President encourages security officers to prevent land fires

Jakarta (ANTARA News) - President Joko Widodo has encouraged security officers in areas prone to land fires to prevent the disaster.

"I will dismiss officers from the Indonesian Defense Forces (TNI) or Police if I find land fires in their regions," the president stated here on Tuesday.

President Widodo had issued directives to ministries and security institutions during a Coordination Meeting of Land Fires Control 2018 held at the State Palace in Jakarta.

The president noted that TNI Commander Marshal Hadi Tjahjanto and Police Commander General Tito Karnavian had agreed on a commitment to prevent land fires.

President Widodo reiterated that the regional police and TNI leaders will be removed from their position in case fires are found in their areas.

"The effort aims to encourage the land fires mitigation task force," the president noted.

President Widodo also lauded the TNI and Police officers for taking precautionary measures against fires in the past two years.

The number of hotspots has decreased significantly, from 21,929 in 2015 to 3,915 hotspots in 2016 and 2,567 hotspots in 2017.

The president expects security officers and local administrations as well as the task force to maintain the achievement and step up efforts in the coming years.

He has urged the task force to also involve the local communities and plantation companies to prevent land fires.

"We can undertake effective efforts by involving companies, local communities, and non-governmental organizations as well as police and TNI officers," the president noted.

The president remarked that leaders of neighboring countries had also lauded the efforts undertaken by Indonesia.

"Earlier, when I met the prime ministers of Singapore and Malaysia, they always complained about the smoke caused by land fires. However, during the 2016-2017 period, they lauded the efforts to reduce land fires," Widodo noted.

The president also revealed that he had made assurance to the prime ministers of Singapore and Malaysia to prevent land fires that had caused haze.

Source: ANTARA News

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