEAN Senior Officials on Environment (ASOEN) will be active to coordinate fire disaster response in the region. The ASEAN/ASOEN level must be supported by international contributions to become operational.

National Level (Indonesia)

The agency coordinating fire disasters is BAKORNAS PB (National Disaster Management Coordinating Board) which should receive international assistance. BAKORNAS PB coordinates with national agencies and the provinces affected by fires. BAKORNAS PB will directly channel funds to the provinces.

Province Level

The provincial level disaster management board SATKORLAK PB is chaired by the Governor and coordinates all agencies involved in fire management. All fire disaster response takes place at the provincial level.

Funds provided by the international community, ASEAN and the national sources are administered by the SATKORLAK PB.

Emergency procedures/administration of funds. To properly implement the disaster response and administer international funds, Incident Command (IC) experts will be hired and put at the national (BAKORNAS PB, temporarily) and provincial levels.

At provincial level one IC expert will be full member of SATKORLAK PB (coordinator)

One or more expert(s) is (are) required for conducing/coordinating the disaster response in the field

Field based IC experts have authority to command/lead all military and forestry personnel in fire suppression operations

All other activities (e.g. putting equipment into place, conduct training/ refreshment training, public relations, fire prevention campaign, etc.) will also be coordinated by SATKORLAK PB.

The workshop concluded, in particular, that it would not be realistic to try putting out all fires in East Kalimantan. Instead, efforts should be concentrated on containing fires in East Kalimantan, and on operations in priority areas, including the protection of life, property and high value areas, such as Kutai National Park. At the same time, attention should be paid to preventing and being prepared for the occurrence of new fires in other provinces, especially in Sumatra.

An expert Working Group was established to draft a proposal for a short-term costed plan for immediate assistance to the fire fighting efforts in East Kalimantan. The Working Group came up with a costed action plan (Annex 1), which includes provisions for fire fighting packages, training, expertise, special aircraft support, communications and funds. The total amount of the required assistance is US$ 9,7 million.


The meeting was convened on 21 April 1998. It was attended by representatives of United Nations agencies, including FAO, UNDP, UNEP/GRID, UNESCO, UNICEF, WFP, WHO and WMO. Other organizations were also represented, including the ASEAN Secretariat, European Commission, CIFOR, IFRC, IUCN, WCMC, and WWF (list of participants in Annex 3). Fire fighting experts also participated in the meeting.

The meeting was co-chaired by Dr. Klaus Töpfer, Executive Director of UNEP, and Mr. Gerhard Putman-Cramer, Chief, Disaster Response Branch of OCHA.

The objective of the meeting was threefold: (a) to consider the establishment of a medium- to long-term inter-agency programme for responding to land, bush and forest fire emergencies, (b) to consider the establishment of a supportive information exchange network as well as early warning and emergency response networks and capacities and (c) to agree on an action agenda for coordinated multi-institutional response. Particular attention was given to developing appropriate, complimentary preventive measures and response frameworks for dealing with future fire emergencies.

A general discussion was held on future action by the international community for responding to major land, bush and forest fire emergencies.

Discussions took place on the elements for a preliminary proposal for inter-agency cooperation in the development and implementation of a medium- to long-term programme for preventing fires and responding to future major land, bush and forest fire emergencies.

The representative of UNICEF referred to assistance provided in 1997, primarily with regard to health issues (e.g. supply of face masks).

The representative of FAO said that its expertise and experience in integrated land use planning and assistance to countries in the implementation of inter-sectoral land use plans gives the Organization a sound basis for collaboration with national and international partners and for the provision of direct assistance to member countries. As an example, FAO has assisted the Government of Indonesia in the field of forest fires through a total of five field projects carried out between 1978 and 1996. Activities included the development of National Fire Protection Policy. FAO also assisted the Government of Indonesia in the development of practically oriented national forest fire management plan, which included components on the strengthening of the institutional capacity of the Ministry of Forestry in the country. In response to the forest fire emergency of 1997, FAO offered to assist and support the Ministry of Environment and Natural Resources in Indonesia. FAO intends to focus more attention on two major interrelated issues: information and public awareness, and policy, legal and institutional issues. FAO is planning to convene an Expert Consultation on Public Policies affecting Forest Fires in October 1998.
The representative of FAO mentioned that the Inter-agency Task Force on Forests (ITFF) could be requested to take up at its next session in August the non-emergency aspects of forest fires, such as fire prevention, training, techniques for combatting fires, and fire policy.

