15 Dec 2015

Greenpeace urges forest transparency from Jakarta

9:52 am on 15 December 2015
A villager tries to extinguish a peatland fire on the outskirts of Palangkaraya city, Central Kalimantan on October 26, 2015. For nearly two months, thousands of fires caused by slash-and-burn farming in Indonesia choked vast expanses of Southeast Asia.

A villager tries to extinguish a peatland fire on the outskirts of Palangkaraya city, Central Kalimantan on October 26, 2015. Photo: AFP / Bay ISMOYO

Greenpeace has called on the Indonesian government to take serious steps to counter rampant forest fires across the republic including Papua region.

Fires from land clearance on drained peatlands have catapulted Indonesia to being one of the world's largest emitters of greenhouse gasses.

Greenpeace's Indonesia forest campaigner Yuyun Indradi says the fires in Sumatra, Kalimantan and Papua are largely out of control.

"This is the worst after the 1997 peat and forest fires. So this has already emitted more than the daily emissions in the US, so it is outrageous."

Yuyun Indradi says Indonesia's government must stop stonewalling over the list of companies implicated in the forest and peat fires.

He says Jakarta should also invest more in forest protection, including strengthening regulations and supporting local groups with the knowledge and skills on preventing fires.

Mr Indradi says an immediate action required is for government to block all the many canals which drain the peatlands where the fires are currently raging.

Get updates on the PNG fire situation here

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