Congo Basin countries take a page out of Indonesia’s book on peatland management

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In July, hundreds of fire hotspots were detected in the Indonesian province of West Kalimantan, causing haze that disrupted flights in and out of the airport in the provincial capital. The local forest fire brigade worked day and night to put out the fires, which occurred on the dry peatlands after they were drained for agricultural production during a period of drought. Recently, a delegation from the Republic of Congo including Arlette Soudan-Nonault, the country’s minister of tourism and environment, were toured around the area, where they observed Indonesia’s system for preventing and fighting forest and peatland fires. Soudan-Nonault participated in demonstrations, helping to douse fires using the available equipment, which included hoses and a backpack pump fire extinguisher. The trip was part of a three-day visit to showcase sustainable peatland management ahead of the launch of the International Tropical Peatland Center (ITPC) in Jakarta on Oct. 30.

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