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National Capital Authority (IKN) Prepares Anticipatory Drought Mitigation


By: Safira Tri Ningsih

Mitigation of disasters is necessary in order to reduce potential losses or casualties. One of the disasters to watch out for is the drought season. Where the authority for the Capital City of the Archipelago (IKN) then prepared mitigation in anticipation of the arrival of the dry season.

The Meteorology, Climatology and Geophysics Agency (BMKG) has predicted that Indonesia will be hit by a long drought season from March to its peak in August 2023.

         In response to this report, the Deputy for Environment and Natural Resources for the Indonesian Capital City Authority (OIKN) held a coordination meeting for forest and land fire control (dalkarhutla).

         This coordination is a form of consolidation and mitigation efforts to anticipate forest fires in the IKN area, especially during the upcoming dry season.

         OIKN Deputy for Environment and Natural Resources, Myrna Safitri said that the coordination meeting was also in line with President Ir. Joko Widodo for preparedness for a longer 2023 drought.

         The purpose of holding this coordination is to map forest and land fire control activities carried out by central and regional agencies, the TNI, Polri and forestry permit holders in 2023. In addition, an agreement is also needed to develop a tactical agenda that needs to be carried out in the archipelago later.

         Even though the Karhutla in East Kalimantan has been relatively under control in recent years, vigilance is still needed, including in the Indonesian capital region. Readiness and alertness of the parties in the field is needed.

         The coordination meeting was apparently attended by Plt. Director of Forest and Land Fire Control at the Ministry of Environment and Forestry (KLHK), Basar Manulang, Head of the Protection and KSDAE Division at the East Kalimantan Provincial Forestry Service, Rusmadi, Johan Wahyudi from the East Kalimantan BPBD and Marjani from the North Penajam Paser BPBD.

         Also present were officials from the UPT KLHK in East Kalimantan and BPBD Kutai Kartanegara, then representatives of several HTI companies in the area around the IKN. In general, they conveyed their commitment to always synergize in controlling forest and land fires.

         There are three important locations to be guarded together, namely the construction site in the Central Government Core Area (KIPP), the Tahura Bukit Suharto conservation forest area and other forested areas outside the forest area. Because after all, disaster mitigation efforts are very important for sustainable development at KIPP.

         Early detection of forest and land fires in East Kalimantan is of course the first step that must be taken. Currently, early detection relies on the Ministry of Environment and Forestry’s SiPongi monitoring system. At least in the next two years this technology will still be the main source. However, in line with  IKN’s smart city  mission , the  karhutla monitoring system  is open to development.

         Basar Manulang as Plt. The Director of Forest and Land Fire Control at the Ministry of Environment and Forestry said that the Ministry of Environment and Forestry installed warning boards, empowered Fire Concerned Communities (MPA), early extinguished karhutlas before the fire spread and activated the Manggala Agni work hut.

         Meanwhile, Johan Wahyudi from the BPBD of East Kalimantan Province added that his side’s efforts,  disaster monitoring  and the development of disaster-resilient villages are expected to be linked to the MPA program.

         Two companies, PT IHM and PT ITCI Kartika Utama, respectively, also provide reports on monitoring and patrol activities, facilitate MPA and equip equipment for preparedness against forest and land fires.

         All participants can support the coordinating role carried out by OIKN. Several steps that need to be taken immediately are the preparation of the dalkarhutla SOP at the IKN, forming a team or working group, consolidating data on the distribution of MPA, as well as training construction workers to deal with karhutla including the ability to extinguish it early.

         The potential for land and forest fires is always there due to hot weather, where prolonged hot weather will cause the leaves to dry out so they are very easy to catch fire.

         The IKN Authority must also know exactly where the hot spots are, this aims to find out which points must be monitored carefully.   

         The impact of forest fires is also no joke, one of which is air pollution which is of course harmful to human lungs, because air pollution resulting from forest fires can cause various respiratory problems for lying humans.

         Uncontrolled forest and land fires can also scorch vegetation and various animal nesting sites, causing animals and plants to lose their habitat.

         The most terrible impact of forest fires is the loss of life. Either because of the smoke or because of the fire. Apart from humans, more animals taking shelter in the forest will also die and be injured due to forest fires. In extreme cases of forest fires, of course, the number of animals that die from the smoke and fire will be greater.

         Mitigation is a step that can be taken to reduce the impact of the possibility of a disaster occurring, so that the amount of damage and the number of fatalities can be reduced. Mitigation must also be carried out in the IKN area, bearing in mind the long dry season that must be anticipated.

)* The author is Daris Pustaka Contributor

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