The representative of WMO said that its involvement with the smoke and haze problem in South East Asia can be divided into two main areas of interest: meteorological transport modelling; and, ground-based measurements of pollutants. Two important actions have been taken by WMO related to the smoke and haze in South East Asia. A WMO team of experts was sent to the region in 1996 to identify what actions needed to be taken to assist countries in dealing with the problem. Based on the findings of the mission, a Programme to Address ASEAN Regional Transboundary Smoke (PARTS) was developed. Further to the consultations with ASEAN members, it was recommended that the WMO organize a workshop to focus on the haze of 1997 and recommend actions for the future. A WMO Workshop on Regional Transboundary Smoke and Haze in South-East Asia will take place in Singapore (2-5 June 1998).

The representative of WHO described its past and future activities with respect to the Indonesian forest fires. In particular, he mentioned a bi-regional meeting (SEARO/WPRO) on haze-related health impact research to be held in Kuala Lumpur on 1-4 June 1998. WHO will also prepare Guidelines for Forest Fire Emergencies to advise governments in emergency cases such as the Indonesian fire emergencies and the associated haze.

The representative of UNESCO mentioned that a project proposal on the underlying causes and impacts of fires in Southeast Asia has been developed as a joint initiative of the Centre for International Forestry Research (CIFOR), the International Centre for Research in Agroforestry (ICRAF) and UNESCO. The project builds on existing cooperation between the three organizations. Plans have been developed for a research project on the underlying causes of land and forest fires, with a particular focus on Kalimantan and Sumatra. The combined expertise and field knowledge of these institutions provide an interesting research opportunity.

UNESCO proposes the holding of a joint expert meeting to be organized with UNESCO Office in Jakarta and the Indonesian Government, for instance the Indonesian Institute of Sciences, with appropriate organizations such as CIFOR and ICRAF. This meeting could elaborate innovative methodologies for forest fire prevention, in carefully selected sites where the physical, ecological, socio-cultural and economic dimensions have been the subject of previous research. In Indonesia, appropriate sites could be found in existing or potential Biosphere Reserves and World Heritage sites.

The representative of the European Commission noted that the Commission and Member States are assisting the Government of Indonesia with the European Union Fire Response Group (EUFREG), which prepared recommendations for larger-scale assistance. The Indonesian Government has undertaken steps to withdraw concessions from companies which illegally used fire for land clearing. It has sought extensive international help to assist in implementing sustainable forest management practices. However, the implementation of such practices will be slow, and it is expected that it will take years to achieve a thorough change of attitude in Indonesia. The Commission therefore remains committed to provide assistance to the Government in the framework of its ongoing bilateral cooperation. It was also mentioned that from July 1998 information from a new satellite system should be available through the Commission’s centre in Ispra.

The representative of IUCN stressed that there is a clear need for a global response to the deepening forest fire crisis. To date, regional and global responses to recent outbreaks of large forest fires in Indonesia and Brazil have largely focused on extinguishing existing fires and providing humanitarian aid to fire affected regions. Not enough attention has been focused on addressing the underlying causes of forest fires, or incorporating conservation concerns into fire management policies and practices. A proposal by IUCN/WWF for a collaborative programme of work on forest fires was described. Its outputs would include improved national, regional and global fire management policies, laws and other instruments and, improved coordination of national, regional and global strategic and tactical responses to detrimental forest fires. This will be achieved through a wide range of information dissemination mechanisms including publications and Internet.

