Join the GLF Digital Summit: Fires, haze and health – applied research, collaborative design and prototype development

14 Oct 2017
Photo by Lynsey Grosfield/GLF

Forest and land fires, which occur on an annual basis in Indonesia, affect the entire Southeast Asian region. Such man-made disasters are detrimental to the environment and have irreversible long-term impacts on human health, undermining progress towards achieving almost all Sustainable Development Goals. Indonesia’s forest and peatland fires are estimated to cause approximately 110,000 premature deaths annually. The 2015 fires affected 43 million people and hospitalized 550,000, along with an overall economic damage assessed at US$16 billion.

Simultaneous measures must be taken to protect the most vulnerable groups (pregnant mothers, the unborn child, young children and their elderly care takers) from air pollution, whilst measures are taken to prevent wildfires.

This inaugural GLF Digital Summit is a follow up to the May 2017 Global Landscapes Forum: Peatlands Matter event in Jakarta, and the September 2017 National Policy Dialogue on Laws and Best Practices for Reducing Fire and Haze. If you missed those two events, don’t worry: this online event will bring you up to speed to dive deeper into the world of peatlands, fire, haze, health and technological interventions for all three.

Experts from diverse sectors parse different angles to explore this complex landscape problem. It is being tackled as an ecological problem, an ethnographic research exercise, a grassroots response or an international advocacy subject. These approaches, combined with technological interventions in shelter, air filtration and air quality monitoring, represent a holistic, landscape-level community of practice surrounding the globally-pressing issue of fire and haze.

Join us!

Date: Tuesday October 24, 2017 at 12:00 (noon) Rome time  (10:00 AM GMT)
Duration: 2 hours
(Use this tool to help you convert “Rome time” to your timezone)

This digital summit is a collaborative effort: our panel of experts worked together to share their experiences and approaches, their trials and errors.

We will give ample opportunity for all digital summit participants to join into the discussion, either to share their own experiences, hints and tricks, or to ask questions to the speakers, or to the entire group.

Register now!

You can register for this digital summit by filling in this form

We will send you a confirmation email. You will get a reminder with the technical details to join the webinar, one day before the event.

Register fast! Our digital summits are limited to 100 participants and the available “seats” are often taken in a matter of days. We encourage participants to actively engage in our webinars with feedback, questions, and sharing of their own experiences.


Richard Wecker – UNICEF Indonesia

Richard manages UNICEF Indonesia’s Social Policy portfolio on emergency response, disaster risk reduction, climate change adaptation and mitigation. As part of its country programme with the Government of Indonesia for the period of 2016-2020, UNICEF aims to address major environmental health issues through focused research and innovation on the impacts of toxic air pollution (haze) from peatland and forest fires on children’s health and wellbeing. Richard has guided formative epidemiological, ethnographic and policy studies on the topic; on this basis he is directing product design for low-cost haze exposure risk reduction interventions. Richard advocates for the inclusion of air quality in humanitarian standards and in terms of the post-2015 development agenda.


Nanis Sakti – Kopernik

Nanis Sakti Ningrum is a Senior Analyst (Engineer) in Kopernik’s Solutions Lab, a dedicated team focused on rapid experimentation of simple solutions with the potential to improve the lives of people in the last mile. She recently led the first phase of an experimentation project testing the effectiveness of Haze Emergency Kits in reducing people’s health risk during a haze crisis. Together with other UNICEF partners, she conducted a series of tests in Palangka Raya, collecting data as part of on-going prototyping work. She has an environmental engineering degree from NTU Singapore and also a joint master’s degree in Hydroinformatics from universities in France, Germany, and the UK. Prior to working with Kopernik, Ms. Sakti Ningrum worked as an engineer with a Singaporean consulting firm and also as a research assistant at NTU University.


JP Wack – Consultant

Jean-Pierre Wack is an environmental consultant working in the fields of building design, air quality and forest fire management. He is currently working on the product developement of a Haze Emergency Kit as a UNICEF consultant. The kit targets families who want to safeguard their health during the forest fire and haze season in Indonesia.


