Hoax 17 : Forest and Land Fires in Indonesia Caused by Oil Palm Plantations
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Forest and land fires in Indonesia caused by oil palm plantations
Forest and land fires that happen in various countries also happen in Indonesia. Based on data from the Forestry and Environment Ministry of the Republic of Indonesia (2016), forest and land fires happen in a majority of provinces throughout Indonesia (see table below).
Table : Vastness of Forest and Land Fires in Indonesia 2010-2016
|West Nusa Tenggara*||1,363|
|East Nusa Tenggara*||453|
In several provinces with high concentrations of oil palm plantations such as Central Kalimantan, South Sumatra, East Kalimantan and Riau, forest and land fires have taken place in relatively large areas. However, forest and land fires covering relatively large areas also take place in provinces having no oil palm plantations, such as Lampung, North Sulawesi, Gorontalo, Maluku, East Java, Central Java and West Java. Meanwhile, oil palm plantation-expansion provinces such as North Kalimantan and Bengkulu record relatively fewer forest fires compared with fires in Central Java and East Nusa Tenggara provinces, where there is no oil palm development.
Therefore, just as in other countries, forest and land fires in Indonesia are not systematically or specifically related to oil palm development. In fact forest and land fires can happen in provinces with or without oil palm development. Also, forest and land fires do not specifically hit peatland areas. East Java, West Nusa Tenggara and West Java, which do not have any peatland, also suffer from forest fires in relatively large areas.
Figure : Distribution of hot spots on peatland and outside peatland in the July-November 2015 period in Indonesia
value in percent %
Forest and land fires not related to peatland are also confirmed by the spread of hotspots found in the July-November period 2015 (Figure above). The spread of hotspots in peatland was even smaller than those outside peatland.