Fire and haze management
Forest fires and the resulting haze are a perennial concern and have a direct impact on many of our employees and the communities living in and around our plantations. Forest fires also cause great loss of biodiversity and contribute heavily to climate change as greenhouse gases (GHGs) are released into the atmosphere when forests burn. In addition, haze can actually depress the production of oil palms, making it a bad business choice for palm growers.
We are focused on long-term fire and haze prevention and mitigation. We have developed and implemented a wide range of initiatives aimed at preventing and managing fires across our concessions.
In the event of a fire, speed is of the essence. All our estates have fire-fighting equipment. We have also trained more than 10,000 Emergency Response Team personnel, stationed across our plantations, ready to deploy at a moment’s notice.
Finding long-term solutions
Community Outreach (DMPA)
We launched Desa Makmur Peduli Api (DMPA), a long-term fire prevention community programme, in 2016. DMPA villages in and around our concessions are provided with training on fire prevention, basic fire-fighting infrastructure, and early-warning processes to deal with the risk of fires.
Under DMPA, we also conduct outreach to schools in a long-term effort to change community mindsets to move away from burning forests to clear land for agricultural use. The programme focuses on forest conservation and food security.
We employs a four-pronged approach in DMPA:
Fire prevention awareness
Improved water management system
Well-trained and well-equipped personnel
3. Early warning system
Monitor hot spot maps
Effective and efficient fire patrol systems
Rating system for potential for fires
Social media channels to disseminate fire prevention messages
4. Quick response
Fire-fighting team on standby to supress fires quickly
Fire monitoring and reporting
We actively monitor all fire incidents in our concessions and DMPA villages. This includes monitoring and checking up to one kilometre around the fire outbreak area. Good fire reporting is essential, as it can help in faster response times in sending aid, better fire containment, and transparency in reasons for fire.