November 29, 2019

Minister: Direct comparisons of forest fire emissions misguided

JAKARTA ( - Indonesian Environment and Forestry Minister Siti Nurbaya has suggested that concerned parties don’t force themselves to conclude that the emissions emanating from forest and land fires in Indonesia are almost twice as bad as those from the Brazilian Amazon.

If these conclusions are forced and framed in this way, the minister explained, it makes them invalid, irresponsible and misleading to the public. 

“It’s obviously hard to make direct comparisons between emissions from fires in Indonesia and those from the Brazilian Amazon, especially given the differences in vegetation and other natural factors,” Minister Nurbaya told at the ministry building (Nov 28).

“Direct comparisons concluding that the emissions from Indonesia’s fires are worse than those from the Brazilian Amazon are technically incorrect,” she emphasized. 

The following photos show examples of forest and land fires in Indonesia in a WWF ecosystem restoration concession which was ultimately sealed by Indonesian forestry authorities (Sep 13). Many concessions belonging to multinational companies have been sealed due to such fires.

Minister Nurbaya stressed that Indonesia will not be affected by framing efforts which seek to draw “direct comparisons” between the emissions caused by Indonesia’s fires and those in the Brazilian Amazon.

“These framing efforts (against Indonesia) are scientifically embarrassing to those carrying them out,” she asserted.

The minister further elaborated on the inappropriateness of the emissions comparisons, saying, “Sorry but this (the framing efforts involving direct comparisons between Indonesia and Brazil) is not working here because such direct comparisons are so clearly misguided.”

She reiterated that making direct comparisons between Indonesia and the Brazilian Amazon with regard to emissions originating from fires is not as simple as it may seem. 

“Exaggerating the results of technically misguided direct comparisons merely accentuates their own stupidity,” Minister Nurbaya said firmly in closing.