Protecting Papuan Forests, BPPILHL Establishes MPA in Merauke – A Center for Control of Climate Change and Forest and Land Fires (BPPIKHL) for the Maluku and Papua regions established a Fire Care Society (MPA) in Merauke Regency.

Alex Mackbon, a BPPIKHL staff for Maluku and Papua Region, when met with the media, said that the presence of this MPA is very much needed to protect forests from the threat of land fires, whether intentional or as a result of climate change.

He also said that currently those who are members of the MPA are Students of Nature Lovers (Mapala) and several community organizations in a number of districts in Merauke Regency.

“It is Mapala who is currently a member of the MPA. We also open for other organizations who want to join, such as youth organizations,” said Mackbon, Wednesday (02/03/2022).

He said the MPA’s task is to provide an understanding to the community how important it is to protect forests in the Papua region, especially in Merauke Regency, which incidentally is peat land.

He continued, the formation of this MPA was carried out several years ago after the occurrence of severe forest and land fires in a number of provinces including Papua in 2015 which had an impact on neighboring countries.

In 2015, peatlands in Merauke were also burned, but he said the fires in Merauke were different from those in Sumatra, Riau and Kalimantan.

“In Sumatra, Riau and Kalimantan, it is because of land clearing. And it was summer so the fire spread quickly. In Merauke, this is different from peatland fires in Merauke because there is a tradition of hunting people by burning the land,” he said.

Therefore, he said, the establishment of the MPA in Merauke is very important to educate and provide understanding to the community so that they do not hunt in that way again.

“Because if it continues like that, the forest in Merauke will be exhausted and it will have an impact on the survival of the people living around the forest,” he concluded.

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