Monitoring Tower as Social Forestry Infrastructure to Prevent Forest and Land Fires

Infrastructure in social forestry has an important role in keeping forests sustainable and improving the quality of life of the community. In the Indonesian context, infrastructure such as strategic roads in forest areas have been built to support social, economic, tourism, trade, agriculture, forestry and plantation development, as well as making it easier to handle forest and land fires (Karhutla).

Infrastructure development that has been built by KPSHK in the Integrated Management of Peat Forest Ecosystems (PTEHG) program in four villages (Gohong, Buntoi, Mantaren I, Kalawa) from 2023 until now, such as Monitoring Towers, Canal Blocks, LPHD Huts, Information Signs, Warning Signs, Drilling Wells, etc.

This principle of infrastructure development secures village forests with environmentally friendly and sustainable development, with the aim of reducing negative impacts on forest and land fires (Karhutla), the integrity of forest areas, space for wildlife to move, reduction of biodiversity, and other important ecological functions. One of them is the construction of fire monitoring towers in four village forests.

Since the implementation of the PTEHG Program in June 2022, several activities and support to the Village Forest Management Institution (LPHD) have included support for preventing Forest and Land Fires (Karhutla) in the form of activities, procurement and physical development. One of the main focuses and support activities in this activity is the formation, procurement and operations for the 4 LPHD Karhutla Patrol Team (TPK). Apart from that, there is also a form of physical development in the activity, namely the construction of fire monitoring tower facilities. The function of a fire monitoring tower is to detect fire so that it can be extinguished quickly before it spreads.

The Fire Monitoring Tower is an infrastructure developed as an effort to prevent forest and land fires (karhutla) in social forestry programs in Indonesia. In the context of social forestry, this infrastructure functions as a means of monitoring and early detection of forest and land fires, so as to minimize losses and casualties caused by these fires.

In November 2022, 4 units of Fire Monitoring Tower infrastructure were built in 4 villages, namely Gohong Village, Kalawa Village, Mantaren I Village and Buntoi Village. The location of this fire monitoring tower was built in an area prone to fires in 2015 and 2019. With this fire monitoring tower, it is hoped that it can be used by Village Forest Management Institutions (LPHD), Forest Patrol Teams (TPH), Karhutla Patrol Teams (TPK), and Fire Care Communities (MPA) in forest fire prevention and control activities. For sustainability, currently TPH and TPK manage and maintain the fire monitoring tower.

“Maintenance of the fire monitoring tower is carried out within 6 months, such as tightening each bolt, applying wood material by rubbing dead oil and diesel with a brush or used cloth on the beams and planks,” said Petrisly, as an expert in the construction of the fire monitoring tower, Year 2022/2023.

Petris said that the Fire Monitoring Tower was designed to monitor directly and in real-time the situation of forest and land fires in the Kahayan Hilir area.

Sumari, Chair of TPK Gohong, revealed that the presence of this monitoring tower plays a very important role and helps the team carry out forest patrols and forest and land fire patrols.

“Apart from supporting our patrol activities, the monitoring tower is also used as a basecamp and resting location for the patrol team,” he said

According to Sumari, the construction of fire monitoring towers really helps increase public awareness, especially people who have plantations in forest areas, regarding the importance of protecting forests and playing a role in preventing forest and land fires.

Thus, fire monitoring tower infrastructure can help monitor and handle forest and land fires more effectively and efficiently. Apart from that, fire monitoring towers can also help in increasing public awareness of the importance of environmental protection and their active role in preventing forest and land fires.

Author: Alma Tiara

Editor: Aris

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