JAKARTA: Indonesia’s Ministry of Environment and Forestry, together with key stakeholders, is gearing up to implement a cloud seeding strategy to fight forest and land fires that will start this month.

Forest and Land Fire Control director Thomas Nifinluri emphasised the importance of this approach following the recent fire incidents after the monsoon season, particularly in Riau Province.

He stated, “This year, our focus is to update the cloud seeding plan with the meteorological agency, BMKG, and ensure readiness in seed material, aircraft, and weather analysis,“ as quoted by local news outlet, Media Indonesia.

Thomas noted that the City of Dumai in Riau has already declared a state of emergency to speed up response efforts through cloud seeding operations and additional aid.

According to BMKG Pekanbaru, 51 hotspots have been detected in the region, mainly concentrated along the eastern coast of Sumatra, with Dumai recording the highest number.

The Riau disaster management agency revealed that forest and land fires have affected about 22 hectares in the province from early January to 26 February.

The ministry’s climate change control acting director general Ade Palguna Ruteka warned of the potential for a recurrence of forest and land fires in the province, especially since last month and the next dry season in June and July.

“Urgent action is necessary to coordinate cloud seeding operations among key stakeholders such as the National Research and Innovation Agency (BRIN), the Indonesian Air Force, BMKG, and other agencies,“ he added. - Bernama

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