December 12, 2019

UNEP slides on Indonesia’s burned areas now irrelevant

JAKARTA ( - The Indonesian Environment and Forestry Ministry has asserted that UNEP presentation slides (Dec 4) which quote a CIFOR report (Dec 2) in discussing the extent of 2019’s forest and land fires have automatically lost their relevance as a reference in light of CIFOR’s decision to withdraw its own report. 

This message about the now irrelevant UNEP slides, aimed at relevant stakeholders, was conveyed by the Ministry’s Secretary General Bambang Hendroyono at the ministry building (11 Dec).

As reported earlier by (Dec 6), Indonesian forestry research authorities recently condemned CIFOR for publishing a premature analysis on 2019’s burned forest and land areas which misled the public.

As a result, CIFOR removed the report which had previously been posted (Dec 2) on its Forests News blog.

Below is the first slide of UNEP’s presentation, as well as the next two slides, which referred to the defunct CIFOR report.

Removal of CIFOR report explained

The secretary general cautioned all parties concerned, including UNEP, to heed the latest update from CIFOR by not making reference to the withdrawn report.

“Please check CIFOR’s explanation on its blog and you’ll clearly see that the CIFOR report no longer has any relevance as a reference. This also applies to the UNEP slides which cite this report,” said Hendroyono.

In the explanation on its Forests News blog, CIFOR wrote “The recent publication of a blog ‘Satellites reveal scale of recent blazes but still less damaging than 2015 fires’ that analyzes the extent of burned area in Indonesia during the most recent fire season has been removed from the CIFOR website.”

It continues, “CIFOR’s practice is to submit our research to the scrutiny of the peer-review process carried out by scientific journals. In this case, that practice was not fully adhered to and therefore we have withdrawn the blog to allow for further data analysis to proceed.”

The CIFOR explanation concluded by expressing contrition for posting the misleading report: “We regret this oversight and apologize to our readers."