Australian Embassy

A New Approach to Prevent Peat Fires and Help Farmers Combat Climate Change

Media Release

18 November 2016

Australia will work with Indonesia’s forestry and agricultural industries to prevent forest and peat fires as part of wider efforts to mitigate and adapt to the effects of climate change.

Foreign Minister Julie Bishop has announced an Australian Land Care Package to better support countries in the Indo-Pacific region meet their emissions reduction targets, with Indonesia the main focus.

“Australia will provide $10 million to help Indonesia achieve its goal for a low carbon and more efficient agricultural and forestry sector, which are its largest sources of emissions and economic activity,” Ms Bishop said.

“This package will leverage Australia's world-leading expertise in the land sector. Australian farmers are exemplary environmentalists and have developed cutting edge agricultural practices and technology to deal with a changing climate,” she said

Australia worked with Indonesia to combat the peat and forest fires in 2015, sending a water bombing plane to Sumatra and providing vital equipment in Riau, East Kalimantan and West Kalimantan to give immediate relief to communities suffering respiratory and other illnesses as a direct result of the smoke haze.

Looking forward, Australia will partner with the Indonesian Government, the Peat Restoration Agency and other partners to develop four new programs to support emission reductions and better land management practices, including by:

  • strengthening the investigation and prosecution of environmental crimes that lead to illegal fires;
  • promoting  sustainable land use and the creation of ‘one map’ to help Indonesia’s national fire management system;
  • encouraging fire free villages and the re-wetting of peat lands; and
  • helping to implement Indonesia’s national REDD+ Measuring Reporting and Verification (MRV) system for measuring carbon emissions from the entire land sector.

Australia will also continue to deliver climate change mitigation and adaptation support through our agricultural and infrastructure programs, helping farmers adjust to new climate realities and manage land.

Ms Bishop’s announcement builds on the early entry into force of the historic Paris Agreement. Australia completed ratification last week and will continue to take concrete steps to keep global warming to below two degrees.

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