A senior Indonesian delegation is visiting Australia
to learn more about fire prevention and conservation strategies. Their
country often suffers from massive forest fires that spread smoke and
ash around Southeast Asia.
Indonesia's Director General of
Biodiversity and Conservation, Darori, is in Australia with colleagues
to assess progress on the nations' joint Fire Watch program. The
program aims to help Indonesia manage and control forest fires.
will also visit Perth Zoo in Western Australia and see an orangutan
colony that is helping to repopulate the Bukit Tigapuluh National Park
Didy Wurjanto, a senior Indonesian Ministry of Forestry official, is part of the delegation.
He says that Australian expertise is helping provincial authorities combat the threat of wildfires.
often the owners of the lands, the community, were not able to control
the fire and then they spread out and then started to engulf the nearby
huts, houses and then wind their way to the conservation area. So, the
cooperation between Australia and Indonesia give us a more
sophisticated approach to fire warning systems," he explained.
fire monitoring experts have been helping the Indonesian government
reduce smoke haze and the incidence of fires, which have caused much
damage to farmland as well as native flora and fauna in recent years.
Much of the managing of fires is done with the use of satellite technology, which allows officials to see where blazes start.
every year, Indonesia experiences dozens of forest fires across
hundreds of thousands of hectares. The fires destroy homes and farms,
and kill untold numbers of animals. They also spread a choking haze
that reaches to Malaysia, Singapore and other Southeast Asia nations.
The haze can be deadly to those with respiratory diseases or other
Weather patterns this year have some
meteorologists and fire experts in Asia warning that Indonesia may
experience a particularly bad fire season.
Australia also is
helping its northern neighbor expand the Bukit Tigapuluh National Park
to protect the region's iconic wildlife. There have been recent
conflicts between villagers and Sumatran elephants and tigers as humans
have encroached on the animals' habitat.
There are growing
concerns in Indonesia over land clearing in sensitive ecosystems and
its likely impact on the critically endangered orangutan.