PULP & PAPER NEWS
October 15, 2019
Londerang peat protection forest entirely burned
JAKARTA (foresthints.news) - The Londerang peat protection forest which covers the equivalent of more than 12 thousand football fields in the Sumatran province of Jambi, along with surrounding areas, was completely burned last month, resulting in a situation even worse than when similar fires happened at the same location in 2015.
A key lesson learned from this case is that this year’s peat fires have proved to be more severe at certain locations than those in 2015.
The widespread, haze-causing peat fires in the Londerang peat protection forest naturally raise huge questions given the efforts made by multiple stakeholders to recover the peat forests burned there in 2015.
The following ESA Sentinel-2 images show the increased severity of 2019's peat fires in the Londerang peat protection forest (delineated in yellow) compared to those in 2015.
A critical review of the peat fires emanating from the Londerang peat protection forest this year is essential due to the serious impact these fires have had, including creating transboundary haze.
The two ESA Sentinel-2 images below depict the Londerang peat protection forest being devoured by peat fires in September, contributing significantly to both local and transboundary haze.
The Londerang peat protection forest is a peat protection zone lying atop peak domes and also forms part of the targeted peat restoration indicative map.
Another lesson learned from the Londerang case concerns the baselessness of APP’s claim that it is able to handle fires up to 5 km from its concession boundaries, as previously exposed by foresthints.news (Oct 8), considering that part of its largest concession (PT WKS) is directly adjacent to the Londerang peat protection forest.
In fact, areas within the PT WKS concession situated right next to the Londerang peat protection forest - which comprise conservation and commercial acacia blocks (not community plantations) - were also burned, as also reported earlier by foresthints.news (Sep 22 and Oct 4).
One of the main causes of the massive peat fires within and outside the Londerang peat protection forest is recently-identified new peat draining practices in the vicinity. This constitutes yet another important lesson learned from this case.