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8 Sep, 2015

Indonesian President wants forest-burning to end by 2016

JAKARTA, Indonesia Sept 7 (NNN-Bernama) — Indonesian President Joko Widodo has warned individuals and plantation owners in Sumatra not to carry out land clearing activities by burning the forests from next year, or they could face legal action.

Joko, or better known as Jokowi, who visited the land clearing and forest fire sites Banyuasin, West Sumatra yesterday, also ordered several Cabinet ministers not to look for any new methods to put out forest fires in the district.

He said this was because the methods were already known and what was needed now was a quick action to put out smoke-producing fires.

“Everyone know what causes and how to put out fire, we don’t need any explanation. What needs to be done quickly now is to find the solution so that it will not recur in the years to come,” he was quoted as saying by the local media.

Jokowi also urged the relevant authorities to find those responsible for initiating the forest fires. “I have ordered the Forestry Minister to take stern action against them. If not addressed, forest fires will continue to persist. This is not a correct practice in country’s administration and it must be stopped. Next year, I don’t want to hear about any forest fires again.”

The forest fires in Sumatra had also affected Malaysia and posed threats to human health as the Air Pollutant Index readings in several states were recorded as unhealthy.