Forest fires can be extremely damaging to the environment, as well as to the efforts of any company operating in the palm oil industry in Indonesia. These are precisely some of the major reasons why APRIL Group (Asia Pacific Resources International Holdings Ltd) has announced a “Fire Danger Period” between July the 1st and August the 31st 2015, as part of their comprehensive fire suppression plan.
Investing in Fire Management
Because forest fires can have a huge impact on plantation productivity, while affecting the environment negatively through the extension of smoke and haze, the reduction of soil nutrients and the increasing of soil erosion risks, APRIL has announced that the company will be completely committed toward preventing forest fires and illegal burning, while even avoiding the purchase of materials from those suppliers who condone unlawful burning.
The company has invested no less than $6 million to improve fire-fighting efforts in the area. This extensive investment is meant to support the suppression and prevention of forest fires, while also improving the focus on preventive education, so that local communities can learn more about the prevention process and the dangers of illegal burning.
APRIL’s Fire Management Plan
The fire management plan implemented by APRIL is a manifold effort for raising awareness regarding the reasons why forest fires need to be prevented, as well as the actions and training procedures necessary for adequate prevention.
Specialists are to work closely together with local villagers during the Fire Danger Period, implement new incentives and standards for engaging the community, and doubling their efforts and vigilance to spot and eliminate forest fires as soon as they occur.
As an additional initiative, APRIL has also implemented the “Fire Free Village, Fire Free Landscape” program geared to improve the local community’s knowledge and ability to respond in fire management situations.
With increased focus on village agricultural assistance, no burn village rewards, community awareness and air quality monitoring, APRIL is confident that the dangers and risks of uncontrolled fires can effectively be avoided.