The West Kalimantan Provincial Forestry Service held a discussion with its partners on 13 November in Pontianak to explore customary peoples' wisdom in preventing forest and land fires. The meeting aims to document the local wisdom in managing natural resources based on their knowledge and experience inherited from their ancestors. 25 participants attended the meeting representing government agencies (forestry service, forest fire fighters, forestry and agricultural extensions), academics and environmental NGOs in West Kalimantan (AMAN, Walhi, Pancur Kasih, INTAN Institute). The discussion that was lead by the Forestry Service Office of West Kalimantan Province was supported by FORCLIME.
Important take-aways from the meeting are the following:
1. Customary people have knowledge and wisdom in managing agricultural land, which take the risks of forest and land fires into account;
2. Documentation of local wisdom and knowledge related to managing forest fire risks is needed;
3. Developing a regulation on managing fires that adopts local wisdom of customary people is needed. Using the Regulatory Impact Assessment (RIA) methodology to identify policy needs at all levels is recommended;
4. Some sub-districts in West Kalimantan have mechanisms for reporting and monitoring land clearing by the community;
5. Developing an information and prevention monitoring system for forest fires that adopts best practices is needed.