The Impact of Forest Fires in East Kalimantan Indonesia

East Kalimantan, and we know that the potential for the greatest Natural borneo one from the forest. many positive impacts that we feel, one example providing foreign exchange to the country, making it one of the attractions, conservation areas, protected forests, absorbing carbon emissions, and so forth. various benefits that existed at the time the forest will be lost, and we can not feel it again when the forest is damaged.

East Kalimantan most extensive territory covered by forests. But without realizing the problems haunting the region is also quite complicated one widespread forest fires. The event is always a dynamic in every year. so the forest as the most important element for life, it’;s been a lot of change is very alarming. Up till the early 1970s, most lowland areas in East Kalimantan, Indonesia, were covered with primary dipterocarp forest.

At present however, most of these dipterocarp lowland forests have been selectively logged, burnt, or converted into agricultural land, with only a few small undisturbed areas remaining (MacKinnon et al. 1996; Dennis 1998; Hoffmann et al. 1999). Even a well-known protected area like the Kutai National Park, northwest of the province capital Samarinda, was more than 90% burnt in the 1997/1998 fires (Hoffmann et al. 1999). These fires also affected many logging concessions, like for example the PT-ITCI concession, west of Balikpapan, which was more than 90% burnt (Hoffmann et al. 1999). of the mentioned data we can understand the severity of fires that occurred in East Kalimantan. These fires also affected many logging concessions, like for example the PT-ITCI concession, west of Balikpapan, which

Any efforts include conduct forest protection, Protection against illegal logging and forest conversion, Reinforcement of local knowledge in forest management, Community forestry as a strategy for forest and land protection, Dividing the forest area into smaller units for more effective forest protection, Sharing forest products in consultation with local communities, and many other efforts. To reduce their occurrence, human resource and institutional development along with general awareness campaigns are the foremost tasks at target group level. Then we held up the fire-fighting at

the village level. Socializing on coping with fire, Law on fire, and the negative impact that has had. So the Community Sector will understand the dangers kebakanran and learned for all parties and walks of life.

Forest Fire Impacts, and Forest protection in East Kalimantan

1. Forest Fire Impact

The direct effect of fire and logging disturbance is an increased tree mortality in the forest overstorey (diameter at breast height (dbh)≥10 cm) and understorey (dbh < 10 cm). This mortality reduces the number of tree species per surface area while increasing the light levels in the forest understorey (Kartawinata et al. 1981; Woods 1989; Cannon et al. 1998; Uuttera et al. 2000). The tree mortality in the forest understorey is usually more pronounced in burnt than in selectively logged forest. Mortality rates found in the forest understorey after fire varied between 70 and 100%, even in lightly burnt forest (Woods 1989; Cochrane and Schultze 1998, 1999; Peres 1999).

Tree mortality in the understorey of selectively logged forest is at least 2–3 times lower, and mostly occurs near and on skid trails (Woods 1989; Webb 1998; Pinard et al. 2000; Uuttera et al. 2000). The increased light levels in the forest understorey after fire and selective logging usually result in the sudden occurrence of many herbaceous and woody pioneer species (Woods 1989; Nykvist 1996; Pinard et al. 1996; Cochrane and Schultze 1999; Fredericksen and Mostacedo 2000; Pinard et al. 2000). Since the understorey plays an important role in the regeneration of the forest overstorey, it is likely that at least part of these pioneer species will eventually grow into the forest overstorey, thus affecting the tree species composition of the forest (Riswan et al. 1985; Finegan 1996; Cochrane and Schultze 1998; Newbery et al. 2000).

In this study we investigate the effects of fire and selective logging on the overstorey tree species composition and diversity during the first 15–25 years after disturbance. We hypothesise to find a decrease in tree and tree species numbers per surface area directly after disturbance, followed by the in-growth of trees from the forest understorey into the overstorey. Pioneer trees are expected to form an important proportion of this in-growth from the understorey, especially in burnt forests where the original understorey has been severely damaged. To test this we measured the population structure of six common Macaranga pioneer tree species through time after disturbance. Their numbers are expected to reflect the scale and severity of the disturbance that took place in a forest (Primack and Lee 1991; Davies et al. 1998), and as such could be useful to estimate the future development of the tree species composition.

2. Forest protection from fire

In 1982/83, fires destroyed about 3.5 million ha of tropical forests in East Kalimantan. Eighty percent were logged-over areas (Lennertz and Panzer, 1983). After the forest fires in 1982/83, 1991/92 and 1993/94, an El Niño event that lasted 12 months exacerbated major fires in 1997/98, burning approximately 5 million ha or 25 percent of the forests in the province. Almost 2.3 million ha of Hak Penguasaan Hutan (HPH – forest concession) areas (56 HPH and ex-HPH), 0.4 million ha in forest reserves, 0.9 million ha in Hutan Tanaman Industri (HTI – industrial timber plantation) areas (30 HTI) and 0.7 million ha in other plantation areas burned. Of the 27 ex-HPH concessionaires, only 7 were not burned. Two ex-HPH areas – P.T. Alas Kusuma (5,863 ha) and ex-HPH P.T. Astrini (11,669 ha) – were completely destroyed.

The smoke and haze from the forest fires affected the health of people nationally and regionally, and lead to serious critic ism of Indonesia by neighbouring countries. This caused tension and disturbed international relationships. The fires also destroyed the habitats of wild animals, and forced some species (e.g. the orangutans (Pongo pygmaeus)), to move into the plantation areas (Ngatimna, 2001). Many mangrove forests, as the original habitat of endemic fauna such as bekantan (Nasalis larvatus), were also damaged. Moreover, underground coal seams pose an additional threat should they catch fire.

Efforts to protect plantation forests have been undertaken, although they were not very successful judging from the recurring fires. Table 1 shows examples of efforts to prevent and control forest fires in the HPH or HTI areas.


In East Kalimantan, 1.5 million ha of plantations are expected to be developed to produce 15 million m3 per year. The success of the reforestation efforts relies heavily on fire-free conditions. Additional efforts are needed to prevent fires from starting and to minimise the size of those that do occur.

3. Conclusions

Indigenous knowledge has a long history of forest management. Community-based fire management therefore should incorporate indigenous knowledge. Combining local knowledge and skills with modern firefighting technologies is an optimum solution for forest fire prevention and suppression.

Institutional strengthening at the local level is essential. Qualified and trained people are needed to integrate contemporary knowledge and traditional skills. Local communities should be involved in maintaining and managing forest resources. They should also be given the opportunity to participate in forest protection. Without their involvement and knowledge, it will be difficult to ensure the success of fire management.

Both selective logging and fire resulted in a strong decrease in tree and tree species. recovered to pre-disturbance values within 5–15 years in both burnt as well as selectively logged forest. The tree species number recovery, however, showed a marked difference between burnt and selectively logged forest. The number of tree species recovered to pre-disturbance values within 10–20 years in selectively logged forest. Apart in that way can also pursued reforestation, and the formation of the agency, or an institution that cares for the environment. So the problem that exists today, few can demisesikit less gradually, so that we can make sure the disruption and problems of forest fires in East Kalimantan and never comes back

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