Look at the Amazon, not us: Indonesia claims handling forest fires better than other nations

Coordinating Political, Legal and Security Affairs Minister Mahfud MD played down on Friday recent reports from several organisations regarding Indonesia’s forest fires in 2019, saying that the country is better off than other countries that also suffered from forest fires.

“We are thankful that in 2019 we could handle forest fires better than other countries that also have troubles with forest and land fires,” he said after attending an inter-ministerial coordination meeting at the Environment and Forestry Ministry.

“While we still had fires in several different places in 2019, Indonesia is the most secured,” he added.

The issue has been in the spotlight after a report from the European Union’s Copernicus Atmosphere Monitoring Service (CAMS) found that this year’s forest fires in Indonesia have released more carbon emissions than the forest fires that are raging in the Brazilian Amazon.

According to the CAMS, the total estimated equivalent amount of carbon emissions from forest and land fires in Indonesia was 720 megatons, almost twice that of Brazil’s 366 megatons between Jan. 1 and Nov. 30.

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