The representative of ASEAN referred to the third ASEAN Ministerial Meeting on Haze and the seventh meeting of the Senior Officials on the Environment (ASOEN) Haze Technical Task Force. He said that the Ministers launched an initiative to establish two Sub-Regional Firefighting Arrangements (SRFAs), namely for Kalimantan and for Sumatra/Riau provinces. The Ministers agreed that the priority of the SRFAs would be to ensure at all cost that fires are prevented from becoming an economic and environmental threat in Sumatra and Riau provinces, and that fires in East Kalimantan must be contained and not allowed to spread to Central and West Kalimantan. The SRFAs will incorporate mechanisms to rapidly activate and mobilise efforts to put out fires before they get out of control, and channel additional and complementary resources from the region and internationally.

The UN Resident Coordinator in Jakarta described the work of his office with regard to the coordination of assistance. He mentioned the recent agreement between the Government of Indonesia and IMF, which contains environment-related provisions. A reference was made to a possible innovative programme on “food for fire-fighting” in East Kalimantan, to promote fire fighting activities. The UNDP project on “Forest Fire Crisis: Socio-Environmental Consequences & Policy Response” was described. The project aims to enhance the capacity of the State Ministry for Environment in coordinating responses to the disaster through compilation of an action plan for forest fire prevention and management in the immediate and short term (1998/1999), mid-term (1998-2000), and long-term (1998-2003).

The initial aims are to conduct a short-term environment- related risk assessment focusing specifically on the immediate consequences of fires in 1997, and to strengthen the State Ministry for Environment’s capacity to plan for and coordinate technical, institutional and policy responses to the inter-related environmental, social and economic consequences of the disaster.

The representative of the German GTZ underlined that parallel programmes to Indonesian programmes should be avoided. He also noted the importance of identifying the institutional framework (arrangements) in Indonesia for medium- and long-term programmes.

The representative of WWF stressed that the forest fire problem is not only national and regional, but also global, and that the response should be global as well. He also mentioned the necessity to address the underlying causes, and not only the symptoms. It would be important to involve local people and communities, and make commercial companies responsible for their actions.

The delegate of Australia said that many types of information are available in principle, but there is no central conduit. A proposal was made to establish an appropriate regional centre.

It was suggested to consider the elaboration of global binding agreements with regard to forest fires.

The delegate of Indonesia stressed the importance of a regional approach through ASEAN to the problem of forest fires.

Dr. Klaus Töpfer drew the attention of participants to the role of law enforcement at the national level, and a “carrot and stick” policy. It was mentioned in this connection, that in the Philippines, communities where there are no fires, receive a better financial support. He also stressed the necessity to integrate plantation companies in the overall process, and noted that market problems at the global level are even more important than at the national level. Dr. Klaus Töpfer said, in particular, that the availability of satellite information is being improved, but the problem how to use this information still remains. He invited participants to think how to make available relevant information to decision-makers, as well as directly to fire fighters. He also mentioned that there are about 14,000 fire fighters available in Indonesia, and suggested to the participants to consider what may be needed to refresh their training. Dr. Klaus Töpfer put forward an idea to establish a special Fund for the prevention of forest fires. He underlined the usefulness of a multilateral approach, and cooperation in the region. He recommended close contact with the ASEAN.

Dr. Klaus Töpfer summarized the main elements of medium- and long-term programmes for responding to the Indonesian fire emergency:

1. Integrated approach, combining economic, social, as well as macroeconomic aspects.

2. Regional cooperation, especially for existing transboundary effects.

3. Strengthening the enforcement of existing law, and development of new law. Plantation companies should be involved in the overall process.

4. Identification of gaps and improvement of knowledge, better use of available information in decision-making process and implementation of actions.

5. Improvement of regional, provincial and local structures for preparedness to emergencies, and also use of socio-economic incentives to improve preparedness.

6. Education, awareness building, closer involvement of mass media in order to reach local people.

7. Making best use of, and ensuring the availability of special equipment (e.g. helicopters) in the region, and stockpiling of equipment in different locations.

8. Strengthening the NGO family in the region, as partners to reach people directly.

9. Promotion of sustainable forestry, and ensuring better market for products from forests managed in a sustainable way.

10. Overall coordination to avoid duplicating efforts.

Finally, Dr. Klaus Töpfer said that it would be useful to convene another meeting in September 1998 in the region (e.g. in Jakarta, Singapore, or Kuala-Lumpur).

