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Has Environmental supports MoEF to reduce forest and land fires in Indonesia

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Figure 1: An InsightFD early forest and land fire detection robot in Kalimantan

Has Environmental supports MoEF, Ministry of Environment and Forestry (Indonesia: Kementerian Lingkungan Hidup dan Kehutanan), to deploy InsightFD early fire detection systems across the country to reduce forest and land fire in Indonesia. According to data from MoEF Indonesia, burnt area from January-September 2019 is recorded about 857,755 hectares.  Forest and land fire problems in Indonesia repeatedly occurs especially in the dry season.

Nearly all fires in Indonesia are human-caused. The country’s forests and peatlands—carbon-rich, water-logged landscapes that have become another popular option for agricultural expansion. They are typically intentionally drained and set aflame to prepare for agriculture or drive people away in land conflicts. The majority of fires happened in Central Kalimantan, South Sumatra and Riau. Peatlands area are highly concentrated in these three provinces.

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Figure 2: The greatest number of hotspots by provinces. Source: MoEF, 2019

There are rising cases of fire in Java island, including in conservation areas. “In Java, the fires are usually unintentional because people who went hiking throw away cigarette butts carelessly,” said Raffles Panjaitan, Acting Director of Forest and Land Fire Management at MoEF.

Besides environmental damages, forest fires cause serious public health problems too. “Poor air quality is a severe and growing challenge for Indonesia. Every year, millions of children are breathing in toxic air that threatens their health and causes them to miss school – resulting in lifelong physical and cognitive damage.” Said Debora Comini from UNICEF in a recent interview by The Guardian.

Video 1: Red skies cover parts of Indonesia as the forest fire haze crisis worsens. Source: The Guardian

To fight forest fires, Has Environmental supported MoEF to deploy InsightFD early fire detection system. “It is a multi-year nationwide project. The initial plan was to install 15 InsightFD robots spread across North Sumatra, Riau, South Sumatra, West Kalimantan, Central Kalimantan and South Kalimantan.” shared by Raffles. Raffles added that the advantage of the tool is that it detects forest fires automatically, it operates 24×7 and performs well in any weather conditions. The built-in infrared sensor can detect fires in nighttime and hazy environments when smoke is very difficult to recognize visually. This is different from traditional CCTV which usage is constrained in the dark and hazy conditions.

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Figure 3: Raffles Panjaitan, Acting Director of Forest and Fire Management at MoEF

“InsightFD early fire detection is a technological breakthrough! It helps MoEF to optimize efforts to prevent forest and land fires. Hotspots are detected faster with real-time visual and thermal images, and accurate coordination so that the MoEF field teams can take immediately fire suppression actions.” explained Ms. Husna Anwari, President Director of Has Environmental. “We have been supporting the Indonesia government to improve water and air quality in the country in the last decade. With increasing forest and land fire impact on Indonesia, we are pleased to assist MoEF to mitigate fire risks and damages. I am very happy to help Indonesia to become a safer and better place!”

Has Environmental, was established in 2007, is a technology provider focusing on Occupational Safety, Health and Environmental Instrumentation. Has Environmental provides professional implementation and support services of environment protection, industrial hygiene, gas detection, water quality monitoring, and forest fire detection solutions. They serve customers in government agencies, universities, regulatory bodies, and private industries such as pharmaceutical, chemical, oils & gas, mining, automotive, paper pulp utilities and steel.

Figure 4: Ms. Husna Anwari, President Director of Has Environmental

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