Haze: Sime Darby says satellite data confirms no fires on its Indonesia plantations

By Bernama | Source: The Star
Sime Darby Plantations confirmed Wednesday that no fires occurred in its plantation areas in Indonesia.

The multinational company said it had reviewed hotspot data from the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) for the period of May 25 to June 25, and overlaid the company’s own global positioning system map of the concession areas under PT Tunggal Mitra Plantation (PT TMP) and PT Bhumireksa Nusa Sejati (PT BNS) in Riau, Indonesia.

“Matching the hotspot data and the map of the concession areas showed that all hotspots were outside PT TMP’s concessions,” it said in a statement here.

It said there were three hotspots within PT BNS’ concession areas but located outside the company’s operating area as the areas were local communities, who occupied and planted both cash crops such as corn, sugarcane and pineapple as well as perennial crops such as coconut and areca nuts.

Sime Darby Plantation explained that the NASA satellite had outdated information on the company’s land concession areas, which had been reduced after the final land licensing process was concluded.

“The NASA satellite showed PT BNS’ concession area as 180,392ha when it is in fact only 25,662ha. Of this, 18,688ha are the actual planted area, 1,530ha, the company’s residential and development areas.

“The remaining land is now mostly occupied by local communities,” adding there were also discrepancies with regard to PT TMP’s concession area.

Data from the NASA satellite stated the size of the company’s concession area as 38,473ha whereas the actual concession was only 13,836ha, out of which 2,474ha was occupied by local communities, it said.

The company reiterated its commitment to the zero-burning policy throughout all its operation worldwide.

On Friday, the Prime Minister’s office called on Malaysian-owned companies operating in Indonesia to abide by all local laws and regulations, and ensure they did not contribute to environmental degradation.

The burning in Riau has caused health-hazardous haze to blanket several nations including Malaysia, Indonesia, Singapore and Thailand. – Bernama