The meeting concluded that it would be important to focus assistance to Indonesia on capacity and awareness building, improvement of national disaster management and early warning. The meeting welcomed the efforts of UNEP and OCHA to strengthen the coordination of international response efforts in the context of the Indonesian fires.


The meeting was attended by delegations from Australia, Austria, Belgium, Brunei Darussalam, Canada, Chile, Denmark, Egypt, Finland, France, Germany, Indonesia, Italy, Jamaica, Japan, Jordan, Kenya, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Nigeria, Norway, Pakistan, Philippines, the Republic of Korea, Romania, the Russian Federation, Singapore, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Thailand, United Kingdom and the United States of America (list of participants in Annex 4).

Relevant UN agencies, international organizations, as well as fire fighting experts, also participated in the meeting.

The Donors meeting was co-chaired by Dr. Klaus Töpfer, Executive Director of UNEP, and Mr. Ross Mountain, Director-designate of OCHA, Geneva.

The objective of the meeting was to inform the donors community and to mobilize support to the Indonesian Government in combatting the extensive forest fires in Indonesia. Attention was also given to developing appropriate, complimentary preventive measures and response frameworks for dealing with future fire emergencies.

Dr. Klaus Töpfer reported on his meeting with His Excellency President Soeharto of Indonesia and with H.E. Prof. Haryono Suyono, State Coordinating Minister for People’s Welfare and Poverty Alleviation, H. E. Prof. Juwono Sudarsono, State Minister for Environment, and H. E. Ir. Sumahadi, the Minister for Forestry and Plantation.

The Executive Director also reported on the results of the third Association of South East Asian Nations (ASEAN) Ministerial Meeting on Haze (AMMH) held in Bandar Seri Begawan, Brunei Darussalam on 4 April 1998, which he attended with Mr. Gerhard Putman-Cramer, Chief, Disaster Response Branch, OCHA.

Mr. Ross Mountain addressed the meeting on behalf of Mr. Sergio Vieira de Mello, the Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs. He referred to significant humanitarian consequences of the fire disaster in South-East Asia, and noted that the current economic crisis in Indonesia is severely reducing local capacities to maintain existing and implementing new fire-fighting operations. The Government of Indonesia has therefore confirmed that it would welcome international assistance, especially in the field of fire fighting. Mr. Ross Mountain said that the OCHA Disaster Response Branch, and the Joint UNEP/OCHA Environment Unit, dispatched United Nations Disaster Assessment and Coordination Teams (UNDAC) to Indonesia in 1997 and 1998. As a result of joint efforts to mobilize international assistance in 1997, many countries provided different types of assistance, both in cash and in kind, to Indonesia (totalling some 14 million US dollars). Mr. Ross Mountain said that the nomination of the new Executive Director of UNEP, Dr. Klaus Töpfer, to coordinate the United Nations system’s response to the fires in the region, gives an important impetus to the already existing close association between OCHA and UNEP. The practical cooperation of OCHA and UNEP enables both organizations to reach the international environmental community, as well as the world disaster management community, military and civil defence assets, and other relevant networks. OCHA and UNEP will continue to work together in facilitating the cooperation of all UN partners involved, taking advantage of the technical expertise and competence of UNEP and the emergency response system established by OCHA.

The UNDAC Mission Report entitled “Indonesia Land, Bush and Forest Fires, March-April 1998” was presented by Mr. Erik Haegglund, Team Leader, assisted by Mr. Simo Wecksten, Disaster Management Expert (UNDAC) and by Mr. Vladimir Sakharov, Head of the Joint UNEP/OCHA Environment Unit.

The recommendations of the Expert Workshop on Fire Fighting, addressing technical aspects of fire-fighting, including equipment, human resources, techniques and training, were presented to the meeting.

The results of the Meeting on Medium- to Long-Term Programmes for Responding to the Indonesian Fire Emergencies, which brought together fire-fighting experts and involved United Nations agencies and international organizations, were also provided to the donors. Practical recommendations were presented on medium- to long-term programmes for responding to fire emergencies.

A general discussion was held on future action for containing and extinguishing the fires in Indonesia.

Particular attention was given to exploring possibilities for donor support to combatting the fires. Current and planned initiatives from multilateral and bilateral donors were considered.

