Combat !!! The Haze

Ensuring the participation of local people in peatland fire management planning can help reduce the number and spread of peatland fires.

The number peatland fires including forest reserve & stateland, burning without control and for no intended purpose – are growing in many parts of the country especially in Selangor. Some 95 percent of these fires are caused by human activities. One of the central questions in national and international efforts to develop mitigation strategies for this peatland fires (wildfires) is how to address the human causes of fire, i.e. by changing human behaviour. Ensuring the participation of local people in fire management planning has been increasingly identified over the past decade as necessary for reducing the number and spread of wildfires.

Since 1997, our country have achieved encouraging results through the introduction of participatory fire management schemes involving government agencies, non-governmental organizations (NGOs), local communities, and farmers in forest fire prevention, detection and control. However, from the beginning of the twentieth century, lack of supervision, particularly in remote areas, led to increasingly indiscriminate use of fire by local populations.

There is an immediate needs to bring all the stakeholders and public together at these sites to see what steps can be taken to work together for fire prevention and control at these sites.  The plan will include partnership between Selangor Forest Department, Selangor Fire & Rescue Department, Local Government Agencies, adjacent landowners and agriculture operators especially on minimising use of fires and loss of water during dry season to prevent fire incidences.

Why we are looking for volunteers

The fire prevention measures - is a major efforts at regional and for local communities. Addressing the peatland fire issue needs a concerted effort that connects people with nature through a comprehensive action by creating public awareness and education on this peatland fire and haze.

Changing human behavior will takes time and requires a lot of effort.  That's why we need volunteers to help us. Your commitment to “STOP THE HAZE CAMPAIGN” will be a great help to nation, local communities and mother nature.

This is the time for you to do your community service while joining this volunteer programme. Your participation and assistance will make a real impact to “STOP THE HAZE CAMPAIGN”.

This volunteer programme is divided into 4 categories:

i) Patrolling / monitoring & reporting prevent illegal activities in the forest, such as starting fires, cutting trees, hunting  protected  wildlife and breaking dams; If identified any of that activities, please make a report to respective authorities for their further action Fire prevention monitoring locations:- Sungai Karang Forest Reserve (including buffer zone), Raja Musa Forest Reserve (including buffer zone), North Kuala Langat Forest Reserve (including buffer zone), South Kuala Langat Forest Reserve(including buffer zone), Johan Setia & Kampung Pulau Kempas (Mukim Tanjung) . This would reduce the chance for farmers or private sectors to set forest fires to clear land for agricultural development.

ii) Build dams to raising the water level (canal blocking). The main objective for the canal blocking construction is to raise the water level to sustain the water composition in the peat soil. Dry peat soil can burn easily and will spread to other land or forest. In order to avoid that, a high water level will always ensure that the soil is in a damp condition. The actual canal blocking involves: clearing the location, building a shelter for the workers / volunteer, inserting Mangrove Poles and a base foundation from woods/logs, fastening the blocking poles, attaching sheets of thickness plastic and inserting plastic sacks with mineral (sands) into that side, then tied with strong materials

iii) Participate in the program as a result of conservation of degraded peat forest fires (rehabilitation) Re-vegetation of the degraded peatland areas by planting suitable tree species originating from RMFR. Re-planting plants and trees provides a layer of cover for the peat soil from exposing to direct sunlight. Thus, keeping the top layer of the peat soil moist in all weather conditions. Through systematic tree planting activities and monitoring of the tree growth expedites the forest rehabilitation process.

iv) Fire Awareness campaigns and public education:- Fire awareness campaigns can be used to inform the public concerning the danger of fire and its hazardous consequences.. This can be done through personal contact, through school and community centre, signs and warning notice boards/billboards, and through posters and information leaflets. It is essential to help the public to be more conscious towards the tangible and intangible values of Peat Swamp Forest and danger of the peatland fire & haze production and dissemination of fire awareness materials and introduction of fire awareness programmes at local villages / schools / private sectors;

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