The Association of Palm Oil Producers (GAPKI) said that during this year’s forest and ground fires, there was a relatively low number of hot spots in palm oil concessions, which was just around 11 percent.
“Citing data from Global Forest Watch, per January 1 up to September 16, 2019, in all Indonesia fires, palm oil concessions were at 11 percent while outside of concessions were at 68 percent,” a GAPKI release received by The Palm Scribe on Monday (21/10) said.
According to the same data, West Kalimantan had the highest percentage of fires in palm oil concession, which was 26 percent of the total, while in Central Kalimantan was at 15 percent. Riau and Jambi respectively at 19 percent, and in South Sumatra at two percent.
Environment groups have been vocal in blaming most of the forest and ground fires on palm oil corporations. According to the website of the environment and forestry affairs Ministry’s hotspot information center Sipongi, during the January-September 2019 period, fires have gutted 328,000 hectares of forest and ground across the country.
The figure was just 64 percent of the forest and ground fires last year.
“GAPKI member companies have synergized with more than 527 villages around their operational areas through forest and ground fire prevention or fire-fighting programs. We have formed fire-preparedness villages in Sumatra and Kalimantan. The program has been implemented since 2015 and is still ongoing up until now,” GAPKI Executive Director Mutki Sarjono said in the release.
He said that GAPKI member companies have not only met the requirements for facilities and infrastructures for the prevention or mitigation of fires, such as observation towers, drones, and fire brigades but they have also made those facilities and infrastructure available to local people, including with adequate training.