The delegate of the United Kingdom recalled that they had made contributions last year, including funds for a fire-fighting expert. He said that before committing any new funds, they would like to receive information on the use of the funds and on any lessons learnt during last year’s operations. The United Kingdom is funding a number of ongoing projects, in particular the UNDP Global Forestry Project.

In the discussion, it was mentioned that the Indonesian Ministry of Forestry had an inventory of equipment received from donors, as well as of personnel trained.

The delegate of Indonesia said that most of the fires in East Kalimantan are caused by land clearing activities. One of the problems faced by the Indonesian Government is how to prove that certain companies are responsible for burning fires. The national authorities have already requested assistance from ASEAN in the form of legal advice.

The representative of the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies informed the meeting that the IFRC has been implementing a preparedness programme through the Indonesian Red Cross, with an initial duration of 10 months. This programme will most likely be extended. Main emphasis is on health-related aspects, public awareness and health education, building on local capacities.

The representative of the World Food Programme informed the meeting that a joint FAO/WFP crop assessment mission was undertaken in March this year. The report was released on 17 April 1998. The mission estimated that 7.5 million people in 15 provinces will likely experience acute household food insecurity over the next 12 months. The mission also found that Indonesia’s rice import requirements would be about 3.5 million tons during the current year. WFP will dispatch a Country Director to Indonesia and also implement food-for-work programmes.

The representative of UNDP stated that his organization, and in particular the Emergency Response Division, is very interested to participate in inter-agency coordination and provide assistance through the Disaster Management Training Programme in capacity building, training and prevention.

The delegate of Switzerland said that before making a decision to mobilize resources it would be important to know who is doing what, and how coordination works at the national level.

The delegate of Egypt announced that a package of assistance of medical equipment and pharmaceuticals worth Egyptian £ 100,000 (including transport) will be sent to Indonesia.

The delegate of the United States expressed appreciation to UNEP and OCHA for their effort to coordinate international assistance to the Indonesian fires. The United States has been actively involved in the provision of assistance to Indonesia for a number of months. It is providing assistance to on-going USAID programmes in the region (US$ 8 million in 1998), including the South East Asia environment initiative (US$ 4 million) consisting of 4 programmes: haze monitoring, study health impacts, climate prediction and ASEAN health action plan. Additional US$ 2 million are allocated for immediate assistance in fire fighting, but subject to congressional approval. This amount is foreseen to be used for training, improving fire-fighting capacity, and also for fighting coal and peat fires.

The delegate of Canada referred to an assessment mission, which went to Indonesia in the autumn of 1997. In the short-term, Canada has provided fire fighting equipment and training. As a long-term activity, assistance in capacity building is being considered. Canada is currently engaged in integrated forest fire management project as longer term assistance.

The Chief of OCHA’s Disaster Response Branch informed the meeting that OCHA has a financial tracking mechanism, which allows reporting back to donors on the use of funds channelled through OCHA.

The UN Resident Coordinator in Jakarta noted that his office is coordinating international assistance at the country level, using mechanisms established for this purpose. As far as the Indonesian economic recovery is concerned, an agreement has been reached that three international bodies help to coordinate in different areas, namely: World Bank – social safety net and assistance to alleviate the social consequences of the economic crisis; Asian Development Bank – small-scale industries; and, UN Resident Coordinator – technical assistance and cooperation.

The delegate of Malaysia stressed that the present meeting was very useful. Malaysia will continue playing an active role in cooperation with regard to the Indonesian fires at bilateral, regional (through ASEAN), and global levels. He mentioned, in particular, that at present there are no special surveillance airplanes in Indonesia, and international assistance in air surveillance would be useful. The delegate mentioned that Malaysia has already spent about 10 million Swiss francs on fire fighters sent to Indonesia, and appealed to donors to provide further assistance to Indonesia, taking into account the urgency of the situation.

The delegate of Australia said that his country is actively considering the possibility of new contributions to assist Indonesia in fire fighting in the short- and longer-term. It is already providing assistance through the IMF package. AusAID has granted Aus $1.8 million in assistance since last year, mostly through ICRC and the Indonesian Red Cross.

