Since early September there have been several fires detected in Central Kalimantan. The firefighting teams are on high alert and are conducting fire prevention patrols in the forest and along the rivers of Sabangau.
This month Borneo Nature Foundation collaborated with the Community Health Centre in Kereng Bangkirai, a village adjacent to the Sabangau Forest. Together we hosted an event to raise awareness about the human and environmental impacts of forest fires. This was the first time this activity has been conducted in the Sabangau area. A total of 100 participants attended the event, including stakeholders, community members, teachers and students.
The first session was a presentation from Bernat Ripoll Capilla, BNF Co-Director, and Jenita Ginting, from the Community Health Centre, on the impact of fires and smoke on people’s health and the costs to the environment.
Borneo Nature Foundation invited a local farmer, Sri Eldawatie, from Kapuas, Central Kalimantan. With her husband, Norhadi Karben, they have succesfully implemented Pembukaan Lahan Tanpa Bakar – PLTB (land clearing without using fire) to open up their land for agriculture. She shared their experiences with the community about the techniques that they have implemented with the hope that other people can adopt these practices.
Our Outreach Team also worked with the students to encourage them to think about campaigns to raise awareness about fires. We hope that the students will now have a better understanding of the causes of the fires and will become ambassadors for fire prevention in their schools as well as at home with their families and friends.
The results of these activities are expected to encourage communities to prevent fires in and around the Sabangau Forest and the nearby city of Palangka Raya; keeping people and the environment safe.(DN)