South-South Technical Exchange between Indonesia and South Africa on Wildfire Prevention, Preparedness and Response.
During the week of 22 to 27 Augusts 2016, delegates from the Indonesian Government , representatives from GIZ FORCLIME, UNOPS/GAMBUT and the forest owners association of Indonesia (APHI), Working on Fire (WOF) and Kishugu attended a *South-South technical exchange on Wildfire preparedness, prevention and response.
The technical exchange was made possible by GIZ FORCLIME and UNOPS/GAMBUT in collaboration with WOF International. Indonesian delegates attended lectures and visited WOF operations, Fire Protection Associations (FPAs), FireWise communities, Firehawk fire detection camera installations and Kishugu Training in the Howic, Nelspruit and the Kruger Park areas.
The aim of this exchange was to provide Indonesian stakeholders, at national and provincial level, with first-hand information and experience on Integrated Fire Management.
Forest fires across Sumatra and Kalimantan are blanketing the region with haze and pose a significant threat to human health. Additionally forest fires contribute significantly to biodiversity loss from deforestation and land use change. Especially peat-land fires heavily impact the health of people in these provinces and neighbouring countries and account for the largest source of greenhouse gas emissions in Indonesia.
Indonesia is one of many countries that are fighting against frequent forest and land fires in a fire-prone environment. In South Africa, wildfire is a natural phenomenon that occurs annually during two dry seasons.
South Africa developed a highly professional Integrated Fire Management system, centred around the WOF Programme. The WOF Programme is a government-funded Programme, through the Expanded Public Works Programme (EPWP) for the recruitment and training of young men and women from local communities. The community members are employed and trained to form wildland firefighting ground crews that conduct Integrated Fire Management.
Even though the ecosystems in South Africa and Indonesia differ greatly, certain aspects of the WOF Programme may be transferable to the Indonesian context and learning from the highly advanced South African integrated wildfire management system may support the development of promising fire management initiatives and successful fire management in Indonesia.
*South-South Cooperation (SSC) is a term historically used by policymakers and academics to describe the exchange of resources, technology and knowledge between developing countries, also known as countries of the “Global South”. Indonesia, as an emerging middle-income country and a member of the G20 (a group of finance ministers and central bank governors from 20 major economies), has an important role in leading international development cooperation.