The delegate of Germany expressed his government’s appreciation to UNEP’s two-tier approach, including an immediate and a medium- to long-term response.

The representative of the European Commission said that the European Union (EU) continues to support Forest Fire Prevention and Control Project in South Sumatra. It also active through the EU Forest Fire Response Group. The Commission provided one million ECU through ECHO for the drought.

The delegate of New Zealand noted that the country provided NZE $150,000 last year through OCHA for forest fires in Indonesia. The attention of the participants was drawn to the International Centre for Research in Agro Forestry which is studying alternatives to slash and burn techniques

The delegate of Japan noted that the country sent two missions to Indonesia last year: an assessment team and fire-fighting experts. He stressed that haze issues are to be tackled regionally, in cooperation with ASEAN.

The delegate of Singapore mentioned that the country has already provided bilateral and regional assistance. It may be interested in the provision of equipment.

The delegate of the Republic of Korea said that the country made a contribution last year (US$100,000), and is now considering further provision of assistance.

The delegate of Indonesia expressed a deep appreciation to UNEP and OCHA for their joint efforts to mobilize and coordinate international assistance to Indonesia in connection with forest fires, and thanked all delegates for their solidarity. He ensured the participants that the fire disaster is taken very seriously in Indonesia, and the national authorities are committed to undertake the necessary programmes. He underlined that international assistance to Indonesia is urgently needed, and stressed that forest fires have become a global issue, and they should be treated accordingly.

Dr. Klaus Töpfer underlined the necessity of immediate assistance to Indonesia. He also said that it is important to have a full picture of who is doing what, with regard to the Indonesian fires.

The discussion showed that the international community is concerned about the fire situation, and is willing to assist Indonesia. It was stressed that the national authorities should also take appropriate steps, e.g. in regard to national policies of land clearing. The Indonesian representatives assured the meeting that they were addressing these issues and that they would welcome international assistance, especially with regard to the current disaster situation in East Kalimantan. There is a general understanding that the problem of forest fires is now a regional and indeed a global issue, and should be dealt with accordingly at the various levels.

A general understanding was reached on follow-up to the donors meeting that takes into account the provision of short-term assistance to Indonesia for containing and combatting the fires, as well as the development of medium- to long-term measures for preventing fires and responding to future major land, bush and forest fire emergencies. This could include the establishment of cooperation procedures for a coordinated response by the international community.Annex 1


Geneva, 20-21 April 1998


As a follow-up to the Expert Workshop on Fire-fighting of 20 April, a Working Group of experts meeting was convened on 21 April in order to draft a proposal for a short-term costed action plan for the immediate assistance to the fire-fighting efforts in East-Kalimantan, Indonesia.

Deriving from the outcome of the Expert Workshop of 20 April, the Working Group decided upon the following objectives for the action plan: (i) Contain fires in selected areas of East-Kalimantan and elsewhere as prioritised by the Indonesian Government and international experts (e.g. nature reserves); (ii) assist in the prevention of new fires from starting on other islands within the next six months.

The plan, which would enhance efforts already taking place, covers the provision of essential equipment and training for local fire-fighters, the appropriate use of aircraft, operational management, communications and support to liaison teams.

The key background material for the Workshop was provided by the most recent UNDAC mission to Indonesia. Its report includes an estimate that about 20,000 hectares of land in East-Kalimantan are burning and over 250,000 hectares have been burned by fires this year, posing local, regional and global threats to human health and biological diversity. The report also indicates that knowledge of assistance already is in place.

As prerequisites for the programme, the following assumptions were made by the Working Group:

  • the time period for action is May – October 1998;
  • only a fraction of fires can be put out (up to 5 %);
  • priority areas are to be identified by the Government of Indonesia;
  • the action should take 60 days;
  • the man-power at disposal for the action is 1000 men;
  • international community will provide support to the Indonesian national efforts in fighting the fires;
  • the Government will provide leadership, technology (including Army and Forest Service, as appropriate) and manage resources at national and local level (including integration with ASEAN and Malaysian activities);
  • the funding available for action is up to 10 million US$;
  • the fire-fighting strategy should be built on ongoing projects of East-Kalimantan and Sumatra (using them as hosts).


