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Blog Posts: Indonesia Forest Fires

  • Indonesia Burning: Forest Fires Flare To Alarming Levels

    Fires were ablaze once more on the Indonesian island of Sumatra, reaching levels almost as high as those of June 2013, when neighboring Singapore and Malaysia were smothered by record-breaking smog and haze. NASA satellites registered a total of 734 high-confidence fire alerts in Sumatra’s provinces for the period August 22-27. Fire alert numbers declined significantly August 28-29.

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  • Fire Alerts Spike in Indonesia as Risk of Haze Crisis Returns

    Cecelia Song, Kemen Austin, Andrew Leach, and other experts at WRI also contributed to this post.

    Bacalah posting blog dalam Bahasa Indonesia di sini

    Fires are flaring up once more on the Indonesian island of Sumatra. Media reports in the region indicate that the resulting smog has already reached unhealthy levels over parts of Indonesia and Malaysia.

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  • Indonesia Haze Risk Will Remain High Unless Ministers Keep Promises

    Following record-breaking air pollution across Indonesia, Singapore and Malaysia, ministers from five Southeast Asian countries will meet in Kuala Lumpur this week for urgent talks on combating the haze.

    New analysis of the patterns and causes of the fires in Sumatra that caused the haze highlights serious issues at the kickoff of this 15th meeting of the Sub-Regional Ministerial Steering Committee on Transboundary Haze Pollution.

    The new analysis from the World Resources Institute (WRI), which has been closely monitoring the fires since they began, highlights four key challenges that should help set the agenda for the Ministers of Indonesia, Singapore, Malaysia, Brunei Darussalam and Thailand.

    1. First, pulpwood and oil palm concessions have a more significant role in the fires that we earlier thought.

    WRI’s analysis shows that that the number of fire alerts per hectare, in other words their density, is three to four times higher within pulpwood and oil palm concession boundaries than outside those boundaries.

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  • Risiko Kebakaran Hutan dan Kabut Asap Indonesia Masih Tinggi: Empat Temuan Mencemaskan Terkait Kebakaran Hutan Belakangan

    Cecelia Song, Ariana Alisjahbana, Kemen Austin, Andrew Leach, Anne Rosenbarger, James Anderson dan ahli lainnya di WRI juga berkontribusi dalam artikel ini. Translation by Andhyta Utami, Andika Putraditama, and Ariana Alisjahbana

    Read this post in English here

    Menteri dari lima negara Asia Tenggara akan berkumpul di Malaysia minggu depan untuk sebuah pembahasan penting mengenai usaha mengatasi kabut asap. Hal ini terkait terjadinya kebakaran hutan baru-baru ini yang telah memecahkan rekor polusi udara tertinggi di berbagai wilayah Indonesia, Singapura, dan Malaysia. Beriringan dengan dimulainya pertemuan ke-15 dari Komite Pengarah Tingkat Menteri Sub-Regional untuk Polusi Lintas-Batas (Sub-Regional Ministerial Steering Committee on Transboundary Haze Pollution), analisis mendalam mengenai pola dan penyebab dari api terus berlanjut. Semoga saja krisis terakhir ini dapat memastikan bahwa pertemuan tersebut dapat berlangsung lebih produktif dari 14 rapat sebelumnya, sekaligus mendorong kawasan untuk menemukan penyebab dari kebakaran dan kabut asap tersebut.

    Pada pertengahan Juni, yakni puncak dari fenomena kabut asap tersebut, WRI mempublikasikan sebuah rangkaian tulisan yang terdiri atas tiga analisis mengenai kebakaran hutan di Indonesia, menggunakan peringatan titik api dari data satelit NASA dan peta resmi konsesi perkebunan HPH, kelapa sawit, serta HTI pemerintah Indonesia. Kami menemukan bahwa sekitar setengah dari peringatan titik api di Sumatera bertempat di dalam perkebunan kelapa sawit dan akasia, sekaligus mengidentifikasi perusahaan mana yang bertanggung jawab dalam pengelolaan area tersebut. Sejak penerbitannya, analisis dan temuan-temuan tersebut telah direplikasi, dikonfirmasi, serta dikembangkan oleh beberapa organisasi lainnya, termasuk CIFOR, Eyes on the Forest, Greenpeace, dan Union of Concerned Scientists.

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  • How Singapore Can Help Clear the Air on the Haze

    This post originally appeared as an Op-Ed in the Straits Times.

    Singapore can help Indonesia untangle complex ownership structure of companies to figure out who’s legally responsible if crimes have been committed.

    As Malaysia declares a state of emergency with over 200 schools closing, and residents of Indonesia and Singapore continue to suffer from the choking haze, it's time to move beyond the blame game of claims and counter claims. Instead, we need to look at the facts, learn quickly from the data, and ensure political leaders, companies and communities take appropriate action to prevent this crisis from recurring.

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  • New Data Shows Indonesian Forest Fires a Longstanding Crisis

    Over the past few days, WRI has been tracking the location of forest and land fires on Sumatra, an island in western Indonesia. In this update, WRI examines the historical trends of forest fires in Sumatra. Read our previous analysis.

