Jakarta – Environment and Forestry Minister Siti Nurbaya said that the use of weather modification technology (TMC) will continue until early next year to prevent forest and land fires (Karhutla) across the country, especially in Sumatra and Kalimantan which happen to be the locations of most forests and oil palm plantations of Indonesia.
The minister said that despite of the expected rainy season later this year, there is a possibility that the ongoing dry season will be lingering until January-February 2021. “With the fact, we cannot limit the TMC use until October 2020. We’ll extend its use until we see that there is no need to extend it any longer,” she said when chairing an evaluation meeting on the implementation of TMC operation recently in Jakarta.
She pointed out that the use of the technology, which enables them to read the natural signs at the maximum level, is implemented under a synergy between the ministry of environment and forestry (KLHK), the meteorology climatology and geophysics board (BMKG), the assessment and application of technology board (BPPT), the national disasters mitigation board (BNPB), the Indonesian Air Force, and climate experts from Bogor University of Agriculture (IPB). They will develop a theory and technology to help them in preventing the Karhutla.
During the same occasion, the KLHK director general of climate change control Ruandha Agung Sugardiman said that the TMC operations during the last few months had managed to reduce hotspots. “Based on our monitoring during last month, there was no hotspot in provinces of Riau, Jambi, and South Sumatera. In West Kalimantan as of 13 August 2020 there were several hotspots. But we soon implemented the TMC operation to prevent it from worsening,” he said.
BPPT deputy in charge of natural resource technology Yudi Anantasena said that to make the preventing efforts more effective, the TMC operations should be conducted before entering the dry season, which is predicted by BMKG to reach its peak during August and September 2020. “The TMC operation during July-August was less effective if compared to that conducted in May and previous months. Perhaps, it is because now it’s been already dry season. Cloud seeding before dry season resulted in more rainfalls,” he said.
BNPB deputy in charge of emergency response Dody Ruswandi said that the Karhutla prevention through the use of TMC is more efficient in terms of budget spending. (*)