Basis of the action plan:

  • recommendations of the UNDAC missions of 1997 and 1998
  • the outcome of the Fire Fighters Experts Meeting of the workshop on April 20st 1998, concerning immediate actions
  • personal experience of the working group members who drafted the Costed Action Plan

Chain of actions decided upon

Time path

  • immediate short term fire suppression action within 6 months
  • 60 days operational action

Organisation and liaison

  • fund raising, organisation and liaison at the international level by UN organisations
  • organisation and implementation of fire suppression by the appropriate Indonesian agencies at the national level
  • secondmentment of 2 international fire management experts as advisors and liaison officers at the national level
  • priorities of fire supression activities in the different Indonesian provinces set by the Indonesian authorities (assumption East-Kalimantan and Riau)
  • secondment of 2 international fire management experts as advisors and liason officers at the provincial level

ICM teams and Fire fighting Units

  • establishment and operationalisation of 5 highly mobile Incident Control Management (ICM) teams
  • assignment of 4 highly qualified ICM-experts per team (totals 20 experts)
  • assignment of a number of fire fighting units to each ICM team depending on the nature and extension of the fires to be suppressed
  • assignment of 1 helicopter to each ICM-team, equiped with fire fighting devices; training of pilots in fire fighting tecniques
  • assignment of transport vehicles for transport of fire fihting units deployment
  • equipment for and additional training of 1000 fire fighters, organised in 50 units of 20 persons based in provinces with high fire risk and to be employed all over the archipelago when called to action
  • deployment of ICMs and fire fighting units in priority areas
  • recruitment, equiping and deployment of local community crews for additional support to the ICM teams and fire fighting units


Cost item No. of units Unit price Total per item PERSONNEL COSTS Coordination /Liason intenational fund raising, coordination, liaison 3 experts x120 days=360 days 800/day all in (including DSA, travel and logistics) 288000 national coordination/liaison 2 experts x 60days=120 days 800/day all in 96000 provincial coordination/liaison 2 experts (1 per province)x60 days =120 days 800/day all in 96000 ICM-teams ICM experts 4 experts per team x 5 teams x 60 days = 1200 800/day all in 960000 fire fighting Units: field/hardship/danger allowances 1000 fire fighters x 60 days = 60000 15/day 900000 additional fire fighters recruited from the local population 1000 x 30 days = 30000 10/day 300000 Training training fire fighters by local/regional instructors 40 instructors x 30 days = 1200 days 200/day all in 240000 training helicopter pilots 4 specialists x 14 days = 56 days 800/day all in 45000 Travel, shelter and food travel fire fighters from different provinces of indonesia 800 FF from other provinces 500/round trip 400000 shelter and food for the FF 1000 FF x 60 days = 60000 days 15/day 900000 food for local recruited fire fighters 1000 FF x 30 days =30000 days 5/day 150000

Total personnel

4375000 INVESTMENTS equipment of Fire Fighting units 50 FF-units (20 FF per unit 16000/FF-unit 800000 special fire fighting equipment lumpsum for each ICM-team x 5 teams 50000/ICM-team 250000 communication equipment lumpsum for mobile phones, satelite phones and radio for each team x 5 teams 20000/ICM-team 100000

Total investments

1150000 OPERATIONAL COSTS transportation to be rented 3 vehicles per unit x 50 units x 60 days 50/day 450000 fuel for vehicles and water pumps lumpsums for each FF unit x 50 5000/FF-unit 250000 other operational costs including medical costs lumpsum for each ICM-team x 5 80000/Iteam 400000 Operational costs for liaison and coordination lumpsums for the international, national and provincial level 25000 75000 Total operational costs 1175000


helicopters, water bombing assets, fuel, ground crew 1 helicopter per ICM-team for 60 days lump sum lump sum 3000000 Total subcontracts 3000000