    Bacalah posting blog dalam Bahasa Indonesia di sini

    Fires continue to burn in Indonesia, spreading haze and suffering across the country and into Malaysia and Singapore. New research from the World Resources Institute reveals troubling trends about the blazes:

    • The current fires are not beyond the normal historic range for fires in the region, but that may change as the fires continue to burn heavily.

    • The recent fires are part of a longstanding, endemic crisis of forest fires and land clearing in Indonesia, and bold action is needed to prevent the crisis from escalating.

    In this new analysis, WRI examines the historical trends of forest fires in Sumatra. Rapid analysis from WRI finds that the current forest fires observed in the Riau Province fit into a larger pattern of widespread forest and land fires. However, June 2013 is on track to be one of the worst months on record since 2001. Evaluation of recent wind patterns explains why the fires’ impact was felt so acutely in Singapore.

    WRI explored these trends using two key data sets:

    1. Historic fire alerts from NASA’s Active Fire Data, which shows fire alerts for the period of January 1, 2001 until the present.

    2. Information on air dispersion to Singapore derived from NOAA’s HYSPLIT model, which takes into account meteorological data and can be used to estimate the most likely path that air traveled to reach a particular location at a given time.

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  • WRI Merilis Data Terbaru Terkait Kebakaran Hutan Di Indonesia

    Cecelia Song, Andika Putraditama, Andrew Leach, Ariana Alisjahbana, Lisa Johnston, James Anderson dan ahli lainnya di WRI juga berkontribusi dalam artikel ini.

    Read this post in English here.

    Hari Jumat yang lalu, World Resources Institute (WRI) mempublikasikan data detil terkait lokasi peringatan titik api di Sumatera yang telah menyebabkan kabut asap yang sangat mengganggu dan berpotensi beracun di wilayah Indonesia, Singapura, dan Malaysia. Pemerintah ketiga negara, perusahaan-perusahaan, maupun media semua berlomba untuk mencari data untuk memahami penyebab dan lokasi sebaran titik api, serta memutuskan siapa yang seharusnya bertanggung jawab.

    Selama beberapa hari terakhir ini, WRI telah melacak lokasi sebaran kebakaran hutan dan lahan yang terjadi di Sumatera, sebuah pulau di bagian barat Indonesia. Dalam perkembangan terbaru ini, WRI menganalisis tren historis kebakaran hutan yang terjadi di Sumatera. Baca analisa sebelumnya.

    Analisis terbaru dari WRI menunjukkan adanya perkembangan sebaran peringatan titik api di Sumatera dari waktu ke waktu serta kaitannya dengan konsesi perusahaan. Dua data penting dalam analisis ini antara lain:

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  • WRI Releases Updated Data on the Fires in Indonesia

    Bacalah posting blog dalam Bahasa Indonesia di sini

    Last Friday, the World Resources Institute (WRI) published detailed data on the location of forest and land fires on Sumatra, which have spread a noxious and harmful haze across Indonesia, Malaysia, and Singapore, and caused widespread public concern. Governments from all three nations, many companies, and news outlets are seeking data to help understand the origin and spread of the fires, and determine who should be held accountable.

    Read WRI’s "Peering Through the Haze: What Data Can Tell Us About the Fires in Indonesia"

    WRI now has an updated assessment of fire alerts in Sumatra, showing the progression of alerts through time and location in relation to company concessions. The new analysis incorporates two important data updates:

    1. New fire alerts from NASA’s Active Fire Data, which shows the most recent fire alerts for the period of June 20-23 (previous analysis was for June 12-20).

    2. More recent concession and land use maps from the Indonesian Ministry of Forestry, dated 2013.

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  • Peering Through the Haze: What Data Can Tell Us About the Fires in Indonesia

    WRI has released updated data on the fires in Indonesia. Read the story here.

    Cecelia Song, Andrew Leach, and other experts at WRI also contributed to this post.

    Bacalah posting blog dalam Bahasa Indonesia di sini

    People in Indonesia, Singapore, and parts of Malaysia are currently suffering from debilitating levels of haze resulting from forest fires. Air quality levels in Singapore have deteriorated to the worst levels ever recorded on the island, while local airports in Indonesia and some schools in Malaysia have had to close. Almost all of the recent fires (June 12-20) have occurred in Sumatra, an island in western Indonesia.

    While there’s been heated debate on the location, cause, and nature of the fires, WRI has compiled some initial data that reveals that there are some patterns. Relatively few fires have occurred in protected areas and selective logging concessions. Furthermore, half of the fires are burning on timber and oil palm plantations. Although it is illegal for companies in Indonesia to start forest or land fires, several companies have used fires for land clearing in the past. It will be important to gather more detailed information about the exact location of the fires and their causes, which could have important implications for the companies and government agencies involved.

    A Look Inside the Forest Fire Data

    WRI gathered information from NASA’s Active Fire Data, which uses satellite data to pinpoint the location of fires in near real time, together with the Indonesian Ministry of Forestry’s concession maps for oil palm, logging concessions, and timber plantation licenses. We counted the number of NASA fire alerts in each concession in Indonesia and tabulated the results.

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