Easier to prevent forest fires now, says top official in Indonesia's Riau province

The loss of forest cover in the country between 2019 and 2020 was 115,460 hectares. PHOTO: AFP
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JAKARTA - Preventing forest fires in Riau has become easier, according to a top official in the Indonesian province.

"Doing slash-and-burn practically no longer crosses their mind," said Mr Edwar Sanger, an adviser to the Riau governor on disaster management and fire occurrence, referring to the decades-long method adopted by farmers and illegal squatters to clear land to make way for new planting.

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