Riau Province, is the number two province after Papua which has the largest peat area in Indonesia. 45.71% of Riau's total land area is Peatland. However, more than 50% of the peatland has been converted for aquaculture purposes and most of the land has been converted to land burning methods.
In 2015 more than half of forest fires in Indonesia occur on peatlands. This forest fire releases carbon emissions of more than 15.95 million tons into the atmosphere and triggers changes in extreme weather resulting in natural disasters in various places. In this case, women who are closely related to the environment will experience worse impacts from disasters due to environmental damage. Both the impact on reproductive health and the social and economic life of himself and his family.
Based on that situation, in the year of 2017-2018, Women Research Institute support by World Resources Institute has implemented the program of “Strengthening Women’s Capacity to Build Community’s Ressilience in Time of Haze through the Use of Global Forest Watch (GFW) Tools”.
In Riau Province, and (in Indonesia for general scope), Women Research Institute was found that several early warning systems have been developed although we have not found any publicly available guidelines of the early warning systems developed. So that, WRI identified that need to develop a community-based early warning system in which in its implementation will be combined with GFW Tools. With GFW Tools that are accessible by mobile phones both online and offline, WRI are optimistic that this system will make access to disaster information more accessible to help encourage community’s involvement in disaster prevention and forest monitoring.
GFW made it possible for us to develop a community-based resilience system, as GFW is easy to be used and accessed by the community members especially in this era when the Internet is widely used. Most importantly, GFW has been very efficient and affordable, as the people did not need to buy a high-priced system to access the latest information on forest changes and hotspot alerts.
To achieve these objectives, a series of activities consisting interview with the NGOs and FGD in Riau, Multi Stakehoilder Forum and Produce and Dissemination of WRI’s comic and video as education media for the public.
1) Interview with the NGOs and FGD in Riau
WRI selected Baruk Bakul Village in Bengkalis District for the piloting. The village was recommended for the fact that it hosts many hotspots and borders with Sepahat Village, a Fire-Aware Village. Baruk Bakul Village is also an assisted village of RWWG for a women’s economic empowerment program working on hydroponics and non-slash and burn farming under the support of the UNDP. Based on this, we look at the possibility of working with the people of the village. This selection contributes to the achievement of Outcome 2 to increase community’s participation, especially that of women’s, in developing a community-based early warning system.
Collection of inputs and recommendations on the development of an early warning system, gathered inputs and recommendations on opportunities, needs, as well as challenges in developing an early warning system to support community’s resilience in time of haze.
4) Workhsop on the Developmet of Haze Early Warning System
Women Research Institute (WRI) presented our proposed early warning system and invited experts to provide their inputs, feedback, and recommendations in relation to the system’s planning, development, implementation as well as sustainability.
5) Conducted educational media dissemination on the Impact of Haze from forest and peat-land fires
The disseminated educational media included a video-graphic and an educational comic. This dissemination event also served as a promising opportunity to educate the public about the impact of haze as well as to support our advocacy efforts in mitigating haze and forest and land fires. Global Forest Watch’s (GFW) VIIRs Fire Alerts which provide the necessary information on forest condition and fire hotspots in people’s neighborhood.