fire

Indonesian President Joko Widodo demanded on Monday sterner measures against errant firms committed in forest fire in the country, including by the revocation of their operation licenses starting from this year.

“I expect there would be no more warnings in 2017. If you want to freeze them, then freeze them. If you want to revoke them, then revoke them. If we take firm stance we can tackle this forest fire problem together,” the president said in presidential palace, addressing a national coordination meeting to anticipate possible forest fire this year.

Indonesian authorities has revoked operation licenses of 3 firms proved of committed in massive forest and peat land fires in 2015, froze the operation of 16 others and issued warnings against 115 others.

Losses generated by Indonesia’s most devastating forest fire in 2015 reached 220 trillion rupiah (about 16.4 billion U.S. Dollars) in medical expenses, flight cancellations and forest damages.

Considering the enormous bad impacts from forest fires in several aspects, the president seriously reminded related parties in the country to firmly settle legal cases related to it.

“I remind you there must be no compromise when it relates to forest fire,” the president pointed out.

He said that legal enforcers must execute immediately execute those involved in forest fire cases after the bound legal verdict issued by the court.

In the occasion, the president also urged national agency tasked to restore the burned peat land areas to carry out its task soon.

A well coordination between central government, national police, the military, provincial governments as well as municipal governments in the affected areas is highly required to anticipate situation that may lead to forest fire this year, the president said.

The costly forest fire in 2015 affected provinces in Indonesia’s Sumatra and Kalimantan, caused by land opening in the forest simply by torching fires in the jungle related to plantation area opening for palm oil and pulp industries.

The thick and toxic haze had cost economic activities in the affected provinces and in neighboring countries of Singapore and Malaysia which suffered from degrading air quality. Enditem

Source: Xinhua/NewsGhana.com.gh

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