Herry PurnomoCIFOR

Herry Purnomo has a PhD in forest management and policy (2002) and a BSc in agricultural meteorology from Bogor Agricultural University, as well as an MSc in informatics  from a joint programme between the University of Indonesia and the University of Maryland, USA. He currently conducts research on political economy of fire and haze, governance oil palm for sustainable landscape and timber value chains.


Wally ThamBig Red Button

Wally Tham runs a social enterprise Big Red Button in Singapore producing content for organizational change. Starting in TV and moving to social media, Wally has used stories to evoke change in communities in the areas of race, inequality and policy making.
Wally went to Kalimantan in 2015 to distribute masks and haze monitoring technology. Since then, he has designed and built haze shelters to provide clean air for vulnerable groups in Kalimantan.


Lina Karolin – Ranu Welum

Lina Karolin coordinates Ranu Welum Foundation Campaign, “Youth Act,” a youth movement to end forest fire and haze in Kalimantan. Working together with communities, schools and universities, Youth Act conducts health education about haze, forest fires and peatland issues using media to raise awareness. Lina also writes in Danum Magazine and films as part of Youth Act Campaign.


Lody AndrianPulse Lab Jakarta

Lody Andrian is a Design Researcher at Pulse Lab Jakarta. He uses a variety of investigative methods to gather insights about human behaviour that contribute to problem-solving process, and simplifies the massive complexity of our world using visual information design.


Steven Ellis – RCA+

Steven Ellis graduated summa cum laude from Santa Clara University in the United States with a BS in Business, and has lived in Jakarta since moving to Indonesia 5 years ago. Steven joined the RCA+ core team in July 2015, following projects with DANIDA and DFAT Australia. Since joining RCA+, Steven has participated in over 10 RCA studies including leading the RCA study in Uganda earlier this year on Farming and Local Market Access, a recent retrospective Insights RCA study on post-earthquake relief in Yogyakarta, an Insights study in 2016 on international refugees in Indonesia, and the RCA study in Indonesia on Hygiene and Nutrition. Steven co-led the RCA study on people’s perspectives of air pollution from peatland and forest fires conducted for UNICEF in late 2016.



The Global Landscapes Forum puts communities first in addressing landscape-level issues. With science and traditional knowledge at the core, GLF events are designed not only to spark dialogue but also follow-through to impact in addressing some of the most complex and multi-stakeholder problems facing our earth and our communities. Peatlands, fire, haze and health are deeply interrelated themes, and with the launch of the Global Peatlands Initiative at the GLF in Marrakesh in 2016, the push towards best practices in these areas has emerged as a movement within the broader GLF movement.

About the GLF Digital Summits

Attendance to our Digital Summits is open to all. GLF partners as well as other nonprofit organisations or individuals working in the area of forestry, sustainable development, agriculture, ecosystems, public health and design are especially encouraged to register.

Our summits are attended a wide variety of landscapes practitioners: there is no barrier for entry beyond a passion for solving complex problems!

We do not ask for a participation fee, but we like all participants to actively engage into the online discussion during the digital summit.

The summits are moderated via BlueJeans, an online tool running within any internet browser. It only requires participants to have a good and reliable Internet connection and a computer/tablet running any browser.

Key questions

Landscapes/ ecological perspective – Herry (CIFOR)

Ethnographic perspective – Steve (RCA)

Human-centred design thinking (3 prototypes) – Lody (Pulse Lab)

Rapid testing of the ‘haze emergency kit’ – Nanis (Kopernik) and JP (independent) 

Grassroots response to the 2015 fires – Lina (Ranu Welum) and Wally (BRB)

  • How did we create safe spaces for communities exposed to haze?
  • What are some considerations designers and frontline (community) responders need to prepare for?

Advocacy on standards and SDGs – Richard (UNICEF) and Johan (UNE)

GLF resources:


Share your thoughts with us