Forestry Minister, Zulkifkli Hasan, appealed to the society to increase alertness to forest fire as the recent dry season is drier than normal. He urged companies utilizing land, like forestry and plantation companies, to help prevent land fire. According to the Forestry Minister, there are habits of the local communities during the dry season that must be given up, including burning land clearing debris.
Around 80% of fire occurs outside forest are and only 20% occurring in forest area, which is the jurisdiction of the Forestry Minister. According to the Minister, for fire prevention, his party relied on Manggala Agni (Forest Fire Brigade) which is equipped with modern equipment. Yet, however, support from the society at large, including land management companies, is required to prevent land fire. It is difficult to handle fire. Therefore, preventive action must be prioritized he said.
Director General of Forest Protection and Nature Conservation, Darori, said that forest management companies, such as forest concession (HPH) and industrial forest (HTI) concession holders are ready to prevent forest fire. He expected that plantation companies will do the same. HTI management companies in general have had a very good equipment to prevent forest fire. We expect that plantation companies will do the same, he said.
According to Darori, to increase alertness to land fire, the Forestry Ministry will hold apel siaga (call for readiness) in Pekanbaru, Riau on September 6, 2012. Based on records of the Forestry Ministry as stated in indofire.org website, since January 1 to August 26, 2012, there are 29,731 hotspot points monitored. In the same period of 2011, 18,146 hotspot points were monitored, it means that there is increase in the number of hotspot points by 2,585 (14%) this year.
Director of Perennial Plants of the Directorate General of Plantation at the Agriculture Ministry, Rismansyah Dansaputra, said that based on the prevailing legislation, plantation companies are required to have forest fire prevention and forest the extinguishing equipment. But, this is frequently ignored.
This is proven when a company is conducting Indonesia Sustainable Palm Oil (ISPO) certification. Many plantation companies spent a large amount of money to obtain ISPO certificate as they must equip themselves with new fire extinguishing equipment. While in fact, according to the legislation, since the beginning of investment, fire extinguishing equipment must already be available, he said.
President Director of PT Riau Andalan Pulp and Paper (RAPP). Kusnan Rahmin, said that his party is committed to perform no-burn forest management. This is a proactive initiative by integrating fire prevention management and minimizing fire potency in an integrated sustainable wood planting system.
RAPP has invested in no-burn forest management equipment and fire prevention training. We also conducted training of the local community on fire prevention methods and launching no burn policy campaign, Kusnan said. He also explained about a serious threat that causes forest fire, which is land conversion conducted by irresponsible parties during land opening. In facing this threat, Quick Response Integrated Team of RAPP is conducting an intensive control over fire threat and operating land and air patrol to respond to fire.
We have become a member of the Fire Management Actions Alliance coordinated by FAO since May 2007. RAPP has also formed Masyarakat Peduli Api (Fire Care Community) around concession area, including infrastructure assistance and training to develop care to fire threat, he said.
Joko Supriyono, Director of PT Astra Agro Lestari, Tdk, said that all Astra’s oil palm plantations have been equipped with fire trucks. And, non-burn land opening has become a common norm in large scale oil palm plantation companies.
Business News - August 31, 2012