SMOKE ON WATER
of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) agreed to work together to monitor and tackle the problem.
The increase in fire vulnerability has major implications for Indonesia’s ability to meet the Sustainable Development Goals and other global commitments. As Indonesia strives to break the cycle of peatland fires, it is looking into and trying out options to promote sustainable agriculture and economic development while working hard to restore peatland hydrology. In 2011, the Indonesian Government established a moratorium on the new conversion of primary forest and of peatlands more than three metres deep, and has renewed it several times since (Murdiyarso et al., 2011; Austin et al., 2014). In 2016, President Joko Widodo extended the moratorium to cover all peatlands and instructed companies to restore the hydrology of damaged peatlands urgently. It established the Peatland Restoration Agency (Badan Restorasi Gambut – BRG) to coordinate and drive the ambitious goal to restore 20,000 km 2 of degraded peatlands by 2020 (World Bank, 2017).
Indonesia’s peatland fires are a major cause of international concern due to their contribution to global warming, and more immediately, their effects on human health and the economies of adjacent countries. Under the ASEAN Agreement on Transboundary Haze Pollution signed in 2002, ratified by Indonesia in 2015, the 10 country members of the Association
Satellite fire detection in Indonesia
T IMOR L ESTE
Peatlands Average annual concentration of fire alerts (2005-2015)
L ÓPEZ , 2017 500 km
Source: Global Fire Watch, 2017, Fire history: 2001-2015 historical fire occurence.
Figure 12. Fires detected by remote sensing in Indonesia.
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