Palembang, October 27, 2018

The Agency for Assessment and Application of Technology (BPPT) has put efforts to prevention and reduction of forest and land fires in Indonesia. Its most effective method is the optimization of weather modification that increases rainfall.

Acting BPPT head Wimpie AN Aspar said the technology was utilised to prevent, or at least reduce, forest and land fires from occurring. As a result, they did not spread and produce haze.

“We have intensified our efforts because South Sumatra is experiencing the peak of dry season,” said Wimpie when visiting the application of the technology in Palembang, October 27, 2018.

Minister for Research, Technology and Higher Education Mohamad Nasir, who was also present at the event, said the weather modification technology had been frequently used to mitigate climate and weather-related disasters, especially because of the current upward trend of hydro-meteorological disasters in Indonesia.

“[This technology] has been implemented in the efforts to deal with droughts, floods and haze caused by forest and land fires. Moreover, it has also become an important instrument to support national strategic projects and significant state events by reducing the interference from the haze,” said Nasir.

Some of the events included: the 2011 SEA games in South Sumatra, the 2013 National Sports Week (PON) in Riau, the 2013 Islamic Solidarity Games in South Sumatra, redistribution of rainfall in Jakarta in 2013 and 2014, the reduction of rainfall in the area where the Samarinda-Balikpapan toll road construction project is carried out in 2018, the 2018 IMF-World Bank Annual Meeting in Bali and other events such as the annual Indonesia’s independence day commemoration at the State Palace.

The weather modification event was sponsored by BPPT’s weather modification division. BPPT deputy for natural resources development technology Hammam Riza said the division used its only 2 planes for the operation. The two aircraft are still unserviceable.

Nasir said the weather modification technology could also be used to enhance economic independence by assisting agricultural activities.

“We hope we could have more planes to support our activities of implementing the technology of weather modification in the future,” said Wimpie.

Apart from disaster management, the government’s food sovereignty program could also benefit from weather modification technology. It could help secure water sources for irrigation.

“This technology could be used to increase water supplies in dams in ten provinces that produce rice. It could also become a solution in ten rice-producing provinces in Indonesia to support the food sovereignty program,” said Hammam.