Annex 2

Experts and Donors Meetings on Forest Fire-fighting

Geneva, 20-21 April 1998, Palais des Nations

List of experts

Provisional List of Participants

BATTESTI Antoine, Colonel
Areal Fire Suppression Expert
Entente Interdépartementale
Domaine de Valabre
13120 Gardanne
Tel: +33 4 42 94 95 00
Fax: +33 4 42 94 95 29

International Fire Coordinator
USDA Forest Service
201 14th Street, SW
P.O. Box 96090
Washington, DC 20250
Tel: +1 202 205 1500
Fax: +1 202 205 1272

Scidence and technology Officer
National Aerial Forest Fire Centre
Gorkogo St. 20
141200 Pushkino Moscow
Russian Federation
Tel: +7095 584 34 30
Fax: +7096 532 32 31/7095 584 37 56

Senior Superintentent
NSW Rural Fire Service
P.O. Box 138, Batemans Bay
NSW 2536
Tel: +61 2 4472 4165
Fax: +61 2 4472 4401

DUCAT André, Commandant
Camp de la Sécurité Civile
Tel: +33 4 95 45 17 00
Fax: +33 4 95 45 17 51

GLOVER Owen, Mr.
Regional Commander, CFS
Port Augusta
Tel: +61 8 82 04 3480
Fax: +61 8 86 41 0176

GOLDAMMER Johann, Prof.
University of Freiburg
Fire Ecology Research Group
Max Plank Institute for Chemistry
D-79085 Freiburg, Germany
Tel: +49 761 80 80 11
Fax: +49 761 80 8012

Forest Fire Control
Tel: +1 705 741 4392
Fax: +1 705 741 4596

ISHAK H. Awang Farouk, Mr.
Kantor Gubernur Kaltim
Jin. Gajah Mada N 1
Samarinda, Kalimantan Timur
Tel: +62 541 33333 ext. 103
Fax: +62 541 41936

The Netherlands

Fax: +31 317 424 988

Operations Manager
Forest Fire Management Branch
Saskatchewan Environment and Resource Management
Box 3003, Hwy # 2N
Prince Albert
Canada S6V 6G1
Tel: +1 306 953 3473
Fax: +1 306 953 2530

MOAD Alex, Mr.
USDA Forest Service
201 14th Street, SW
P.O. Box 96090
Washington, DC 20250
Tel: +1 202 205 1500
Fax: +1 202 205 1272

NICOLAS Marc, Major
Fire Management Expert
Forest Fire Prevention and Control Project
30000 Indonesia
Tel: +62 711 410 955
Fax: +62 711 417 137

SANHUEZA Patricio, Mr.
CONAF-Santiago, Chile
Tel: +562 671 5559
Fax: +562 699 4605

SCHINDLER Ludwig , Mr.
Team Leader
Integrated Forest Fire Management
Tel: +62 541 32625
Fax: +62 541 33519

SMITH C.B. Cliff, Mr.
Forest Fire Control
Tel: +1 403 449 5626
Fax: +1 403 449 5626

SMITH Ross, Mr.
Assistant Commissioner Operations Support
N.S.W. Rural Fire Service
Granville NSW
Tel: +612 9846 3360
Fax: +612 9638 3336

Fire Branch and Chief Fire Officer,
Department of Conservation and Land Management for the State of Western Australia
Tel: +61 8 9334 0366
Fax: +61 89 367 9913

STOCKS Brian, Mr.
Forest Fire Research. Canadian Forest Service
Natural Resources Canada
1219 Queen Street East, Sault Ste.Marie,
Ontario P6A 5M7
Tel: +1 705 949 9461
Fax: +1 705 759 5700

Head of Forest Fire Prevention Section
Directorate General of Forest Protection and Nature Conservation
Jakarta, 10270
Tel: +62 251 323972
Fax: +62 251 323972

VELEZ MUNOZ Ricardo, Mr.
Chief, Forest Fire Control
Direccion General de Conservacion de la Naturaleza
Ministerio del Medio Ambiante
Gran Via de San Francisco 4
28071 Madrid
Tel: +34 1 366 5104
Fax: +341 365 8379

Special Advisor
Helsinki Rescue Department
Agricolankatu 15
00530 Helsinki
Tel: +358 9 393 6253
Fax: +358 9 393 6393

Projects andProgrammes


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